I didn’t do art GCSE. I had too many other things I wanted to do at the time and couldn’t make it fit my timetable, but I did do it in 6th form.
Looking back I realise that what I worked on was all pretty superficial. There wasn’t really some great inspiration that was driving me, I just wanted to be able to make things that looked nice.
In a bid to make something that meant something, I did a 3d montage where various celebrities and people of note got a different size and projection of their picture depending on how much value they added to the world. I did not however, really do enough research nor have particularly rigorous criteria that I was judging them all by, so it was all a bit shallow. This was followed by the one piece that actually did mean something to me. A light at the end of the tunnel, or in this instance, leaving a dark forest for the light of the fields. I was struggling socially with the last year of school and looking forward to getting out of there, to university and beyond. These two, combined with a few pieces that were loosely tied together as a study of motion, made my final exhibition a bit higgledy-piggeldy, but it got me a decent enough mark that it didn’t hamper my future overall.
I have done no art since… unless you count decorating a house.
Something in me decided that I needed to bring art supplies on my trip around europe though. I am fully stocked up, with watercolours, sketching pencils, colouring pencils, marker pens and glue sticks (although those last ones were more intended for my scrapbook than art). And I think yesterday I realised why.
I was sat in Tirana, Albania. Sketching a particularly attractive doorway. Now the benefit of sketching is that it gives you an excuse to sit in a cafe for a particularly long period of time without feeling self conscious that you’re alone, and totally rinse their wifi. I was there maybe an hour and a half, and in that time numerous people… by which I mean girls… went up to this door and strong armed their friends into taking pictures for them that will no doubt wind up on their instagram feed once they’ve touched it up.
I’ve always been a little bit of a rebel, not wanting what everyone else had. So knowing that this beautiful doorway was going to be all over everyone else feed looking exactly the same, just with a different well dressed girl in front of it, I really really didn’t want to be one of them.
That’s kind of the problem with tourist destinations and travel photography. It all looks the same, so boring! So now that door is on my instagram. But the photo is pants. It’s the sketch I’m proud of. And I’ll remember that doors in so much better detail now having slowed down and let myself really see it.
I wonder where it goes….
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