Jiayi Wang

My Ocean

Class of: 2024

Major: Integrated Design BFA

Medium: Paper

Faculty: Katerina Lanfranco

Prompt: Create a Symbolic Self-Portrait combining photoshop and hand-drawn elements. Size 18 x 24" 300 DPI. (as if you were to print the image). Make an image that reflects some aspect of you, your life, your feelings, your biography, your beliefs etc. Include a realistic self-portraiture that has been transformed.

This creation is centered around a self-portrait and some information that is relevant to me. I chose the ocean as the main theme and added some of my favorite details. Like fantasy creatures mermaids, dolphins, seahorses. All kinds of jewelry, small bottles of perfume, some Chinese decorations. Large seashells, pearls, seashells. The tentacles of an octopus, antlers, horns of a unicorn. While some hard conditions don’t support my study of jewelry and accessories, I have a passion for these unique minerals. Several of the perfume bottles on the right side of the shell are very recognizable by their brand, and often it’s not the smell of the perfume that draws me in, but the name and packaging.

Except for the middle self-portrait, which I combined with my hand-drawn and my self-portrait image, I hand-drew the rest of the picture in pencil on paper for watercolor. This piece is very representative of my style of drawing and painting. I like to use color ink or pencil to draw special details, and the treatment of the hair is very much in line with my usual drawing style. Due to some experiences in Chinese schools, my aesthetic of the human body is very different from most people. I have a strong preference for slender limbs and non-human organs or torsos.

The mirror in the middle of the shell expresses my preference to confine myself to a small space where I can feel safe. The severed tail represents the past and fantasies I choose to excise, and the second section of the whitetail represents the cutting off and elimination I have become accustomed to, even the good parts. The two scissors represent two of the most important encounters of my current life, as well as a new twist.