I'm working on my picture books this year and although it's already been a small challenge to actually get properly into them, it has got me thinking a little bit about the story I tell as an artist. A piece of who I am goes into every creation whether it physically represents me or not. Even commissions that have nothing to do with my personal narrative have something of me in them. It's beyond a skill set or a choice of colour. My time, my thoughts, my ideas are a part of the process when I create something and I like to think a little piece of me is in every one.
This year I wanted to concentrate more specifically on art that intentionally represents who I am. I have plans for personal portraits. I want to paint the things I believe in. I want to draw parts of my experience on the planet and put it on a canvas. I want to know how it will change my art if I specifically focus on a project that is solely about emotional representation/expression/catharsis. I'm not even sure if it would be about drawing characters, although it likely will, but I wonder about what I would make if I return to a mindset of painting dominantly around emotional content.
I sometimes feel like I'm a fine artist trapped in the skillset of an illustrator. My aim is for both aspects of me to merge more fully this year. I'm not dismissing my work up until now I'm just making a more conscious effort to grow and make work that actually feels more connected to who I am. I know I do it already on some level, I'm just ready to takeit further. After many years of doing this I feel confident in my ability to tell a story, now it feels like an appropriate time through my work to start to tell you mine.
I'll share it with you as soon as it's done!
Ryan James x
p.s. I am currently doing a January Blues daily art challenge, all of the pieces will be available for sale at the end of the month on my folksy!
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