An Undergraduate Thesis about Self-image & Identity
As children, we create our first interpretations of our self from what we think are our best attributes. Young males, for example, can often be heard boasting about how fast of a runner they are while young females are quick to play dress up in their mother’s clothes. This interpretation does not last long though; a person’s identity is continuously being shaped by the events of their life. A time when a major change in identity occurs is during adolescence. Their sense of self begins to have more refined definitions and they begin to actively apply their newly acquired definitions to their lives.
With my thesis I explored the idea of identity in adolescents of ethnic descent, primarily African Americans. My aim was to merely take note of the factors that contribute to the development of negative or positive self images. I used traditional color theory to explore my journey towards establishing my identity and the relationship it has had with my art. In doing so, I hoped to create a definitive body of work that reflects my personal journey.
My Degree will tell you that I am a Graphic Designer but the work I have been inspired to create has been created far from a computer. As a Graphic Designer, I rely on the computer to solve my problems. I may sketch; but the majority of my work is done digitally. Now, as a Fine Artist, I am no longer able to take that route. I have gone back to the basics; Doodling, sketching, erasing, cutting, pasting, and painting.
I let heritage, history, and humanity shape my work. They are the threads that link different walks of people; Threads that unite and divide us. They are threads that tell stories as shallow as spills and as deep as oceans. I let my background as a Guyanese American, my understanding of African American history, and my research on self-image in African American youth act as the threads that bind to create my stories. Through my work I hope to spark reflection and to inspire future generations to se