PDA

View Full Version : Themes in college artwork.


paperclip
06-01-2005, 11:26 AM
I will be returning to college this september. One thing I remember from last year was that we had to have themes running through our work.
What do you think of this? What type of theme is the 'best'? I know it all boils down to how you treat the theme (as in english studies), but are there themes that work best as explained through a visual medium?

What do you think?

Kargokultti
06-01-2005, 11:28 AM
angst is always a good one

paperclip
06-01-2005, 11:35 AM
How about dark, sorrowful poetry that you write yourself with your blood on the petals of a black rose?

Kargokultti
06-01-2005, 11:42 AM
If you want to do something really cutting edge, ask for used Tampaxes and go creative with those...

Though it's been done already, last year at my school. I kid you not.

paperclip
06-01-2005, 11:45 AM
Ugh!

What did they make with that??

Crazy suomilainen..:eek:

jmBoekestein
06-01-2005, 11:55 AM
:surprised


...uhm...


How about some part of you literally that symbolises your current ' stage' in life, like "I'm my eyes". Eyes are really beautiful! Just a thought. And you can always go overboard on the bodyparts thing, angst written with tampons on pig skin cloned for transplants :rolleyes:, you name it. (ya sick fr**ks)

paperclip
06-01-2005, 12:20 PM
Heehehee...no one could ever tell that this was a SERIOUS question!!
Come on guys....can you not come up with a proper answer?! As much as I love this crazy chat, I'd appreciate some meaningful talk!

jmBoekestein
06-01-2005, 02:25 PM
rationally, most themes work best through a visual medium soince the amount of absorbed information is generally higher in visual tnah anything else. I was serious though, somewhat :rolleyes:. A subject that has some self exploratory aspects to it will eventually make you grow, I don't mean that in a sexist way :wise:.

Elaeria
06-01-2005, 03:17 PM
I agree with you JM. Art, to me anyways, is a self expression of the world around me. When working with themes in the past, something related to personal development has always worked best in my art classes.

Just some ideas...Do you have a spiritual side? Non spiritual side? (It's been done before I know, but I'm reading the Philosophy of Wicca right now so that's what came to me first...:))
Is there something you want the world to see through your eyes? (I like the "eyes" theme by the way JM! Can be a very emotional and expressive medium) A life changing event for you?

I don't know if this has helped you at all or if it sounds like I'm talking out of my arse...but that's what has worked for me in the past. I'd give you more, but I'm in "uber cranky IT mama" mode right now and my expressive side at this point involves not much more than an extended middle finger...not to you guys of course..LOL...just work stuff...

Take care,
~Ela~

eparts
06-01-2005, 03:31 PM
Self exploration trough art is my usual theme.. and it can really be scary sometimes, though I havent done the tampax concept ..yet.

The spiritual aspects is very inspiring. After reading much about parapsychology, wicca as well and other interesting things.. It really makes you question things. Teh spirit vs the shell theme is very inspiring, and I can't do enough of that.

I don't know what you must do at art college, but i probably will apply at one some day in future.

I believe self exploration is a more important theme for young people rather than go society critical when don't have any idea as young (even if many think so)

MagnumCort
06-01-2005, 03:40 PM
I have mixed feelings about themes in work. Good in that they can tie a whole body of work together, giving it unity and purpose. But they can also narrow your focus, and before you know it, you're pigeon-holed into doing one thing.

Having just graduated art school, I'm quite familiar with the angst theme. The problem with the angst theme is that everybody does it (eveybody is angry about something). Done poorly, it just reads as complaining or whining - no fun IMO. Done well, it can offer a solution to a problem or enable someone to approach their own angst from a different angle. Most of what I saw was complaining/whining.

One way to approach a theme is to figure out what you are most passionate about (outside of CG), what means the most to you in life (attitudes, emotions, people, experiences), and then try to bake those ideas into everything you produce - literally or otherwise.

My 2 cents.

