Culture, Taste and Class – Evaluation

I began the project sceptical of how I was going to accomplish a full project based on the subject given. I didn’t really want to begin to look at subject too deep or too controversial. From the start I knew I wanted to explore the ideas of class and taste through representation of people. Once again I found the project difficult to find a foothold in and bounced around with different ideas for the majority of the time which was given to me. I found myself more than once distracted by things unrelated to the project and believe I didn’t manage my time very efficiently in this brief.

I began the project by exploring quite an obvious subject matter of how the world is already exhibiting class and style, through the media and magazines. I found this part of the project quite interesting as I was able to look at VOGUE through the years, which show a deeper insight into how the world has changed the perception of beauty and style in such a short period of about 90 years. It was clear when comparing covers from the 1930’s to the covers of today that the idea of style has changed mostly from protecting a females figure to celebrating it. In the earlier covers there was more emphasis on diamonds and fur and dramatic shots, long skirts and beautiful faces. However in the covers ranging from the 90’s to today there is a lot more skin on show and a clear statement about feminine beauty. What I began to realise when researching the front covers of vogue was that the project was exploring feminine beauty and not necessarily the ideas of class or taste.

I began to explore different artists and the ways they had explored style, what I found were a lot of fashion illustrators. Some of the artists which inspired the project the most were J.C. Leyendecker, Meo and Melissa bailey. I came across Leyendeckers work when searching through illustrators of fashion and he also created work mainly for magazine and advertisements, which linked well into the work and studies I had done looking at vogue. The men he created in his work are all very regal and dramatic characters, suited nicely and with an air of wealth about them.  It was this artist who gave me the idea to look at how a person dresses or presents themselves can create a certain sense of class and style. One of his pieces in which he had painted a framed mirror gave me the idea to explore how golden ornate frames also give an image or a room a sense of wealth and I wondered how I could incorporate this idea into a piece. I looked at Meo’s work to help improve my skills at water colouring, I still don’t thing I have the technique to take advantage of white spaces to create light and form and I am still too heavy with the colour, tending to rush and not layer them properly.

Towards the end of the project I had an idea, inspired my Melissa baileys personal project and her watercolours of perfume bottles. He delicate pieces gave me the idea of creating small pieces of work, illustrating small luxury items which represent money and style, such as Chanel perfume or a tiffany’s box. This was nearing the end of the project and I began to panic for my time management, I had wasted a lot of time doubting which sort of area I wanted to explore and this caught up with me towards the end.

During this project I was mainly exploring my use of watercolour as its one of my favourite methods of illustration. Using the resources I gained from the library and my research online, looking at different artists, I believe I have created quite a simple outcome but with a clear response to the brief and a strong meaning to it. One thing I don’t believe I have done is explore the concept of culture, I found it very hard to involve this one section of the brief into my ideas, there is a subtle and underlying idea of culture which comes hand-in-hand with the idea of wealth and upper-class, shown through my illustrations of luxury items, and the idea that only people with more money can afford to obtain them.

Things I would’ve liked to explore given the time and resources would’ve been frame building and sculpture, creating actual frames for my outcome instead or merely drawings them. I am kicking myself due to the amount of work I have created and the lost time spent on being so indecisive about what I wanted to draw and explore. This time I have worked on a larger scale and explored inks as well as watercolours. I have recently created some commissions using paints and canvas and this is something I would have also liked to explore in the project as I believe small paintings of the luxury items would have given them a richer feel. Although there are many things I would’ve liked to accomplish through this project I am happy with my progression with my watercolour technique and have learnt the importance of patience and delicacy with it.

I spent most of my time working at home as I have most of my materials here with me, however I believe I am more motivated when I am in the studio and have my work up on the walls to inspire me, since gaining the macs in the studio, work has become much easier with the online resources so close for us now and can see myself working much more in the studio spaces. This project has been another challenging one due to my own apprehension and indecisiveness, however towards the end of the project I believe I created an idea that responded well to the brief, based of the research I had obtained and techniques I explored.

Culture, Taste and Class – Evaluation

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