A few weeks ago my advertising professor brought in a book of build-your-own haikus. Each student was asked to come up and watch him flip through the pages and say "stop" whenever they wanted. Whatever words the professor's finger stopped on was the text inspirtation for our next assignment, to create a mouse pad. The book was called Sexy Hieroglyphs. These were my words:
Biting the orange
I'm yours (often enough)
Here was my response:
Confused yet? Sure!
After reading my words over a few times I started coming up with ideas. When I heard "biting the orange" and "absolute hunger" I immediately thought of lust. "I'm yours (often enough)" made me think of someone who was getting something from someone else she wanted, but she wasn't completely his. This person belonged to other people as well, but she was his "often enough". My original sketch reflected emotions of sadness and jealously. I also thought of a scenario where the girl was getting some from more than one person at once, but none of it was what she wanted. Personal? Maybe. Audience able to relate? Yes. Everyone has been in some sort of jealous or undesirable situation.
So how did I eventually get to a skeleton? Check it out:
Here's my process from sketch to almost-finished (the finished art is in the first picture posted, with my desk in the background). I guess I go through a lot of changes as I work. I love my sketch concept, but translating that emotion into a painting wasn't quite there. I wanted to play more with color and acylics. After painting in the figure's face and the background, things started looking static, and my concept fell through.
Inspiration came when I was looking for figure photographs for the girl's neckline. I noticed how prominent and beautiful collar bones can be, and so I decided to paint in bare clavicles. Abandoning the jealousy theme and spending time thinking about other possible concepts, I started concentrating on hunger and the orange. I looked up what oranges mean to different cultures, and most of them seemed to hold the orange as a fruit that represented good luck, prosperity, and hope.
The girl in the final painting had been hollowed out by some sort of desperation, but has the promise of a new awakening and hopeful future, represented by the dripping of the orange onto her bones, growing back flesh. Why'd I leave the eyes? Cause I thought they were badass. And that's pretty much how my process works :) Thanks for reading :)