Hearing the feedback from my peers on Tuesday, I have decided to work on a sequel to my artists book project. This one would be following the emo/scene phase of Darla’s teens. I’d like to work on a slightly different medium for this one to really hammer home the changes in Darla’s state of mind and intentions. I have a few canvases in my house that I could cut up to use as my pages. The change from a diary to something more open to others would parallel nicely the change from a girl wanting to pour her soul into something to a teen raging at the world and wanting them to know how misunderstood they feel.
As for the content, it would the expected angsty poetry, reflections and occasional song lyrics from those 2000s emo bands. I’m still thinking over the visual aspect of it and what I’d like the pages to look like. One thing’s sure, I want them to remain creative because I like the idea that Darla’s very creative but just hasn’t found how she wants to channel that creative energy yet. If anyone has suggestions on what they used to doodle/draw/paint in their angsty year I’d appreciate it, I was more of a writer at that time, haha.
My artist book is a diary belonging to a fictional 13-year-old girl named Darla. My idea was to make it as laughable and “cringy” as possible. I’ve already made 5 spreads (10 pages) around things like believing herself to be more mature than she is, thinking she was “born in the wrong era”, and writing bad poetry.
However, I’ve enjoyed working on this project so much that I am looking for more ideas. More things that are relatable to the teenage girl experience that I could explore. I would really appreciate suggestions of things teens say and do that are often laughed at. I should also mention that the end of the artist’s book points out how unnecessarily mean our attitude towards teen girls can be, so if you think we shouldn’t be laughing at the behavior you suggest that’s even better.
I really like the idea of working on a physical artist book because I’ve been trying to cut back on my screen time and use the quarantine as an opportunity to color and paint more. I’ve worked out two possible ideas to explore, both having some kind of link to women’s experiences. I must admit the artists books I’ve read this week have inspired me to go in that direction.
My first idea revolves around a collection of sexist vintage ads that I would print and paint over. I would rewrite them to create a new meaning out of them. I could either use a linear narrative to link all the images together or I could just break them down case by case and use the rewrite with commentary on what the ads are doing, whether it is questioning women’s intelligence, pushing gender roles, objectifying women, etc. But by far, my favorite idea is the second one I came up with. Looking at my art supplies and what resources are available to me for this project (I can’t exactly go shop for more right now), I realized I had some old scrapbook materials and the idea popped in my head to do a kind of diary. It would be the diary of a fictional preteen girl. I think I could use it to comment on how we often ridicule a lot of thoughts and behavior in the young girl. I was thinking about the fact that a lot, if not all, girls go through an “I’m not like other girls” phase and that it is often a result of outside influences with the underlying message that most women shouldn’t be something to aspire to be. I would love to explore how sometimes teens can turn on things they used to like, or behavior they used to display because they are made to feel ashamed of themselves. I think people love to laugh and cringe at the “awkward phase” that teens go through, but we don’t talk enough about the effect it has on those teens in the moment. I’d like to illustrate that, literally.