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.