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Random Thoughts

Since graduating from Columbia I thought it best to take a creative break from producing work. In my last semester I had a full course load of eighteen credit hours and five of the six classes required shooting and printing in some capacity. Each class required a different approach to the main idea that is my work; which is and has been centered around my sexuality. My work is mostly about how I deal with the “issues” being gay brings up, but it’s also about how others around me deal with them as well. Pour into that ideas of blackness, male identity, and religion and you get the general gist  of what my work has been about. Producing five projects on the subject was taxing to say the least. So up until now I hadn’t really given much thought to where I wanted my work to go next. 

Fast forward to today and I’m bursting with ideas. There are so many avenues I haven’t explored and so many things I want to try. Two projects stuck with me; Daddy and (Re)Negotiated Spaces. The latter for me is very frustrating because I lack the technical skills as a painter to communicate what it is I’m trying to say. With that project in particular I was trying to speak about spaces we find familiar and how the chaos of life can change how we view that space. In some of the more successful pieces from that series you can see that idea starting to come through. 

What is even more interesting though, are the realizations that I came to while discussing my work in class. First, most of my work, in some way, is about space and how I exist in it with others. Second is that my final project at Columbia wasn’t really a completed body of work. I see it now as a roadmap; each piece being a starting point for a different project. I’m always concerned about running on empty from a creative stand point. So to have created a starting point this time is interesting. My last professor, Myra Greene, pushed my class to challenge ourselves creatively and more importantly taught us how to work past the frustrations that come along with being an artist. I’m not so scared anymore of coming up with an idea. I am however very excited to learn more about my craft at SCAD and to be around like minded highly motivated individuals producing work very different from my own.

Ervin Johnson1 Comment