Once I noticed the themes I most often used, it was astonishingly easy to see how the work I liked from other artists also often belonged to those themes.
I’m realising that part of the reason I love Phoebe Wahl is because most of her work is about the concept of home and family. Part of the reason I love Pascal Campion is because most of his work is about quiet intimate everyday moments. I’ve made little pinterest boards. [Sidenote: if you’re concerned that I’m doing all this as a procrastination method to stop myself from actually making art… well, I think I’m doing okay. I had that thought too. But I am actually making art (some of it for future blog posts, some of it for ongoing projects, some of it for technical study, some of it for fun). And I do think it’s worth being smart about where you spend your practise hours. A little direction can help you improve much faster. Back to the themes!]
One weird thing about sorting these images into themes is that the theme covers more than I would have thought. (There’s also a fair amount of overlap, and somewhere-in-betweenyness but that’s less surprising.) I realised that the Ozymandias category kind of spreads out to cover traditions and rituals, a lot of night-time scenes, and miscellaneous mythology. I guess the darkness of night makes people seem smaller, and in the context of centuries old traditions, we’re just one tiny piece of it. It felt right to me that those pieces belonged there, even if I hadn’t really planned for them or utilised those ideas much in my own work.
Similarly, the Just Around the Riverbend theme also includes the desire to explore, and little tiny explorations in our own neighbourhood, as well as the big journeys. I had to expand Here is Home to include not just places, but also people and jobs. Often there aren’t even people in their places, it’s just the places!
So that’s cool. Laying it all out like this can hopefully help me separate out the reasons I like different artists and figure out how their various artistic decisions support their overall ideas and themes.