Why don't you collect items which represent your intense dislike of the town? Like cigarette butts, glass pipes, crumpled wrappers, smashed cans, a bus ticket/gas station receipt, rope, etc. That way you also have a variety of textures in your piece. You can take the negative and spin it into a positive light. As the old cliche goes, just stick a rose in the middle of it all [you know all those pictures where a rose grows out of a city sidewalk). Even if you hate the town, there has to be good bits about it. Like a favorite restaurant or stomping grounds. There has to be local shops people opened based on there own dreams. Even in the worst cities cultivate someone's dreams. Maybe you should embrace the idea of other people's dreams for this still life, especially because they are getting something different from the city than you.
You sound a lot like my high school art teacher. She always talks about our city the way you talk about yours I often disagree, but then again, I left the city as soon as I got out of school.
I wish our town had good parts to it. To do anything, we have to go to the next town over because there are no restaurants or places to hang out, or even a gas station, and literally everyone I know who lives in the actual city limits is either on drugs or has immediate family members who are, or they have major issues with everyone and get into fights all the time. They're just bitter people who have given up on everything. I truly wish I could say something good about the town but I can't. The next town over (the one I usually go to and where I now attend college) has all sorts of things to do, and is only about 5 minutes away. That's where my family and I always go, so I know more about it, but I don't have quite the emotional feelings towards it that I do towards the one I was going to draw.
My original drawing was actually going to be quite similar to the one you were describing, and my professor acted like I was a complete idiot for thinking of it, and even though he said he wanted a city/town we were emotional about, he said my idea was too negative. I think there's something wrong when I'm in an art class and my ideas get shot down for being too in touch with how I feel about things.
How about a favourite town/city? Like, when you've been on vacation, has their been a favourite spot you loved to visit? A beach town? A town where your grandma lives? A town you've always wanted to visit? There's gotta be somewhere special to you that you can base some objects off of!
I wish I could say I had a favorite vacation spot or that my grandparents lived somewhere else, but they live near me and I rarely go on vacation.. I feel silly about it, but I kind of have a phobia of going very far from home..I've always wanted to travel, but I don't have the guts to do it. One idea I did have was to maybe represent New York City (Or any big city, really), because I've always wanted to go somewhere like that, but (once again, I feel silly saying this) that's where all the bad things happen in the news and on the movies..whenever I picture New York, I think of terrorists and Godzilla and King Kong, so I thought of maybe setting up boxes and bottles to mimic the NYC skyline and set up a bunch of monster toys to represent what I've seen of it through the media. And the monsters could probably be symbolic of my fears of cities, I suppose..I don't know, what do you think of the idea? I hope it made sense lol.
Don't worry! My dad has that same phobia. He doesn't like to travel because he's afraid something might happen to him. Home is like his fortress to him, where everything has always been safe and he knows everything and he's in control. He rarely goes on vacation with the rest of the family (even if it's just a couple of hours to the beach or something) because he's too afraid of the unpredictable and the unknown (different culture, laws, traditions, and stuff).
I think that's an interesting idea and could be fun to draw! You could get really creative with the boxes and bottles and arranging them in different ways. You could even find/arrange objects to make the skyline look more "sinister", like using bones to represent buildings or bridges or something (like I would do bones for the World Trade Centers or something). I just hope your teacher doesn't say it's too depressing though. That sucks! I would have so much fun doing that! I would at least try to run it by him. Maybe he'll say yes. ;D
Alternatively, if he does say no, maybe you could try thinking about things that are appealing about New York. What about New York makes you want to go? ^_^ When I think of New York, I think of the beautiful skyscrapers; Central Park is GORGEOUS; the people, always on the move and very bold and vibrant; the culture (so many wonderful ethnicities are there!!); the shopping and cuisine... I guess that's hard to translate into paper, but maybe you could do kind of a glorified New York, maybe with elegant, fun, or beautiful objects.
I have no idea. I hope this was helpful. I've always been uninspired when it came to still lives. xD
The idea for using objects that are more sinister is great! Bones would be easy to come by...I live in the middle of nowhere surrounded by woods, and have lots of dogs. When deer hunting season comes, there's pretty much no where outside that doesn't have a few deer bones I'm pretty sure we have enough bones right now to make a complete skeleton lol.
I'm both fascinated and horrified by the idea of New York. I would love to go there and experience all of those cultures and see everything there, but at the same time I think I would have a bad case of culture shock. I've been to cities before, my family lives near Kansas City. But, I never really spend time in the city, and when I do it's always on the outskirts, so I never really get to experience it. Even having been there, it still makes me nervous to go because so many bad things can happen. But I bet KC is nothing like New York! (At least there haven't been any monster movies about Missouri getting attacked by a giant mutant!)
Thank you so much for your help! I really wasn't sure about this idea, but you definitely restored my confidence! After listening to my teacher, it's very easy to get discouraged, especially when he's got nothing good to say about my ideas.
Actually, I was all set and leaving my house with my stuff for the still life already, and I was going to have NYC under attack by monsters as portrayed by my little sister's Pokemon toys when I remembered....I was a total Pokemon nerd when I was little, and I was young enough that I thought that Japan really did have Pokemon in it and that all that stuff was true (Once again, I REALLY didn't get out much). So he okayed me to literally just draw a still life of Pokemon to represent Tokyo. I despise this teacher, but it's pretty neat that I get to draw Pokemon for a final. Normally I don't make art from cartoons or stuff like that but hey, it's much better than drawing stuff that makes me angry, and I do love Pokemon.
The problem is, until he approves my idea, I can't begin working on the still life because I have to find objects to set up that represent the town's character...I wish we were allowed to just draw the cities and towns, but we can't.. He's just so picky, he wanted us to base our drawings off of a town that has had some sort of an impact on our lives, but even though this town had a huge impact on me (I attended the school for 6 years and it was small enough I knew most of the people), he won't let me do it because it's too negative. Because apparently art has to be positive all of the time..