I have chosen to illustrate three different ethnic groups in the similar style of Art Nouveau, as my final project for this unit. Initially, my only goal was to improve my artistic abilities, and to help with my issue of lacking ‘originality’. However, throughout this unit, I have learned a lot more than I have expected. As Runco (2004) stated, creative individuals “should avoid relying too heavily on one perspective.” Through weekly discussions about creativity, I learned how broad creativity really is, and how it cannot be defined by just one definition.
The freedom of being able to choose what we do for our final assessment allowed me to focus on myself as a creative individual. This means establishing what I already know, what I’m already good at, areas where I’m weak at, and what I want to achieve. This assessment gave me a chance to finally address the artistic problems I’ve been stuck with for quite some time now. For instance, not being able to pay attention to details, unfamiliarity with color harmonies, and lack of experimentation.
One of the main problems that I had, as a creative individual, was that I believed I lacked ‘originality’. I have always believed that having my own style was the key to being a great creative person. But the actual problem was that I believed that it would come in a form of an epiphany. I was convinced that I would be able to find my own style if I just think hard enough. Because of this unit, however, I’ve learned that having your own style or ‘originality’ isn’t really all about coming up with your own idea out of thin air. But about combining what we already know to come up with an idea that was never thought of before. As Cooper (2014) stated, “Knowledge alone is not useful unless we can make connections between what we know.”
Runco (2004) also discussed how family background plays a role in an individual’s creative process. My decision in choosing this particular idea of mine was influenced by my background, and my present knowledge. Art Nouveau was taught in one of my previous units, while the idea of ethnic groups/minorities came from my personal background. Art Nouveau perfectly fits my goal because of how detailed its illustrations are. To challenge myself I expanded my usual process when illustrating. Instead of copying 99% of a photo, I have created my own reference of different poses for each individual subject, created my own color combination, and researched information and collected images to create the overall look and design of each piece.
In order to effectively achieve my desired outcome on time, I had to lay down a step-by- step plan.
1. Research and choose ethnic group/minorities to illustrate.
2. More thorough research of the chosen ethnic group.
3. Finding the appropriate poses for each ethnic group
4. Find or recreate the pose for reference
5. Collecting images of each of their traditional wear
6. Find patterns to use for the background
7. Experiment and pick color combinations to use for each illustration.
My decision in choosing which ethnic group to draw was based on their traditional wear. How detailed and how colorful their wear were, were the main criteria. I’ve decided to research more about each of the chosen ethnic groups to avoid incorrectly illustrating their traditional wear, as it would be too disrespectful if misdraw them. One of the most challenging steps for me was finding the appropriate poses for each subject. I was not sure what ‘appropriate poses’ actually is for each of the ethnic group. Again, I did not want to disrespect them, therefore, I chose the poses from their traditional dances. The next problem was finding reference of the poses in order to draw realistic human anatomy. The videos of their traditional dances were too blurry or wasn’t in the angle I wanted, hence, I moved to finding some references online, but found nothing close to what I need. This led me to create my own reference of my chosen poses. A close friend of mine modeled for me to recreate the poses from the traditional dances, this gave me a lot of freedom in terms of angles, and including subtle details to make the poses a bit more dynamic (i.e. the arrangement of the fingers, the angle of the tilt of the head, and the placement of the feet).
Before I could start drawing, I had to collect images of every aspect of each traditional wear. Additionally, I also had to pick the patterns I was going to use for each project piece. I decided to go with flowers and trees or leaves that can be found in where each ethnic group lives. Lastly, I experimented with color combinations that can go well with each traditional wear. Lines and colors were the most interesting elements for me while I was drawing each pieces. I used lines to make the flowers and leaves look more interesting, along with the color combinations I’ve picked. I would say that my color palette mainly consists of light/muted and vibrant colors. Photoshop and a drawing tablet were the main tool in making my illustrations.
As I mentioned in my proposal, I hope to include some elements of graphic design as well. Besides the typography aspect of the illustration, I believe that using grids to set the layout can be considered an element of graphic design too. Although I am satisfied with the outcome, the only issue I have was I wasn’t able to experiment with the layout more.
Overall, I am satisfied with the outcome of my project. This experience taught me important lessons that enabled me to overcome most of my problems as a creative individual. Furthermore, the teachings and experiences I have gained have improved my creative process, and I cannot wait to create more projects with my newly gained knowledge, and as an even better creative person.
Cooper, B. B. (2014). The Secret of Creativity, Intelligence, and Scientific Thinking: Being Able to Make Connections. Retrieved from https://blog.bufferapp.com/connections-in-the-brain-understanding-creativityand-intelligenceconnections
Runco, M. A. (2004). CREATIVITY. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 657-87. Retrieved fromhttp://ezproxy.ecu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/205848604? accountid=10675