4 Sample Assignments
In order to make a proposal* for a piece, take the following steps:
#1 Pick an object that inspires you. No smaller than a blood cell and no bigger than the sun.
#2a Make a list of reasons why you like this object. These would be sentences, i.e. "The rocking chair I found in the alley kicks my ass because..."
#2b Make a short list of words (6) that describe your inspirational object.
#3 Brainstorm: How can I make a piece about my feelings for (your object) without using any of the descriptive words? If this seems to tricky. Scratch out 3 of the words from the short list so that you have some more options.
#4 Do a bunch of sketches. Throw them out and do some more. Once you have some kind of idea, do a real drawing to bring to class. The point is to make an work that communicates the inspiration, but isn't strictly derivative of the original.
*A few drawings with notes to explain what it is and to point out some of the details. Make the drawing big enough for other people to see. If you have to make a few drawings to get the idea across, then make a few. Give different views, suggestions of scale, close-ups of details, etc. A proposal doesn’t have to include a working plan for the object, but if that information is necessary to get the idea across, or if the process seems important in terms of content, then you really should include it.
Two Objects, Opposing Strategies
Take a research trip to the museum*. Make several (3 to 7) pairs of drawings of art objects, comparing those pieces that use opposing visual/artistic strategies; list those strategies and what they communicate. Using a set of strategies from one of the pieces, create a detailed proposal for a piece of your own. Make a new list of opposing strategies, and then create a second proposal using those.
*If no museum is available, assemble a group of art works of some sort and continue as above.
1 Idea, 4 Objects
Using your brain*, come up with an idea for an object. Make several drawings based on this idea. Separate out the various ideas you feel you are interested in communicating/exploring based on these drawings. If you have 4 ideas then do 4 new drawings, each one based on one of those ideas. If you only had 2 ideas then make 2 new drawings but then extract ideas from those, until you have at least 4 drawings total.
Use these drawings as subjects for detailed sculpture proposals, in order to create 4 objects based upon different facets of the same idea.
*Sometimes you just have to come up with an idea. Maybe it’s an idea that already interests you. Maybe it just pops into your head fully formed. Maybe you use some form of an "idea catalyst," like a word game or a by reading "People" magazine. Once you arrive at an idea, you have a responsibility to weigh it’s merit.
Design a piece and then create a design for it’s evil twin: a piece that seems on the surface to be very much like the original piece, but with ulterior motives.
You intention here is to create a piece with multiple reads, with each read being somewhat different in its accessibility. Your piece does not necessarily have to be evil. Shoot for depth.