Finding Parts in Images
So what does it mean to layer your inspiration? First, you have an overarching theme. So we've got a theme that you're going to choose for your series that you're going to do. Let's just say today, day two, you're starting your series and you're gonna choose a theme. After that you're going to choose your individual ideas for the images within that theme within your series. Next you're going to choose how to visually express those ideas. You can see how it's already layered, we have a theme, the individual ideas, your visual expression of those ideas, the technical expression, how you put it together, and then your personal expression. So what are you bringing to the table that somebody else would never be able to bring? With these things you are layering your inspiration. Now I think that it's important to add emotion visually and realistically into your images to be able to convey the thing that you're trying to convey and my hope, my goal, is that over the course of this class that ...
you will gain those tools to be able to work emotionally and visually and realistically within your work. As I mentioned I don't care if you don't shoot people, I don't care if your work looks nothing like mine. The fact is that every piece of art has emotion in it and it's up to us to tell the viewer what that is. To somehow visually and realistically show what that emotion is and this is how we connect to art. You might see a piece of work that has been done over and over again, where, I don't know, maybe it's the example of the umbrella and the birds the water. You're like, gosh could I even look at one more picture of an umbrella and birds and water? Then you might just see one that has all those same things but it's the emotion that you get from that particular piece that draws you into it. So how can we use emotion realistically and visually within our work? Now I personally do it like this, with pose, with color, with location, that's just how I do it and you can see that here in this image. The pose has this sort of weird creepy thing going on, we've got a very specific color palette happening that really brings you into the world of the image and the location is very decayed, very dirty, very weird and that all represents an emotion. The last thing that I wanna say here is to think back in your life and go ahead and just try this now just think back to a moment that defined your life. Something that set you on a new course, something that changed your way of thinking. What is a moment for you? It could be different for everyone, it might be the day that you were diagnosed with cancer it might be the day that you had your first child, it might be the day that you graduated high school. For everyone it will be different. What was a defining moment in your life and how would you represent every part of that experience visually? Every single part, how can you break that experience apart and assign something visual to every element? It's really interesting to do this because it allows us to really understand ourselves. To understand each part of what makes us, us. What makes an image mine versus yours, versus yours, versus yours? It's our experience and the way that we represent those experiences that culminates in art that's personal and meaningful for us. This was the very first image that I ever created, literally I got a camera, I set up my tripod, this is what came from it. I really wanted to share this image because I did this exact same thing. I was thinking about experiences in my life that were meaningful and I settled on this one experience where my grandmother, she used to recite this prayer to me before I would go to bed and she would say, "If I should die before I wake "I pray the lord my soul to take." As a child I thought that was incredibly creepy and terrifying, I would just lay in bed like, oh my gosh, I don't wanna go to bed. Because what if I do and then someone's there to take my soul, I just didn't get it. I was very horrified and that stuck with me and of course I laugh about it as I got older, like oh my gosh, I can't believe I was so scared of that. But it really stuck with me as like, that was one of the first times that I learned to be afraid to go to sleep. That's a really big deal for a child to learn that as a kid. So I decided to put that into an image and without knowing it I went through this list in my head. I had never created a picture before, I didn't know how to work my camera I didn't know how to even get something to turn out looking like a photograph, I just didn't get it. So without realizing it I went through all these things in my head as one would have to do when you're taking a picture for the first time. Well what pose will I be in, where will I be sitting and what will my frame look like and what colors are gonna be here and how will I light this and all those things that a beginner would have to ask I did and that ended up being represented in this way. Now can you relate to this image? Can you take some part of your experience, look at this and understand maybe what's happening? Sure, do you understand my inspiration in it without hearing the story? No, there's no way that you could know that that was my experience. But because I had an experience and because I dissected that experience this is what resulted and that creates an original story that hopefully other people can relate to.