I am going to design an exhibition of oil paintings for Red Rock Coffee shop.
I am going to be designing and producing t-shirts using adobe applications to edit photos of my art as well as Tumasov’s art that will be selling at Tumasov’s Gallery and hopefully put at the museum exhibition as well! I will be creating a logo for Tumasov and possibly myself as well to put onto the tshirts.
In November of 2015, I took home a used watercolor set Freestyle was giving away and started finger painting at home. For the next couple weeks, I began staying up later and later into the night painting in my room. I found peace in this, knowing there was no final goal I was working toward, only a freedom of expression without any risk of failure.
Eventually I told my mom what I had been up to and showed her my paintings. She immediately informed me that my aunt, a professional artist, had gifted me with hundreds of dollars worth of art supplies a few years back before I was interested in art. Like a kid in a candy store I ran into the room where she was keeping them and discovered paintbrushes, canvases, oil paints, etc. I immediately converted my room into a studio, watched a couple Bob Ross videos on YouTube and jumped into oil painting.
About a month in, I stopped by at a local art gallery my friend had recommended to me. As soon as I walked in, a middle aged Russian man came out from the back and showed me around. After talking with him for a couple minutes, we arranged a deal. He would give me painting lessons in exchange for email and tech support. I started spending time there, working on paintings while he helped customers. He checked in on me when I needed help but focused most of his time on the regular customers. Eventually he brought up his idea to sell t-shirts with the gallery name on it. As a designer and a fan of his art, I immediately offered to help create them.
When the opportunity for the innovator project came up, I had been painting for a couple months and had just started talking to Red Rock Coffee shop about potentially getting my art up on the walls. I realized it would be perfect to combine these projects and make the t-shirts and paintings for the project itself. I found this to be such a great opportunity to get school credit on engaging projects that I would’ve taken on anyways.
As I became more involved in the art world, I found myself gravitating toward Surrealism art. I loved the idea of putting raw thoughts and consciousness on paper that doesn’t have to make sense. When the research paper assignment came up, I knew I wanted to do something in the realm of Surrealism. When I began researching Surrealist artists, I realized many of them were nonconformists and rebellious, and a lot of their art was made in a time of war. After a lot of revising my paper’s topic, I concluded it would be a great idea to write about the relationship between Surrealism and revolution. Writing the paper equipped me with a wealth of knowledge on the birth of Surrealism, it’s purpose (or lack thereof), and the variety of art that came out of this art revolution. It really helped guide me on how to pursue Surrealism in my art.
Meanwhile, Tumasov, the owner of the art gallery, was helping me with my paintings as well helping tune my designs for his t-shirts. In order to create the t-shirts, I took high resolution photographs of his artwork and cut them out in Adobe Illustrator then placed them in Custom Ink. The most difficult part of this was being limited by the pricing in Custom Ink. Originally I wanted to do more complex designs, however they were way too expensive and so ultimately I had to simplify them. However, I do like the end result and I think the simplicity works to its advantage.
The 21st century skills that I excelled at included creativity and self direction. I stayed on top of all my deadlines and came up with my own ideas for the paintings and t-shirts. With that said, I could’ve done a better job with collaboration. This has never been my strong suit, however I know that it will be important throughout my life and I need to learn to get help from others more often. If I could redo this project, I would collaborate with someone for a larger piece as well as do more sketching and brainstorming before starting the actual painting.
Overall, this project has taught me that you can be your own leader. You can create you own project and execute it the way you want to. You don’t have to be a painter but you can become one and you can get your paintings to hang for sale if you really want to. You just have to try. You never know what you’ll be capable of if you’re afraid to fail. This is a lesson I’ve always been taught as a child, but never actually grasped until this project.