IN/BREAK, the Transept 2021 art exhibit, opened this weekend!
Quoted from their website: “Transept is a group of artists and theologians connected to The Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts at the University of St Andrews exploring the intersection of theology and the arts, where theory meets practice.”
The exhibit is held online, and runs from 19 March to 2 April, 2021.
This exhibit features many amateur and professional visual artists, writers, poets, playwrights, and multimedia producers. The curators are debuting works every day, a few at a time. My series of four works will be released on 23rd March. (It’s not out yet, as of writing this Dispatch.)
I’m honoured that my artwork could be part of this fantastic exhibit.
I’m working on a ‘Debrief and Reflection’ post, as I’ve learned a lot from the month of producing my series of 4 works for Transept (aka: my “Big Art Project”). I want to also feature my artwork in this reflection, so I’m waiting for my art to debut in the exhibit to post it. Expect an additional, special Dispatch in the middle of this week.
In the meantime....
Since I began writing the Weekly Art Dispatch, the vast majority of my art has been fanart, or drawing original characters that I already had designed before. This week’s drawing was my first attempt to get back into original character design/concept art. It was a bigger challenge than I expected.
I’ve had this character in my mind for some time, and thought I had a good visual bead on him – until I had to actually get him out of my head and nail him down on paper. Then it got difficult! I learn, once more, that images in my mind’s eye are more blurry than I think they are.
What’s more, I was trying to design this character to a “theme” (a setting and world), but this theme was all in my head and I hadn’t taken time to draw them earlier. And designing two things (character and setting) at once… is not a great idea. It’s more mental burden!
To top it all off, my visual library for character design has shrunk WAY more than I expected. But I haven’t fed the library with visual references for a long time, so it makes sense that I didn’t have many costume design ideas in my head to draw on.
The drawing process involved several rounds of browsing ArtStation, Concept Art World, and other concept art/character design sites to fill my visual library; doodling many, many throwaway sketches; and finally taking those externalized ideas to make a stab at the actual drawing.
For a first iteration of character design.... I am satisfied. He will definitely go through a few more rounds of further change and refining. But I’ve learnt a good lesson about the process of concept art. Before I start creating specific characters, I have to take a step back to develop and draw out more basic designs first, as well as fill up my visual library with appropriate inspiration and references. My visual imagination hasn’t been fed for a long time, and I’ve always been guilty of putting undue confidence in my ability to wing things. Time to stop winging it, and rectify that weakness.
I’ve almost finished Lesson 4 of Drawabox. But instead of jumping to more Study Art, I think I have to take a break and actually study art as mentioned above – fill up my visual library, look up inspiration for my world-building and character design. This week’s homework is: browse some art galleries. Should be fun!
Next Dispatch will be a special edition that reflects on my experience with the Transept 2021 exhibit. Thanks for reading this week’s Art Dispatch!