My Line is Emo · Heart & Brain


P  R  O  C  E  S  S

My Line is Emo has got to be one of the funnest assignments so far. I especially loved letting loose with ink, getting my clothes and body stained black and looking like a beggar for weeks.

The way I approached this assignment was inspired by Jackson Pollock. I got right into making through expression and searched for emotions within the textures and strokes later on, sort of like reverse engineering.

The first medium I experimented with was lino cut. I cut myself in the process. I didn’t use lino after that attempt. Picture proof of beggar hands with cut:

After the lino trauma, I moved on to experimenting with safer, softer but textured mediums like oranges and crackers, bread and sponges to create patterns. I also went a lil’ crazy and filled a spray with ink which resulted in the mess below. My failed lino piece can also be observed in the following picture.

From playing with these foods, I found that the orange created coloured juice stains on the paper which didn’t tie in with the black and white requirement of the assignment. I scraped that idea. The biscuit crumbled all over the lino sheet when I rolled over it with ink so that didn’t go so well either. I resorted to a sponge dipped in ink and started experimenting from there.

Here are the other materials I played with:

  • Cling wrap

The cling wrap gave a really interesting texture that reminded me of suffocation or being repressed.

  • Plastic sheet

I loved how the see through material gave the emotion the dimension of vulnerability.

  • Crumpled paper and sponge

In the first strip, I ran a blackened sponge in circles to create dark churning movements that looked like worry.

  • Dry brush

It was interesting to see how different intensities of the brush stroke created different tones of emotions.

  • Palette knife

The piece on the left seems a lot like guilt to me. I painted over a greyish background with white smears of lines, imitating the feeling of trying to cover up something sinister or dark.

In the second week of the project, I was stuck because I couldn’t come up with a consistent theme or concept. Ms Mimi shared her thoughts on how I could carry on by referencing Jackson Pollock’s style. She told me she liked the variety of line textures I had created and how I could draw emotions and create a concept from observing these lines.

After creating several textures, I organised them into the emotions I felt they portrayed to me. My final boards are representative of the emotions produced by the heart and brain respectively. I’ve named the first board ‘HEART’ and the second ‘BRAIN’.

F  I  N  A  L   ·   B  O  A  R  D  S

“HEART”  Emotions from the heart are strained and deeper. They build slowly and broil like chicken in a broth.

  • Torment

I scrunched up newsprint and brushed a dry black inked brush gently over the creases to create a cracked/marbled texture. Many of my classmates told me this looks serene or calm but I felt it captured the building up of anger, like how torment isn’t an instantaneous form of anger, it is slow building and boiling.

  • Grief

I smeared black and white paint with my fingers and a brush on a piece of newsprint to create the effect of a storm brewing. There are always bright parts in a storm but you can’t quite reach it yet and I think that represents the feeling of grief.

  • Love

I smeared a palette knife with black and white paint on sandpaper for love. I wanted to imitate the movement of butterflies fluttering in one’s tummy, much like the feeling of being in love. I progressively added more white towards the right side to create the illusion of taking flight or reaching a safe place.

“BRAIN”  Emotions from the brain are reactions that are quick and instantaneous. They are pure and candid.

  • Joy

I drizzled white paint on plastic to give joy that translucent, innocent, candid feel. I didn’t want the paint drizzles to be perfect in thickness, no drips, no smears, because I realised that joy is like an ugly, loud, true blue laugh.

  • Surprise

For surprise, I rolled over some tissue with a slightly inked roller and stuck it to a board to create a soft and restful base. I painted a satay stick over with stark black ink to create that bold, surprise element in a sea of soft background.

  • Fear

I got this paper while shopping and I thought it’d be fun to try white paint on it. The crumples were already there and all I had to do was brush a dry white inked brush over the folds to bring out the creased texture of the paper.

All in all, I truly had fun doing this assignment and I’m grateful I’m playing with ink and emotions instead of numbers on an excel sheet.


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