by DANEA PATRICIA T. VILOG
There is something about art that seems to draw people to underestimate its aesthetic value for surface-level beauty and discount its ability to preserve a culture of underlying politics that everyone seems very pumped up to openly debate on these days.
The artist I was a decade ago cared for none of that and instead paid more attention to aesthetics over anything else.
I don’t remember when I first picked up a pencil and decided that the hobby I’d be pouring most of my skills on would be absently scratching graphite on paper, but I knew I could never shake it off, even if I wanted to. Art will always find me, apparently.
I entered a formal art school six years ago. The idealistic fool that I was thought I was going to flourish with the pitiful artistic skill set I had until I quit after two years out of frustration and a slowly waning connection with my muse. I found her again perhaps at the latter half of my stay in this Faculty, finding myself unable to resist Art’s call to be its eye for positive spaces again.
“Positive space,” as I have named my column, is the subject of an artwork; the center of attention in a piece, if you will. “Negative space,” in contrast, refers to everything else that is not the subject; the background, to suggest a simpler term.
Positive space starts with a scribble, slowly growing into hatches, before blooming into a sketch of lines birthed from an imaginative mind’s gears ever turning as it reimagines the world it sees.
For the last four issues, direction on the artworks relied on an instinctive method of placing the Artlet as the positive space of every creative piece published in the Flame, pointing not to the mundane routines of the everyday man but to the unique experiences of the Artlet turning its pages. Every artwork attempts to speak to the Artlet viewer, similar to the accompanied written pieces speaking in words rather than clustered dots of ink on a page.
Perhaps some of you reading this may have little to no interest in the arts or have tried creating something artistic once and decided it just wasn’t the best idea there is, and would rather pursue careers that guarantee elite status or stable income.
I respect that, but I stay firm in my belief that there is an artist in each and every one of us; a dormant persona laying in slumber, just waiting to be inspired by the right muse. There is, deep down, an urge for us to create something, to add our mark in a society that cares less and less about its succeeding generations, and more and more for the extravagances we should have learned not to repeat.
Awaken this persona, this critical creator, and I am positive one will be surprised with what they could design—a caricature, an effigy, or their future.
It is only fitting that AB is called the Faculty of Arts and Letters as another pool of creative young minds eager to change the world are to leave the nest, ready to be the positive spaces in their own unique ways. F
Editor’s Note: This column was originally published in Vol. 54, Issue No. 4 of the Flame. View the entire issue through this link.