Zack Hersh — Quarter 2 Art

The theme of this quarter's work for me was finding inspiration. For three of the four pieces I created this quarter, I had at first no idea of what I was going to make and spent a good portion of time just trying to figure that out — either by thinking it through, talking it out, or physically experimenting with the medium. Unlike pieces I had created in the past, for most of these I didn't have a clear vision of what I was going for even after I finally had an idea, which made seeing the way in which they each unfolded all the more interesting and exciting.

The first piece is a collage, entitled Lens. Collating is a process of creation that I had enjoyed greatly before (see my quarter 1 work here), but I was completely drawing up blanks when trying to conceive an idea. Maybe it was the expanse of options, or the thought of having a concept but not feeling like I would be able to actualize it with my skill level or resources. After a week or two of still having nothing I took it back to the way we would make collages in younger grades, by cutting pictures from old magazines, and began flipping through some such publications and seeing what came. I became interested in the eyes, and how they are all very different, while still so similar, and how much you both can and can't discern from them. The resulting collage was only pictures of eyes of all different kinds, and put together in the almond shape of an eye. The many eyes made up one lens. Of the four pieces this quarter this was the one I spent the most time on by far.

The second piece was an original photo and then editing it with photo editing software. I knew I wanted to work with something I had already taken, and spent the first half of the process just sifting through all of my photos that I could find and seeing what spoke to me. I ended up with a panorama picture of my train station. I used the photo-editing software to sharpen up the image and make it more clean and less bleached, while still keeping the scene bright and sun-saturated.

The third piece was a pencil sketch of a piece of fabric. Before doing this piece I had never really noticed the intricacy of folds of fabric. I tried my best to match all of the folds and ripples in the sketch but found it quite challenging.

The final piece was an illustration of some sort, and this is where I drew the biggest blank. I had absolutely no idea where I wanted to go with this — every idea I had to for something to illustrate I couldn't picture filling a page with a picture to accompany it. Of all of the books, movies, and writing I know I couldn't draw up something that spoke to me. Songs were where I found the most ideas, but still couldn't wrap my head around an illustration for them. However, I had a flash of a thought about my English notebook, that I've been filling with colored marker-pen doodles while listening to discussions in class, and when I started to create the illustration on lined loose-leaf in the back of the notebook with the colored pens I'd been using, the drawing came naturally. The illustration is for the song Pompeii by Bastille, depicting in slashed and blended markings a lone brick arch in front of the massive volcano. After I completed it I realized I wished I'd put the grass farther back and extended it under the arch to show the volcano as farther away, but it nonetheless ended up as my favorite piece from this quarter. I don't feel the detail of the markings and the blended colors fully shows in the pictures, but the starkness and brightness that characterize it are apparent.