I spent the weekend before this week finalizing a lot of scenery ideas for the book. The beginning forest scenery spoke out to me and was relatively easier to illustrate. The foliage has always been so comforting for me, and has held me through the most uncertain of times. I also loved the reflection scenes, particularly because of the symbolism the scene carries. I've always been fond of how the Milky Way reflected onto still water has been the closest I've been to feeling the universe at my fingertips. The desert scenes, however, required me to compile more and more references since I've only been to a handful of deserts. The desert scenes were important to the overarching visual narrative of change, from lush forests to stark deserts, but beautiful all the same. I had to dial into a different mindset those days and found a lot more appreciation for what makes the desert so beautiful.
This week, our class presented our works we had finished up to now. On Tuesday, though we didn't see it, we tasted the success of our peers that created their art through cultural foods and homemade kombucha. And then after 30 minutes, class was over, and we were left to finish our projects for next class. On Thursday, we say a great plethora of incredible pieces. We were all at varying levels of completion depending on the difficulty of our projects, but we all managed to create compelling work. From scobi textiles, apparel made to represent the natural female body, and the cold embrace of AI capabilities, our peers worked hard to ensure their designs were inspired from what we learned in class. Each piece made me think more about how we interact with these different concepts in our everyday lives, and how we can further implement the positive actions and separate the negative.
Alexia and I rushed to compile our book in time for presentations, which we thankfully met a few minutes before it was our turn. This was my first time illustrating in more abstract, vector-less styles, so I was nervous about what others might think. Additionally, Alexia was feeling unwell, so I was going to read our finished book for the first time in front of our class. But as soon as I started, I forgot that there were eyes peering at my illustrations and ears hearing what could have been an uneasy voice. I realized I was reading the book for myself because I needed the comfort I didn't even know I needed. Once we had finished reading the book, I looked up and realized everybody was still here. The room had a touching atmosphere to it. Whatever stress or anguish I had felt leading up to our presentation was absolutely gone. Not to mention, the feedback we received from everyone was incredibly sincere.
I don't even know where to start, so I'm just going to keep this conclusion candid. This class truly caught me by surprise in the way we learned and executed our projects. We saw great things, and met some brilliant minds. This class internalized that between graphite pencil sketches, meteorites, and mycelium, everything is truly connected and all the activities we had done could not have exemplified that more. It is all the more reason that WE as artists, scientists, designers, or astrophysicists have to stay connected. Although our practices may be different, we are all still looking to make that brave new discovery and why shouldn't we do that together? The more I think about it, the more I believe it was a blessing to have stumbled into this class without a single expectation. So thank you to everyone that has been so kind and welcoming to make this class the great experience it was. It won’t be something I forget anytime soon.