Putting the book down at last, our class has ended the Catcher in the Rye unit with a last addition reflective piece. And out of a selection of eighteen or so projects, I decided that my last piece on the Catcher in the Rye would be an immense poster.
The piece was created through the usual artistic process. I begun with taking every piece of information I could from the book- what qualities made Holden who he was? What imagery kept popping up, over and over? What paragraphs really stuck with audiences? When I took these ideas, I quickly begun drafting out what I could use and where I’d be using it. And after that, I began the actual poster with a hand full of sharpened pencils, sharpies, and colored pencils. This also coincided with plenty of online searches, too, seeing that I didn’t want to make the poster cliche or a practically stolen piece of work.
(Pictured to the left, my poster)
When I finished the poster, after plenty of doodling endeavors, I was extremely happy with it. And I still am! When looking at it now, there’s so many small details that just bring a smile to my face. The little ducks drifting around, the broken records, and even the small patterns within the carousel. But what makes me happiest about the poster is how I applied so much. Over the Summer, I had attended a fine art academy class that taught me a lot of the techniques that I used in the poster. The typography title, the overall balance between parts, and so many other small techniques finally had their chance to shine.
So not only have I managed to make something I can be proud of, but something that reminded me of having an absolute blast making art. Really, all I can dislike about the piece is how I didn’t have any abilities to further the gradients or make the rye appear less sparse. It felt unfinished to me, in a way, but not unforgivable. In fact, I think it’ll give me further determination to improve and improvise further next time around.
I’m not the only one grading this project, either. As any class event, this entire assignment is being graded under a scale. And this scale was certainly interesting. Instead of the usual requirements a student would expect, the class was graded on elements such as beauty, relevance, poignancy, transparency, and unique aspects. But looking at those scales, I’m not any less enthusiastic. By making a highly detailed piece of art, I’m certain that I met both beauty and being unique. I do think I added certain elements that could be considered poignant, too, seeing additions like Allie’s death are extremely shocking. Transparency is also fine, really, seeing that it’s a grade based on showing off the project online… and well, that’s demonstrated through every word you’re reading.
The only true component I’m semi-wary about is relevance. At first, I was reasonably concerned about whether a poster could really change someone’s view. So I decided that, with the mixed audience reception we read about in class, that I’d try to emphasize the true purpose of the novel. That past the rebellious behavior and intense scenarios, The Catcher in the Rye is not about intense action- but someone hurting from the past. Hence, I gave the poster a darker, solemn feeling. And that, I hope, might change some people’s perceptions of Holden from a bratty kid to a reasonably struggling teen.
Hence, this was an immense project. I loved seeing everyone else’s work, each one giving me inspiration for next time. Even in my head, I think I’m starting to get ahead of myself. Like I said before, there’s some art techniques I’d really like to improve upon and I’ll probably be racing toward those goals any moment. More so, I’m thinking about how I can push on the idea of relevance just a bit further… perhaps next time with my own digital art!
So, until next time, we’ll have to wait and see. Thank you!
(Pictured to the right, an example of my digital work)