This was my first studio art class in high school: AP Art 2-D Design. Approaching my senior year classes, I knew that I wanted to stretch myself as an artist in both concept and format. I really had no idea what a challenging, but rewarding experience was ahead of me. AP Art is made up of a breadth and a concentration. An artist's breadth work illustrates their work and development over time, while a concentration is a focus on a subject matter or method.
Figuring out my concentration was a process that reflected so much of life: I didn't know what I was doing until I had done it. When I finished my twelve pieces, here's what I learned about myself, as a photographer, an artist, a human.
As an artist, I have always been captivated by stories. The story of my subject, of the human being in front of the lens--who they are and where they have been,--is what excites me in my work as a proffessional portrait photographer. When I approached my concentration, it was natural that I should combine my two greatest interests as an artist: storytelling and portraiture. In my concentration, I cemented the concept that portraiture is an act of storytelling.
How did I do this exactly? Good question. I picked stories that I felt reflected the human experience and then focused on a character or group of characters within the story. From there, I took a photograph and then drew or painted directly on the print.
One of the most important lessons this practice in artistic discipline taught me is that art is nothing without collaboration and support. There were two other girls in my AP class, and we rode the roller coaster together. Full disclosure: this project would not have been possible without them. More than that, the larger community of our non-AP art class kept our heads straight and our spirits up. Our teachers were phenomenal mentors and motivators. And all the people you see portraying fictional characters were major supporters of my project through both inspiration and encouragement. That's what I'll remember most from this project: you need other human beings; you need a community base to make beauty.
Sorry in advance for the poor quality of the digital files. Trust me, they look better in person. :)
The characters and stories are as follows: the rising phoenix from the Legend of the Phoenix, Snow White herself from Snow White, the three goddesses from Judgement of Paris, Little Mermaid in the Little Mermaid, Daisy from the Great Gatsby, Beauty and her sisters from Beauty and the Beast, the crane from the Crane's Wife, Pandora from Pandora's Box, Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings, Psyche from Psyche and Cupid, St. George from the legend of St. George and the Dragon, and Red from Little Red Riding Hood.