Posted on July 11 2018
Last week I finally finished an artwork that has spanned half a year. I began Revelation when I was six months pregnant with my little boy, and after a two month break during my maternity leave, I finally finished it just a week before that same little boy turned three months old. Captivating me even amongst major changes, I'd sneak down to my studio to work on this piece during nap times and amid my own exhaustion. I just couldn't help it. I love this artwork, and my eagerness to finish it trumped my physical needs.
Using a drawing instead of a photograph comes with its own risks. Having only cut through a drawing once before, I felt a little crazy attempting it again. Those pregnant hormones weren't reassuring me either.
Drawings are different from photographs. You can't just print off another one if you make a mistake. Encapsulating months of work, those graphite creations are a bit more precious. Delving my knife into one is a moment of suspense as I hold my breath and hope I haven't just trashed something I've started to love. But that's what we're supposed to do with our art, right? An artwork often doesn't become interesting until a risk is taken. And I wanted this to be interesting.
Maybe I've taken this ideology a little too far because family and friends have worried about how little they can see the drawing. Their complaints have fallen on deaf ears though because I love how covered this woman is. The top cut out layer represents an experience, and this symbolic moment envelops the figure beneath. So immense and all-encompassing, it obscures her identity. Yet, intentionally her eye still peers through it all, and her hand remains exposed, implying that her vision continues to be clear and that action can still be taken. She can still act and not just be acted upon.
Making this piece taught me a lot that I can apply to my next artwork. I've learned about things to avoid and different ways to do it better. Yes, I'm still high off of this risk-taking thing and totally plan on making another one (a series, perhaps?). People have always thought I was a little mental for making such time-consuming, intricate work. It's time to take it to the next level (;