Transmissions In Bloom
Whether it’s art, film, music, or food, I’ve found that I’m captivated more by the creative process than by the finished work itself. As a graduate student at FIT, I spent the first two years exploring different image making approaches but hadn’t yet found one that felt true to how I intrinsically think and work. My thesis finally changed that. Trying to get my project off the ground made evident that I simply don’t think or work in a linear way, so my process needed to adapt to my idiosyncrasies and more importantly I needed to embrace them. In addition, I realized I wanted to create narrative imagery that was more interpretive than literal, that focused on mood and theme instead of narrative specifics and story continuity. So I built a project with a set of boundaries and limitations which allowed me to work freely and productively while staying focused on a unifying theme. As my thesis evolved I began to find solutions that helped me produce the work I wanted as well as give me a working process that I could apply to forthcoming projects.
Transmissions in Bloom is a collection of visual development art from an imagined world loosely inspired by elements of science fiction. As a whole, this body of work projects like fragments from a dream — the mood clear and the details obscured. There is no specific narrative and no linear structure. The illustrations of environments, characters and vehicles might share similar elements or themes, but they are not formally connected. The visual language of film inspires and influences much of my work, specifically the emotive qualities of light, color and choreography of motion. When painting a narrative scene I try to capture the mood of the moment as I first reacted to it. Impressionist paintings greatly inspire me in this sense.
I found that taking a fluid approach felt most natural and allowed me to find a flow without getting mired down in over thinking. Three approaches emerged that worked best for me, each utilizing spontaneous, abstract image making as a catalyst for concept generation. For one approach I’d loosely sketch with pencil or ink on sheets of paper and tape them to the wall where a random mark or form might give me an idea and I’d begin working it out digitally. Another successful direction was working directly on my digital canvas, loosely playing with colors and value distribution to see if a light source and color palette revealed a scene I could then develop. For a third approach, I would digitally collage elements from my scanned art and digital paint. Using masking and transfer layers I was able to get unexpected results and I could flexibly test out multiple versions of an idea to see which felt most right.
In the end this body of work is as much about my process as it is about the finished images. If an image I make invites the person viewing it to participate in some way, to create their own narrative, then I could consider the work successful. I’m inspired to continue making imagery that connects people with ideas or each other or inspires work of their own.