VC: The Urge to Make Things

Leo Lionni
Leo Lionni is most recently known for his work as an illustrator and an author, but he is really what I would call a Renaissance man. His body of work extends to everything from graphic design, painting, sculpture, printmaking and much more. Lionni began his career as a painter in Italy where he worked in the Futurism and avant-garde styles. He later moved to Philadelphia working as an advertiser and eventually accepted the position as art director for Fortune magazine, which he held until 1960.

Lionni's love for material and creation is definitely evident in the reading. The urge to create transcends his materials, intentions and self in some aspects. He talks about the hands as if they were a separate being that moves with a mind of its own. According to Lionni, the most fulfilling moment in the creative process is when we allow our hands to do what they were designed to do, create. In some instances we don't have control over what we create, it's like a very primitive and unconscious movement. However, I don't completely believe that this moment is the most fulfilling. For me it's the moment you step back, observe and comprehend what you've created that's most exciting, because it's in that moment that there is some truth to be seen. Lionni also discusses how the things that we create are gestures of ourselves. Although our hands can sometimes move on their own, every mark that we make expresses some idea or emotion of ourselves. Another interesting point that Lionni discusses is how the Chinese painter becomes the tree when he paints the tree.

In relation to the mark making portion of this project, we're making marks with objects that relate to a line of our Haiku. So when I make this mark with this object, I need to become the line of poetry. While working on the assignment, I attempted to utilize all sides of the object and think about different ways of approaching the paper with the object. This might be quite a stretch, but in some ways I am becoming the object. Because I'm trying to utilize all aspects of the object, with every mark I'm more aware of the physical characteristics of it and therefore become it.

1 comment: