[Co-Written with Craig Smith] The wide accessibility of creative mediums and outlets in the 21st century has led to a disillusionment of content and dominance of vanity. There’s a wide level of appropriation without any context. This has been an ongoing trend that can be seen in communication outlets like tumblr and pintrest, where it becomes less about the idea and more about the appeal. As an artist we should always step back from our idea or the visual concept we are working on to make sure that it’s very much derived from the self.
You see a lot of it out there, but a lot of it is kinda empty. The work is empty, because it’s either removed from its original content, or it was created without any real context in mind, other than appeal (essentially to look cool). Taste as identification is an ongoing trend in social media and parallels the phenomena of reblogging. Much of the visual imagery in these reblogging sites is far removed from its original content.
We have no idea where the image comes from, or of the artists original intent or the context in which the work was made (unless you instantly recognize it). It’s the idea of creating more exposure, but at the same time you’re removing any sort of personal identity in the piece. The image in essence becomes a reoccurring visual, separated from the rest of the body of work. It not only demeans the piece itself, but becomes something completely different from the work. This happens a lot in visual design, because a design is a collaborative effort that reflects the intentions of the client, and the designer themself becomes less visible. The act of reblogging content, outside of its context devalues the idea of the visual piece.
Because of the availability of editing software, people are able to create “finished images” with less personal trial and error. Most of the time it doesn’t carry any original idea, or the idea is lost within its content.
The concern that rises is that you have people who are replicating what they see, without any desire to know how it was made or what its original intent was. Essentially creating an image to get the highest amount of hits.
Our responsibility as a visual artist is to constantly look back at the experiences in your life to see why you’re drawn to certain aesthetics. This will give the artist a more meaningful source for ideas, as opposed to reflecting what they see en masse. An artist should constantly build upon their experiences, and derive genuine inspiration. A deeper understanding of the self provides more original content, giving more substance to your work which is more valuable than finding an original aesthetic.
In conclusion, if you find yourself getting lost in a trend or following a bandwagon, reflect inward on your personal experiences, which will help distinguish you as an artist.
Sishirprithvi Bommakanti (born in India 1990) is a freelance illustrator, designer, and painter. His latest body of work combines conceptual compositions, figurative narratives, abstract geometry, and glitched imagery. According to the artist, the works serve to communicate and inquire. “Everything I do is carefully thought out,” says Sishir, “Nothing is guesswork.”