Self Representation of the Artist and the Writer
My exploration of self-representation took a quite literal turn as I chose to work directly and indirectly off the photo of myself at a typewriter. While I originally added myself into the composition with a pencil and pen sketch, I finished the piece with a half-tone screen print from the same photograph. While I initially wanted to continue the pen and pencil sketch, I am pleased with the quality and boldness of the screenprint (though it was not without its struggles in execution, as James and Emily could tell you). While the actual image of myself on the typewriter is clearly a focal point (I had wanted to place the image a little bit more to the right, and not as centered), I wanted to play with the idea of my own identity as a writer with this piece.
As I mentioned in a previous class, being a writer is something that I connect strongly to in my self-identity: it is how I have worked as a professional and as a student, it is how I keep track of my day, it is how I leave a trail of my experiences and it is also my therapy. Communication in general is a very central aspect of my life, perhaps more than others (though every person needs it!), as it is what I am currently studying in my masters program. That being said, I wanted to play with the idea of myself as a writer in all its forms, but specifically on a more personal level, rather than a professional or scholarly level.
To do that, I incorporated various notes, handwritten with pen and typed on the same typewriter in the photo. Many may not make sense to the viewer: particularly the typed notes are often excerpts from journal entries and random quotes. The layering of the notes also prevents the viewer from being able to read each piece in its entirety. In the layering of the notes and the fragmented messages, I wanted to represent first, different layers of utilizing writing as a form of self-expression and identity, and second, the idea that as a writer, you struggle with how you are represented—there is only so much of yourself that you can bring into a piece, and there is no way of controlling how the viewer/reader is responding and reacting to your work (although some try).
Though there are a couple journal entries I referenced from the past year, the majority of the collaged pieces were done over the same time period during which I was working on this piece, furthering the idea that this piece, like written work, is a capsule into a specific time in my life.
Overall, I am pleased with how the piece turned out. I think that the inclusion of acrylic and ink for color add to the piece and make it more visually interesting, though I do feel as though the aesthetic looks a little like I was trying to make a clothing ad for young people five years ago. I do like, however, how the colors blend into each other—I think this adds to the concept of different layers and aspects of oneself coming together.