Body of Work

It’s been a great and thoughtful week. I love having lunch with people. I took on a new guitar student, and Woot Suit Riot is the artist in residence at next week’s Nerd Nite! You can catch Kayleigh and I playing at the Rum Runner on Tuesday at 7pm, and there’ll be some really great talks too, including one on Ada Lovelace and a set by Barry Carter, who is a hilarious comedian. You should absolutely come down and check it out.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how to create a body of work.

I spoke with Dan this week, who’s finishing his fine arts degree, and one of the things we talked about was the distinction between fine art and illustration. Illustration is art, there’s no doubt about that, but illustration and character design definitely have a different focus than your average fine art show. We bandied the difference back and forth for a bit, and I’m still not entirely sold on it, but I’m chewing it over. The key difference seems to be that the focus of illustration is the creation of a scene or a character, or a series of scenes while fine art exists as a body of work usually expressing a theme. It’s sort of more theoretical. I have a pretty naive understanding of these things, I admit. But the distinction is sort of in the product. When an artist explores composition or colour, what matters is the arrangement of colour and the nature of the composition, not that the end product looks like some specific thing. Each individual work is part of a larger thing, a body of work that explores a theme. It fits together. I think there are lots of ways illustration does this too, but I haven’t thought about it enough and I don’t have lunch with any illustrators as yet. But it got me thinking.

How does my work fit into a larger body?

I write music, vlog, blog a lot, and I love doing it. When I get discouraged, it’s because the work seems to lack focus. I can’t see the end or the nature of the exploration. They seem like random things rather than a body of work, and I think I want to create a body. there are definitely some common themes, and I want to isolate those and explore them more consciously and more thoroughly. Two years of blogging, one year of videos, it’s time to review my work and figure out what it’s about.

What’s yours about?

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