Empath
06-01-2005, 05:33 PM
Theme? ANY theme, or are there limitations? I'd say do something that has meaning to you, something a viewer could, if they thought about it, visually interpret about your view of the world. If anything's fair game, here are a few random ideas I might consider:
reverance of life
individuality (explore personalities?)
energy
change

soapy
06-01-2005, 05:35 PM
Ok, here is what you need to do: go buy a copy of Flashart, scan through it and make a list of the most popular artsy buzzwords du jour, insert buzzwords into your artist statement. Make whatever kind of art you like, attach artist statement, done. Go to student union building, drink beer, meet girls and/or boys, have fun. cheers.

paperclip
06-01-2005, 05:55 PM
One way to approach a theme is to figure out what you are most passionate about (outside of CG), what means the most to you in life (attitudes, emotions, people, experiences), and then try to bake those ideas into everything you produce - literally or otherwise.

My 2 cents.

This is the most useful reply so far. It makes sense.
I'm going down the illustration/concept art route (hopefully), so I think I'll probably pick out my favorite author and use that for a theme!
I can explore his works, use references, try to work through the messages in his work, etc...it'll be great fun as my other love, aside from art, is reading...
....I can't wait to start...gee..who should I pick?? The choices are infinite!

Gord-MacDonald
06-01-2005, 06:16 PM
Paperclip:

Maybe the theme should select you - once you come into contact with it, it should set off a flurry of activity in your mind, about it possibilities.

We all have things in our lives that are of deep interest to us. Perhaps start there and work outwards.

What do you like - what are you 'into' - literature, poetry, myths and legends, nature, politics, religion, icebergs, snakes, frogs, tophats, comicbooks, roleplaying, cats (hehe) - the possibilities are endless.

Ultimately its the passion you bring to the theme that is important - not the theme itself.

*looks like we posted at the same time...*

Gord

soapy
06-01-2005, 06:28 PM
Pick a broad theme and just keep it in the back of your mind as your always ready answer to crit questions. Then you can have more specific related branching themes for specific pieces.

Kargokultti
06-02-2005, 12:09 AM
Ugh!

What did they make with that??

No-one knows. There was a printout in the Girls that asked anyone interested in participating in the project to go and hang a used Tampax on a clothesline in the workshop. The workshop has a glass door and I went by quite often. No Tampaxes.

So either the project was a failure, or then it was something really post-post-meta-avant-garde.

A serious theme suggestion:

Nice things. Not anything like these tired old phrases like "every cloud has a silver lining" or clichés imagery, roses, kittens in baskets etc. - though kitch could be an interesting line of inquiry as well. But it's been literally done to death. And not escapism, necessarily. Just nice things.

I have this arty idea in the back of my head: I'd want to do an exhibition with the theme of "beautiful things to keep in homes". On one hand there's the urge to do something really intellectual, personal, meaningful, revolutionary and all that lah-de-dah. On the other, there's the stuff I do: personal, yes, but not much else.

So, making these beautiful things could be quite a pleasant engagement. It would be something original (around here at least), and I wouldn't have to worry about seeming intellectual or not. Nothing's taken at the face value these days, so at the very least making things to please the eye would... Well, y'know, throw post-modern irony into the discussion in every five sentences and your intellectual status is firmly established.

ashakarc
06-02-2005, 12:51 AM
I will be returning to college this september. One thing I remember from last year was that we had to have themes running through our work.
What do you think of this? What type of theme is the 'best'? I know it all boils down to how you treat the theme (as in english studies), but are there themes that work best as explained through a visual medium?

What do you think?
Paperclip, my all time favourite theme in architecture is 'Silence and Light' by Louis Kahn (IMO the greatest modern architect after Corbu), I think it is applicable in artwork too.


Silence to Light
Light to Silence
The threshold of their crossing
is the Singularity
is Inspiration
(Where the desire to express meets the possible)
is the Sanctuary of Art
is the Treasury of the Shadows
(Material casts shadows, shadows belong to light)

InterFacer
06-05-2005, 12:41 AM
My favorite theme, and one that I have managed to wring a few quality peices from is 'slaves to time'...very open to interpretation, as well as possibly saturated by many different influences. Theres me though :P

CGTalk Moderation
06-05-2005, 12:41 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.