Junior Conceptual: A Junior Conceptual Project by Anna Larson (2016)
Click to read Artist Statement
My conceptual art piece was inspired by my spoken word poem. I wanted to capture the feeling expressed in lines such as ''We grew up as parallel lines you would cry, and two years later, I would cry, and you would learn about responsibility, and soon, so would I''. The poem itself is an ode to my older brother, and these lines refer to me learning and growing by observing and emulating him. The idea was that I had been shaped into my current self by my relationships with others. I chose to represent this using paper cranes, as they are built up out of a blank piece of paper into a specific, beautiful shape. I also wanted to show a cycle of people being affected by others and then passing that down to others. This was accomplished by placing the cranes in a way that implied they were building and interacting with each other.
After I had this idea, I set about making it a reality. Actually staging the cranes was the easiest part, as I already knew what I wanted them to look like in the final photo. I changed the background, lighting and angles between shots, but the cranes stayed the same throughout. After I had a shot I was happy with, I worked on refining it in Photoshop. I wanted the overall feel of the piece to show growth and change in a positive light, so I tried to make the foreground look more desirable compared to the background. My main goals were to use Photoshop adjustment layers to spotlight the cranes in the foreground, desaturate and darken the background in contrast, and to change the overall color balance of the piece. However, these were finished rather quickly. Most of my time was spent touching up the photo. There were many smudges and specks on the paper and the surface I photographed it on, and it took quite a while to remove the largest of those to a point I was satisfied with. The biggest challenge was knowing how much touching up I should actually do. It was easy to get carried away removing blemishes, but I had to be careful not overdo it, as I might have lost the overall feel of the piece or made it look unreal.