I can’t really say how an idea pops up in my head – I think and dream a lot and suddenly an image is just there for me to draw – but I can show, how the work develops from there.
This picture wasn’t meant to be a painting at first. It was just something I did for Banksy for the Wimp in ordinary school chalk on the banged up small message board in my parents’ kitchen. The way I usually paint my art lives from precision. You can’t be precise in chalk. I tried. You think you just need to clean up this one more spot and then you erased an important line with the spot. You replace it and it ends up to be even more chubby than before. At some point you declare the thing done. And you erase it all with a wet cloth.
I started Banksy for the Wimp with my tongue in my cheek and no expectations regarding either quality or reception. I do what I do with passion and my heart is attached to each and every piece I do. It crushes every time I hit indifference and disinterest. It’s a bit like you can’t provide the right environment for your children to unfold. Well, at least I don’t yet treat my cat like my child and just attach this sentiment to my work.
The idea that none of the kitchen stuff lasts longer than I need to take a photo of it frees. It doesn’t matter if it is totally silly or crap or never worked out the way it should. It will be gone in a few minutes. The heart crushing experience of missing response is only limited (it will never be gone completely and the day it would will be the day I lost).
And then, unsuspectingly turns up an image that I am not done with once the board is all black again. I chose pop art with its pop culture references as my style not for its shocking colors though they do brighten a grey day. I am a fan girl by heart, who loves to laud the great artistic work and beautiful minds of others. It is my way of untangling the gargantuan mess of feelings that I can’t name or place and of expressing them in the only way I know.
That said, I would love to be in London right now, able to witness Tom Hiddleston in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. I am in my mind, what is the best that I can do. Thinking about how it would be made the image clearer.
I was thinking about giving yourself permission to do certain things that might not be popular or only engaged in with caution because of the pain they can bring like loving or caring or even thinking independently. It was the basic idea behind the Permission Slips – something I would want to put on a wall in a street if I weren’t a wimp. While still figuring out what to put on the signs I stumbled on imdb over this quote of Hiddleston talking about giving yourself permission to care and be passionate. It’s usually these coincidences that spark a new idea.
I continued to ponder the difference between changing, who you are and giving yourself permission to do something, you might be afraid of. There were some lines of Coriolanus’ story too in the mix; not the political aspects, but the way his ambitious mother made him do something that was against his nature and that in the quintessence let to his untimely death. It isn’t like you can just turn a wheel to turn your personality around like a ship or an engine. But you can turn a lot of wheels a little to make yourself, your life and the universe better. Like Hiddleston said, allow yourself to be passionate about things to win.
We are light and shadow combined. Only together in their nuances they give us depth. When I read or watch a movie I tend to fall for the flawed characters, which like an onion reveal layer after layer when you care to look. That’s what I try to discover by not blending the shadows to create one surface, but by assigning different shades their own room.
I think Hiddleston’s eyes are one of his most fascinating and most characteristic feature. A lot of his acting happens in his face. While my brain is not made to read mimic and body language, I do admire the life that happens in these few square inches in every moment and that jumps at you from the gleam in his eyes. Hence, I meant for them to stick out and capture. I used his hair as contrast to achieve that.
Last but not least, grey is a curious color. It takes on the shade of the color next to it, enhances it, but doesn’t really add anything of its own. It is of use for the one, who knows to use it wisely. It was the ideal color for the little wheels that only help when turned slightly and thoughtfully.
And we are done.