On Wednesdays, we look at artist statements or design philosophy statements and discuss the best vocabulary to describe an artwork or design. Today’s drawings are by Nate Williams, who is currently living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Here is the text from his About page, in italics.
I create textures and line drawing by hand with India ink and sharpie markers, mixing oil and water, salt, baking soda and vinegar, etc. Then I scan these elements into the computer and resize them .. put them in new compositions and color them.
Being in interesting environments is my number one inspiration. When I was kid I would take the subway all over San Francisco bay area, skateboard in old army bases and drain pipes, go to china town in San Francisco then end up in some suburb that had good handrails at an elementary school. Now, I am just wandering around Latin America, trying new food, looking at funny characters, etc.
This artist starts by describing how he makes his drawings by hand, which is a phrase that means drawing with a pen or pencil, not a device. He describes the materials he uses – some are art supplies and some are cooking ingredients. Then he talks a little bit about his process; digitizing his work and recombining elements to make something new.
In the second paragraph, he talks about what inspired him as a child and what inspires him now. He shares interesting stories, but he doesn’t really relate them back to his work. It would be more meaningful if he told us how those experiences influenced his style or subject matter.
He also chooses some fairly basic vocabulary to describe his work. It’s good to be clear when you talk about your work, but you also want to be descriptive and choose the words that best convey the feeling of your style. This artist’s drawings are fanciful, vibrant, playful, and mysterious; and he has a really beautiful yet unusual style. There’s also a sense of symbolism in his drawings, but nothing about his statement addresses the look of his work. It would have been nice if he’d included some more adjectives – and checked his grammar. As it is, his statement conveys a feeling of laziness or apathy, which is not what you want when showing your work.
What do you think of these drawings and the artist statement? Do you agree with my comments? Do you have questions about the vocabulary? Do you want to suggest a piece for me to discuss next week? Leave a comment below!
I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today. They are in bold. If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.
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