Sunday, December 17, 2017

Emotions Behind Art (Guest Article)

Today's article, although not directly about photography, is very much relevant to it. Bianca Haeck explains the power of affect in the artistic process. Make sure to take a look at her YouTube Channel, her Etsy Shop, and her SkillShare Page. 

As an artist, emotions feed the content I create. I literally cannot pull emotion away from my compositions, or the piece simply wouldn’t work. Even under the surface, if given specific directions for a piece, my own emotions still secretly feed the outcome of my work.

Since I am well aware of this fact, I often try to avoid painting when frustrated, since even if that is the intended mood of the piece, I cannot let the actual emotion take over, or the skill level suffers. In other words, emotions are necessary for the work, but when they take control, you lose technical control of the work, and the composition suffers.

Personal Pieces vs. Client Work

In personal pieces, creating the mood is simple: how do I feel that day?

However, on the flip side, when doing commission work, or something as a gift, I need to concentrate on the purpose of that work, is it meant to bring joy? Hope? Is it in memorium of someone or something?

A lot of planning goes into such pieces. Unlike in most photoshoots, where the photographer tries to grasp at fleeting moments of magic, in something like painting, when commissioned, the client rarely wants deviation from the exact reference or idea given. In this sense, our parameters are a bit stricter.

The Role of Composition

The role of composition in my art work is always key, just like in photography. Anything that is centered is always eye-catching and most striking, and when you're an artist who works with traditional media, you also need to think about what's best for framing. This actually may affect asthetic choices you make in your piece

However, something that is a bit off-center is usually more interesting for the client, so that's also another angle I sometimes like to try to use in my work.

If I know I have flexibility, I try to offer something I think will be more visually enticing, amplifying certain aspects, while playing down others.

Color Choices and Emotions, and the Role of Lighting

In something like painting, we do not have a flash or studio light to convey a mood on the page, we have to create it with colors, ”faking” the light, if you will. Much like in photography, the right colors in a piece can make it soar! On the converse, the wrong colors can completely deflate the mood.

Dramatic lighting (something I think all artists love), is always captivating, but when you do it wrong, it can actually change the mood of the painting. So just like in photography, as a painter, I need to choose just the right light through my color choices to evoke the emotions I am feeling, and want to carry across to my viewers.

The balance of skill, tools and designing emotion in a piece is a very delicate balance. I think that this is a universal truth in all art forms. When setting out on a new piece, I rarely just ”go for it”, I normally think about my goals, where exactly I want to lay out my components and subject matter, and then the mood.

Creating a work of art is an emotional journey that can at times be frustrating, but overall, is the most rewarding feeling in the world!

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