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My Lashes Are Dry, But...

What Teardrops I Cry, It Don't Have A Price.

This is my second (technically, third, but that's another story....) semester of Life Sculpture, and this is the first piece I've ever managed to work to this level. My professor taught me to check my ego a long, long time ago, so I can't actually say I'm proud of how it looks, but I am rather proud at how hard I worked at it. Our class is small and compact this semester, and the talent level is unbelievable. For the first time, I've been pushed to work past what I'm capable of doing, and I am happy that I was finally capable of doing something like this. I have a long way to go to achieve what my heart tells me I am capable of achieving.

It's a totally massive piece (wow, sidenote: how annoying are all of my apostrophes? LOL), and it took 15 pounds of clay to make him. Sixteen hours after the start of the assignment, this is what I managed to create. This picture was taken Thursday, 01 Oct 2009. The sculpture was too soft to remove from the support pole today, so I refined his eyelids and added definition to both his chest and back, but I have yet to take a new picture. My teacher pushed me to go a step further, commenting that while it was an incredible figure study, I have to push past pretty and create art: I will marr his back with scars and pierce and embed it with arrows.

This piece will be named Patron Saint.

In addition to drawing, designing, and painting, this is what ten hours of my week consists of. I love what I do, and while my life attempts to tear me away from my art, I am steadfast. If I work harder than I already do, maybe some day I will be worth something. And not in a fame-starved, self-serving kind of way: I just want to believe in my own heart that one day I'll be above the need for validation, and my worth (through craft) will be enough. I push myself so far past what my mind is capable of handling, and it always seems to come back to bite me in the face. I know it all comes down to me abandoning the comparisons I keep making to others, and facing the issues I have with artistic "inferiority." I'll learn; I just need to suck it up and listen with my heart instead of my head.

Hope ya like it. I'm pretty sure this isn't what you guys are used to seeing from me, but I just wanted to share today a little bit of who I really am.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 6th, 2009 07:38 am (UTC)
Oct. 9th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
Thanks, A-Baby! Mwah!!
Oct. 7th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
great work! wow! it's amazing how you've made something so lifelike. he looks like someone i just can't put my finger on it. i'm glad you're keeping your creativity juices flowing and doing what you're doing. it makes hopeless seamstresses like me hope.
Oct. 9th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)
I was pretty amazed myself, and it was the first thing I finished in three semesters. All the icky, caca-doodoo things I sculpted before paved the way for this!! LOL

Thanks, Nev-mama. Stay focused...hopeless will become hopeful. And before you know it, you'll be a haute couturier in Milan!
Oct. 7th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
*jaw-drop* Ah wow Flo! I'm really glad you shared him with us - he's amazing! I love the sheer impression of solidity about him!
Oct. 9th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
You are too kind, Hipzy, too kind. I love how you describe him as having solidity--his face is lifted in "the direction of God," as my professor jokes. I used that joke to turn him into a patron saint. So I'm really glad that the strength I tried to impart shows through.
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Even if you reach the level where you don't need validation, it's still very nice to get it. Besides, what's the use of art if no-one but the artist cares about it--if no-one wants to talk about it, debate it, or simply smile at it? That would be self-serving. I personally think your prof is wrong to discourage pride in the result. If you don't like what you make, you're not likely to make more, are you? And making more is the only way to refine your skills. Art is as much about practice as is learning to play piano, and, while it's true that you can (and probably should) enjoy the time spent practicing, your ultimate goal is not the practice, it's the result.

I also think tattoos would be appropriate for your fellow up there, or maybe covering him in writing that may or may not have any significance. (Yes, my mind can shift from this to that without a blip. I have made it a point in my life to never be Deep.)
Oct. 9th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
I'd love validation at any level because at this point only the TAs and teacher make comments about my work. My friends in class ooh and ahh, but the rest of my class remains relatively mum, especially during critique. And it hurts bad during crit--if it's good, it's nice to hear it, and if it's bad, I'm aching to hear why it doesn't work! I do agree that art should be shared with the world, especially if it influences others, good or bad, or even just for shits and giggles. I hope I land somewhere in the middle some day.

My professor encourages us to take pride in our work, but wants us to keep in mind that each piece is a stepping stone toward bigger and better things. He pushes us further with each project, urging us to make things that say something and not just sit there and look pretty. He wants us to create things with miniature souls inside...pieces of our own souls. Even all the throwaway gesture exercises we do before the main dish, he wants us to put hearts into. All in all, he wants us to understand that clay is only what we make of it, and if we work hard (he works us like dogs), it will show even if the final piece looks like crap. And he's a damn funny guy so anything serious or deep he tries to impress on us is absorbed, like, almost instantaneously.

PLUS you should see all the pieces I made before this. OMFG, absolute crazy. HOT mess. I can't believe this piece turned out the way it did--I never thought I could be capable.

I was totally thinking of etching writing all over him in different scripts and languages, but another student got to it before I did. I do rather like the tattoo idea. Perhaps his back will get some crazy tatts for conversation's sake. It could be interesting to have something underneath all the scars and broken arrows....
Oct. 9th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
The Art Class Critique is always an odd experience. I always wondered if the students who didn't say anything were mum because they thought they didn't have the knowledge or experience to make suggestions, or if they were being sullen because they were solely concentrating on comparing the better and worse aspects of the other works to theirs...

Is it odd that I get irritated when people tell me something I've made is the best? To me, "best" implies that nothing I made before was so good, and nothing I make again could be as good. I want to always improve...and, yet, I know there are some people for whom reaching a single level of Very Good is enough, because change can be scary. I understand that kind of person about as much as I understand the kind who try once, do poorly, and decide they can't do it and never try again. Dude. Life is improvement.

He looks like he's led a rough life, like he should be scarred and pierced and inked in ways that prove he's earned his sainthood.
Oct. 12th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
This is wonderful. Absolutely wonderful ;-)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )