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Why-How-What Reflection

Click here to watch Why How What Video

why: because I love art and I truly believe it relieves stress and brings peace

how: Traditional art mediums

what: My finished pieces

“People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it, and what you do simply serves as the proof of why you do it.” Simon Sinek presents the idea that great leaders inspire others by putting the purpose before the process or product. My purpose is something very simple yet more than needed at most times of the day, it’s happiness and/or peace. I want people to get consumed by my work and be able to go into their own special place. Sinek spoke about people making other people’s problems their own, and I want people to make my cause their own so they can find the same little blissful moments of peace/ happiness when they look at my artwork as I do when I create them. I am not yet at a leading stage in my life yet. I am still working towards that for the future, but in the meantime I have been and will continue to strengthen my how by expanding my knowledge and skills so I can perfect the execution of my artwork in the future.

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For this piece I really wanted to tell A small story. This piece is a mixture with realism and geometric style. I wanted to show how much I’ve grown into a more open person. I chose to do two self-portraits to show the change in my personality. I also chose the picture with my face straight to help push the point of my growth. The image of my younger self inside the thick triangle is all black and different shades of grey to show how conservative I was in the past. The present representation of me is all in color to depict myself as happy, open, and free. I don’t have a lot of different line weights because I wanted a really clean piece. I chose to leave the triangle white on the present me because I wanted to make them almost opposite but still be associated with one another. The pastels were the most challenging part of this project due to the fact that I’ve never used pastels for skin tone before. I did a lot of research on skin tones to make sure I was coloring/ shading correctly. In addition to research I asked my peers for their advice. Overall I loved this project even with the difficulties I faced because I learned to shade and blend with colors. This semester has groomed me more than I thought was possible. I’m creating pieces of art that I didn’t think I could do at the beginning of the year, I intend to keep soaking up everything I’m going to learn in the future as well as continuing to sharpen my new found skills.

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For my project I decided to make a 2 part project by having a sculpture off to the side while having a small hobbit house with a wire bonsai tree as the center. It’s almost like a mini pasture for a small person. For the sculpture portion, I ran into difficulties when it came to making the shape due to the fact that I haven’t thought heavily on 3D forms until this project. The wire bonsai trees took about 5-6 hours each to do. They took so long for me because you have to continuously manipulate the shape until it looks the way you want it, so that involves doing it then undoing the wire to add to it, etc. The house is made out of a wire armature that I stuffed with paper and wrapped in masking tape. Once that was done I glued the false grass onto it. The pond holds actual water inside of it. The process for this was carving a dent into the wood then cleaning up the edges to round them correctly. Once that was finished I made a clay border to make the pond taller, then baked it to make the clay sturdy and hard. Once all pieces were finished and sanded/painted I used epoxy to make the clay stay. I didn’t use regular glue because it wouldn’t have held the water. Overall I feel I did a very nice job with the execution of this project.

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Self-portrait Idea

For my self portrait my idea is a full body image of myself in white clothing while shadows of hands are reaching out to grab me. The hands will be recreated in the shape of  barcodes. The explanation behind the idea is that I have been labeled practically all my life, and I’ve come to an understanding that labels don’t go away, you just kinda stop caring about them at some point. I want to use barcodes because in my opinion, it’s the best representation of a label in the way that I’m going to use them.

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Creation story

The Golden Chain

      Long ago, well before there were any people, all life existed in the sky. Olorun lived in the sky, and with Olorun were many orishas. There were both male and female orishas, but Olorun transcended male and female and was the all-powerful supreme being. Olorun and the orishas lived around a young baobab tree. Around the baobab tree the orishas found everything they needed for their lives, and in fact they wore beautiful clothes and gold jewelry. Olorun told them that all the vast sky was theirs to explore. All the orishas save one, however, were content to stay near the baobab tree.

Obatala was the curious orisha who wasn’t content to live blissfully by the baobab tree. Like all orishas, he had certain powers, and he wanted to put them to use. As he pondered what to do, he looked far down through the mists below the sky. As he looked and looked, he began to realize that there was a vast empty ocean below the mist. Obatala went to Olorun and asked Olorun to let him make something solid in the waters below. That way there could be beings that Obatala and the orishas could help with their powers.

Touched by Obatala’s desire to do something constructive, Olorun agreed to send Obatala to the watery world below. Obatala then asked Orunmila, the orisha who knows the future, what he should do to prepare for his mission. Orunmila brought out a sacred tray and sprinkled the powder of baobab roots on it. He tossed sixteen palm kernels onto the tray and studied the marks and tracks they made on the powder. He did this eight times, each time carefully observing the patterns. Finally he told Obatala to prepare a chain of gold, and to gather sand, palm nuts, and maize. He also told Obatala to get the sacred egg carrying the personalities of all the orishas.

Obatala went to his fellow orishas to ask for their gold, and they all gave him all the gold they had. He took this to the goldsmith, who melted all the jewelry to make the links of the golden chain. When Obatala realized that the goldsmith had made all the gold into links, he had the goldsmith melt a few of them back down to make a hook for the end of the chain.

Meanwhile, as Orunmila had told him, Obatala gathered all the sand in the sky and put it in an empty snail shell, and in with it he added a little baobab powder. He put that in his pack, along with palm nuts, maize, and other seeds that he found around the baobab tree. He wrapped the egg in his shirt, close to his chest so that it would be warm during his journey.

Obatala hooked the chain into the sky, and he began to climb down the chain. For seven days he went down and down, until finally he reached the end of the chain. He hung at its end, not sure what to do, and he looked and listened for any clue. Finally he heard Orunmila, the seer, calling to him to use the sand. He took the shell from his pack and poured out the sand into the water below. The sand hit the water, and to his surprise it spread and solidified to make a vast land. Still unsure what to do, Obatala hung from the end of the chain until his heart pounded so much that the egg cracked. From it flew Sankofa, the bird bearing the sprits of all the orishas. Like a storm, they blew the sand to make dunes and hills and lowlands, giving it character just as the orishas themselves have character.

Finally Obatala let go of the chain and dropped to this new land, which he called “Ife”, the place that divides the waters. Soon he began to explore this land, and as he did so he scattered the seeds from his pack, and as he walked the seeds began to grow behind him, so that the land turned green in his wake.

After walking a long time, Obatala grew thirsty and stopped at a small pond. As he bent over the water, he saw his reflection and was pleased. He took some clay from the edge of the pond and began to mold it into the shape he had seen in the reflection. He finished that one and began another, and before long he had made many of these bodies from the dark earth at the pond’s side. By then he was even thirstier than before, and he took juice from the newly-grown palm trees and it fermented into palm wine. He drank this, and drank some more, and soon he was intoxicated. He returned to his work of making more forms from the edge of the pond, but now he wasn’t careful and made some without eyes or some with misshapen limbs. He thought they all were beautiful, although later he realized that he had erred in drinking the wine and vowed to not do so again.

Before long, Olorun dispatched Chameleon down the golden chain to check on Obatala’s progress. Chameleon reported Obatala’s disappointment at making figures that had form but no life. Gathering gasses from the space beyond the sky, Olorun sparked the gasses into an explosion that he shaped into a fireball. He sent that fireball to Ife, where it dried the lands that were still wet and began to bake the clay figures that Obatala had made. The fireball even set the earth to spinning, as it still does today. Olorun then blew his breath across Ife, and Obatala’s figures slowly came to life as the first people of Ife.


David A. Anderson/Sankofa, 1991, The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth: Mt. Airy, Maryland, Sights Productions, 31 p. (Folio PZ8.1.A543 Or 1991)


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Comic strip

The Golden Chain

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In my piece I practiced a lot with skin tonalities and shading on the colored version of my comic. I used a variety of chat bubbles to help portray the mood of each scene. For example, the black chat bubble is portraying internal thoughts, and the spiked chat bubble means that he’s angry.  I used different shades of blue in the clouds to help give it more depth. I did the same for the tree.  Around the island I put curvy lines to show the water that the land was in. I wanted to break the blue background a bit. The main characters are King Olorun, and  Obatala. I gave king Olorun more of a clean look to show that he is to be taken seriously, I also made his pants purple because that is seen as a royal color. Obatala has a scruffy facial hairs to show that he is more of a free spirit. My photoshop skills have immensely improved since I first arrived at Alfred. I am still learning to shade in areas to make them look realistic. As for traditional art I have grown in that area as well, I’ve learned to take every single line into consideration. I am more able to properly articulate why I made certain decisions about my work, then proceed to critique it.

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art history coyrgepy

For my art history class I decided to do a geometric figure for my project. I outlined the face then proceeded to go over them with straight lines to show the geometric look I was going for. I used different line weights in certain areas to show where heavy and light shadowing would be compared to heavy shadowing. I also decided to take out her hair and replace it with a sunset because I felt it would bring it to life a bit more than a drawing would. I used bright and slightly neon colors for majority of the piece to make it give off a content feeling. In addition to the bright neon colors, I also used the darker colors for the shadowing in addition to the actual shadowing that I attempted to do. I am still playing/ experimenting with the colors and what would look right and which colors would go better together.

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Skeleton Project


For this project I did a solid charcoal background to really put all the focus onto the bones. I shaded the ribs that were in the back more heavily than the front to differ from the the front ribs. The white outline on the bones is to show where the light is coming from. I shaded the areas where there would be a slight shadow I heavily shadowed instead to give more form to the bones.  I think the exaggerated different between the black background and the white bones work well together, the black compliments the bones. The neck bones have very nice composure to them along with the shading. There isn’t a lot of different line weights, but the shading makes up for the lack of line weight.

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reflection ijahne

In this piece I decided to mainly focus on shadows and how to differentiate the values of grey so you can tell what the different objects are. In the lower left hand corner is where my reflection began and due to the position I was in, while sitting at the window the window seal looks out of proportion with my shadow reflection, but it wasn’t. I didn’t draw my face due to how dark it was looking out the window nor did I draw an active person/ vehicle outside is because there weren’t any. I chose to do very heavy line weights for the tree branches to help draw your eyes to the center of the page and then fan out. My piece is unintentionally sectioned, but still assists with my plan to have the tree be the first attention grabber. I drew a mermaid because before I began this project I was practicing drawing for the bone study project and that was still on my mind when I began. Afterwards I took a break and my 3 year old brother video chatted me and I ended up drawing him in the corner as well. I could improve my piece by going even further with my shading to really give it a better sense of depth and life to the image.

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