Artists throughout history have always responded to new technologies. While some analyze the way technology influences their lives and society, others simply choose to explore the new media available to them.
Digital Artistry features the work of four FIT students who either take a look at the effects of technology on modern society or approach traditional methods of art-making, such as painting and collage, using digital tools.
I originally was going to start this project all the way back in the summer of 2016, my sophomore year of college, but soon realized what a large task it was going to be. I put the idea on the back burner for a little while until this past summer. Although the task seemed daunting still, I decided to give it a shot. To be honest I really didn’t see me going through with it all 365 days; it was tiresome, stressing, and I often felt uninspired. It wasn’t until around the 80 day mark when I truly started getting into to it and finding my groove. Now, almost reaching 300 days straight, I couldn’t imagine giving up; in fact, I think I’m going to keep it up after the initial 365 days. It allows me to sit down and get any ideas that wouldn’t typically fly in class out of my system. It definitely is challenging, but it’s the best thing I could’ve done for myself as a designer. I would recommend that everyone try doing something like this at some point in their careers, as it’s really liberating and almost meditative. I’m excited to see where I am able to take this project from here.
I think I have always been infatuated by people. If you flip through my very first sketchbooks, they’re filled with tons of potato-looking people that were meant to resemble my family and friends. I guess I’ve gotten a little better since then. As I’ve gotten older, my inspiration has shifted towards music, books, and movies; specifically how feelings and stories can be told through different mediums. Though they are just portraits, all of my paintings tell incredibly personal stories – some that I never completely share. The stories are in their eyes, their expressions, the carefully chosen props, the titles. I want my paintings to be read like a book, constantly digging up more. Humans are capable of so much – beauty, evil, loneliness, love, pain, compassion, anger, sadness. I want to capture it all.
When I was presented the idea to illustrate an issue occurring in America, I was reminded of the negative effects of social media. I love apps like Instagram and Snapchat just as much as the next person, but I am aware that their impact and addictive qualities can lead to poor mental health.
Our world today is often viewed through filters and ‘Facetune’ corrections, where more often than not, social media users compare themselves to others. Nowadays, it has become more procurable to convince individuals that you live an ideal life. The majority of people can probably agree that their social networks are not a mirror of their reality.
From my personal experiences using each platform, I was inspired to create a piece of art that represented the problem. As I was brainstorming, I envisioned a girl staring at her false image on social media. On one side of the reflection, she is authentic and struggling, and on the other side, her image deceives. I also took inspiration from the mythological character Narcissus. Like Narcissus, social media users can often become caught up in their appearance and be lead to calamity.
While these tools can be used to generate positivity, they can just as much develop negativity.
“The Creation of Technology Addiction”
My painting was inspired by Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco, The Creation of Adam. Instead of two human hands, I chose to paint one hand as a robot and one hand as a human. My piece represents man creating technology and the dependency that followed. Everywhere you go, people are glued to their phones. Whether you’re just walking in the street, on a date, at the movies, or even at a wedding— people are constantly texting and documenting their every minute through social media.