Monday, May 26, 2008

I’m back! Due to a little technical problem (apparently a broken fan takes over two weeks to fix), my laptop has been M.I.A. for a bit, and with that some of my notes and photos. However, the laptop made a triumphant return home yesterday, and I’m ready to get this going again. My next artist of interest is Diane Call, a senior graphic design major at OU. I met with her awhile back to talk about the artistic process, at a point that she candidly dubbed “panic mode.”

For Call, the entire undergraduate period has been a bit tense; she’s jumped around from advisor to advisor and hasn’t had the same one since sophomore year. She also noted the difficulty to truly prepare for a thesis show from the beginning, as art students don’t apply to their actual majors until the end of their second year. When I asked her if art students were even aware of the thesis show requirement, she stated that many were probably not; “you’re so focused on just getting into your program and then passing junior year… up to that point they can still kick you out.”

BFA students propose a thesis idea in the spring of junior year. However, as I have seen with several of the MFA students, this idea will continue to evolve up until the end. Call’s piece, which she presented in the fall, began as a look into identity design and branding- she sees “brand worship” as a kind of new religion. After spending her winter quarter in a religious iconography-drenched Mexico, though, the piece took on a new emphasis; now, a week before installation, her work is about religious icons working as brands.

The whole process was made more difficult because of the time she spent in Mexico; “It helped to change my thesis, yes, but then I realized that I only had 6 or 7 weeks (left). My biggest challenge so far has been trying to get this done on time. Right now I’m in panic mode, but you really just have to get past that… just get it done,” Call said.

Her work, which starts off on paper but is now being created using Photoshop and Illustrator, is done mainly at home. “I have color printing at home, which you can’t get at the @ Lab,” Call said before alluding to much of the tension I’ve witnessed thus far. “And there’s just such a negative atmosphere at Seigfred. There’s a lot of stress there.”

At this time, with a week left before the pieces need to be installed into the Ohio University Art Gallery, Call has two pieces finished. “I would like to finish three, but I won’t put it in if it isn’t as good as the others,” Call said.

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