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up — Leonie Uke Quentine van Drunen




All the images I make are selfportraits, even when I'm not in them - yours truly

While studying at the Arts Academy of Fontys in Tilburg I kept track of my creative processes. I studied lots of different subjects, from expressional art to social and political engagement. I did many new findings every day. But most of all things I discovered in all of this, was how to follow my own mind. After all...we are living in the millennium of individuality. WE ARE a NEXT UP generation of 'Millennials'.

The last visual study I did was about creative process & self-portraits trough identity. I figured: there is no better subject to study than 'my own self' and my identity. Well... so far I concluded that I have a complex and entangled mind, which I love to explore. In the end, it is through this lense that I perceive the world.

Making artistic visuals can be a reflective process and a research on itself. These reflections result in a mirror of 'THE SELF' (Carl Gustav Jung). Every artist who creates is different and putts a little bit of 'THE SELF' in their (visual) work because of personal choices. Based on personal choices of different individuals (with their own identities), all artistic works can be preceived as selfportraits. But making visuals could be more than a personal creative process only, it can be a personal growth process for the artist itself, when the artist questions his choices and reflects on them! With this ideas in mind, to grow as a person, I developed a working method for making my visuals/selfportraits with a vision and mission. Why? As a motivation to stay focused on my process. Because I want to keep myself in ‘FLOW’ (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi).

How does that work?( might or might NOT ask yourself). Simple: the main condition of this working method to stay in ‘FLOW’ for me, is that the personal creative processes I experience are meant to be FUN. In order to do that materials, techniques and products need to be a pleasure to work with. When something feels terrible to do I loose 'FLOW'. I work with the definition of 'TOYS' or toys as a material. This is a crucial guiding tool to keep in 'FLOW': making FUN rules. My method of working results in a way of conditioning 'THE SELF', to think positive.

As you might understand the creative processes I experience become personal challenges, and I don’t want to go through this challenges by competing or challenging others. That is what I avoid... because competition creates pressure for me and pressure blocks 'FLOW'. Besides, pressure ruins FUN, it drags me down. I believe we pressure ourselves already too much these days, we drag eachother down with competitive and selfish mentality. We have to stick together as 'millenials'. On top of everything, we need to enjoy working without motivation killers such as pressure. I believe we need encouragement and compliments from one to another, that makes us more productive. It can litteraly CREATE POSITIVITY!

What I hope to establish some day is that it helps others and/or their own personal growth. My goal? Understanding eachother. That we allow to see new perspectives and share visuals/selfportraits like this. A look in eachothers heads trough visual art, with an open-minded point of view. As long as we go trough life without competition or pressure, it can avoid unnecessary judgement and will not block 'FLOW' in the creative process. Meanwhile keep creating FUN, be PLAYFUL and JOKE AROUND. Look at things around you with a sence of humor. Don't take everything too serious is the advise I would give to this NEXT generation. Enjoy things mostly.
Maybe I created a mind-fulness method to use in creative processes for everyone…

Allow art to be fun please. Allow yourself to grow as a person. Think positive!

P.s. life is short, this text is not.

Online op
30 juni

Tijdens de opening van graduation show NEXT UP 2016 wordt het digitale platform van de Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Beeldend gelanceerd.