Conventional vs Unconventional


The right and left side of the brain has scientifically been proven to produce different types of traits in people. The conventional side is operated by the left hemisphere of the brain; which is responsible for logic; like science and mathematics. The unconventional or right hemisphere of the brain deals with the creative and artistic lifestyle. In the art world there can be a similar development; I like to call this the conventional vs the unconventional mindset, but neither are limited to only one side use only.

When moving the conversation from a scientific definition to art I find that the definition tends to overlap. The conventional way of artmaking can be based on what is generally done, believed or standard; compared to the unconventional which is not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed; in other words, being irregular. Both exist in the same worlds and often times cannot exist without one another. I myself need the balanced structure of having a standard frame of thought to comprehend my abstract ways of creating and turning an ordinary piece of work into so much more.

Art making is its own process of thought, creating and making executive decisions only to switch them with the flick of the brush. Looking at the conventional way of creating, one could find themselves in a long term time battle with paint, fabric and time. The long process of laying down brilliant colors on top of each other; each layer creating its own story bringing to life portraits, landscapes and candid moments. Just like taking your first breath after birth, the canvas and oil paint mixture breathes life into the artist creation. For example, oil-based paint has its own special needs from the applying process to the drying; compared to its counterparts like watercolor and acrylic paint; in order to create its vibrant rich colors. When placed on a traditional fabric canvas surface the dry time is only stretched more as the paint soaks into and intertwines with the fabric. Since oil paint has such a thick base, it often takes months to years to dry. This is where my unconventional method comes into its best use of changing a classic process into an unconventional portrait making the skill. Instead of using the traditional canvas I decided to use a more organic recycled material such as wood. By using an organic material I am able to manipulate my paintings to create the same bold feature with a softer appearance; almost as if the image itself becomes one with the wood. Taking away some of the conventional lessons I have learned and creating my own way of making art. Fusing together a conventional process of creating with an unconventional mindset in an application.

Often times I feel that what I decide to create can be such a therapeutic experience. The experience comes with its own challenges of knowing when to stop and take a step back vs when to keep pushing forward. Picking between a traditional conventional artist like many great artists before, or decide to find your own path in the unconventional artist eye. I myself had to take time in reflecting on what type of artist I want to be in both the short and long term. I have the freedom to use any platform to express both my creative side, as well as, my ideas on how I see the world I live in. I use my art for this very expression and ability to speak with my paintbrush the messages I would like to see reflected in the world. I use my unspoken voice to draw attention to a new way of speaking, projecting and evoking emotion. Challenging the conventional ways of talking and yet still having the ability to start constructive conversations between viewers and myself. Placing my work at the forefront of attention and forcing myself to step out of the comfort zones of the painted canvas and into the real time of the conversation.

Kiarra ElliottComment