Cultural Appropriation vs. Cultural Appreciation article
Both of these digital artworks were done for an article within the on-campus magazine I work on called Drake Political Review. The article was talking about cultural appropriation in comparison to cultural appreciation, especially in fashion. The inspiration for these pieces were actual runway fashion shows that have used cultural pieces of fashion in their shows, almost always on white models and almost always stemming from the ideas of white fashion designers.
To make these pieces, I would find an inspiration photo to base my art off of and move the photo(s) into Photoshop. There I would pick some of the main colors from the original photo if I thought the colors would stand out well enough in my art style. I would then color over the original photo.
Eventually, I would end up with something like the artwork I have above. I made a couple of designs, but these are the two that were used in the magazine.
It was important to me to, for the most part, keep the “models” underneath the cultural wear featureless. I wanted the focus to be on what they were wearing and not who they were. This was harder to do on the second piece due to the face paint, but I maintained my goal by not putting lips under the lines drawn and not putting eyes underneath the dark face paint surrounding where the eye should be.
Climate Change article
This was work that I did on an article about climate change and the zero waste movement. The inspiration for the artwork came from the writer of the article.
She informed me about a trend she has seen in the zero waste movement where people keep all their trash – things that cannot be composted or reused – in one mason jar.
Some of the people who have been doing this have done this for either one year or many years, and all the plastic trash that they have used over the past however many years would all fit into one mason jar.
When she told me about this, we both knew that we wanted that idea to be shown as the main artwork for the article.
For this, I looked up what she was talking about – the mason jar filled with one person’s trash over years – and was amazed at what I found. I took a few photos and used them as inspiration. I knew that it would be pointless to draw out every single thing I saw in the mason jar, so I decided shapes would do as long as I got the colors right.
In the end, the writer was really happy with it, so I was proud. Most of the time writers leave the artwork entirely up to the designers, so it was nice to actually work with a writer and make something they wanted to see.
Masculinity and Mass Shootings article
The work done for this article was probably one of the most challenging I’ve done not for the actual art itself but due to the sensitive subject matter. Our magazine prides itself on non-partisanship, so it is very important to us as designers to uphold that, especially when articles can get controversial.
What took longest was not actually drawing and creating but in thinking of what to do. I knew that I wanted the focus of my art to be on the masculinity, or the toxic masculinity, which is discussed in the article, so eventually I came across the idea of something like Atlas, the Greek Titan who became responsible for carrying the heavens on his shoulders. I thought of masculinity how it is as a weight on the shoulders of people, pushing them down.
I found some inspiration scrolling through Google on how to draw the body, and from there I sketched the work. I thought that with the sensitive subject matter it would be best to leave the art looking like a sketch, not as finalized and opaque in color like my other works.
In the end, I was really happy with how the piece turned out and it is one of my favorites that I created for the Fall 2019 issue of Drake Political Review.