Week 11 – Whatever I Want – The Mask

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imageLast week I was given the opportunity to create an art project for a class assignment. I was excited for this project because we were told to do whatever type of project we could think of but this welcomed freedom also caused concerns. While I had waited all year to really excel in this opportunity, I knew it would be difficult to pull off because this also happened to be the week I would need to focus most on the course work for other classes. I spent every day dreading coming home because I knew the load of work that there was to be done upon my arrival. With this constant pressure looming over me, I found little time to complete my project. I hadn’t even had the chance to come up with an idea for it by the time midnight last Sunday night came by. My steady downward spiral in Art 110 took another turn and I missed another opportunity. This trend was not isolated in the recent events of my life. School and work had been a constant struggle in the past few weeks of this school year. Time and time again, I was letting down those close to me. On top of it, I was letting myself down.

Of course this behavior was not healthy. I soon caught a cold and that only added to my stress. I became a zombie in my life. Around friends, family, co-workers, I was hardly there at all. Really just stuck up in my head while I went through the motions. I just got through the daily actions that were expected of me while inside I was fully focused on something else entirely. Unfortunately rather than do what I should and talk to others about how I was really feeling, I did what most people would do and I faked happiness. Pretended I was ok and just moved on. It is rare to get a second question after you fake a decent smile, say “no I’m fine” with a chuckle, and eagerly return to what you were doing. For whatever reason, this fake mask works so well to ward off attention. These past weeks brought plenty of good use to my mask and I will surely need it again sometime soon. All it really takes to have privacy is a good mask.

This is where my inspiration came from my project this week. I decided to make a mask. When deciding the design of my mask, I chose to look at the Glam rock stars of the 60s and 70s primarily. Two important figures in particular were David Bowie and Marc Bolin. These two artists loved to dress up and create different worlds with their music. It was often difficult to get a grip on where their masks ended and their true selves began. I also took inspiration from album covers I have liked such as ‘Cluster II.’ I also took ascetic inspiration from space and celestial bodies.

I plan to continue working with masks and paint. This was a fun medium to work with. The piece didn’t come out quite as clean as I would have liked, but it was still over-all a fun experience. I am happy to say that I am no longer in a period where I think I need my mask, but I am sure one day soon I will.

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