University of Virginia
Watching, Listening, Creating
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
"Someone must watch, it is said. Someone must be there."
When I first read this Kafka quote, young and ambitious, I set my goal as an artist to be "the watchman "of the world - to reveal the truth to the audience. Like many children, I was brought to various painting classes by my parents because of my love of art. I was taught to meticulously depicted and recorded beautiful scenes in nature-tonality and depth perfected, proportion precisely measured and layout carefully designed -like a camera or a photocopier.
My watershed was in that summer of eleventh grade. When asked to create a series of illustrations for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riot, I was frustrated -the realism I so dutifully adhering to failed to convey my message. Looking at my work was as if reading cold definitions in Wikipedia: precise but void in content. They failed to capture the powerful incentive that empowers hundreds of people in Stonewall Inn, and a million others in the LGBTQ Community, to take on the fight for freedom.
How can I convey such elusive and abstract messages through a plain 2-D image? When I relate to my experience in the Pride celebration this summer, the image of a young gay couple emerged in front of my eyes. The rainbow...
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