So here I am on the other side! To keep this note concise, I’ll make a list (since we all know I could talk forever about my work!)
1) I had a great time. Even the biggest cynics wouldn’t begrudge an ole badass a good time now would they?
2) I had read all of Jane Austen, twice, before going on the show. Pride and Prejudice is high on my list of favorite literature. Just another psychic phenomenon, I mean, coincidence.
3) My not liking the challenge to do a book cover doesn't mean I didn't knock myself out for 12 hours. Contrary to "throwing in the towel," I was racing around in trial and error as furiously as anyone. And after not liking what I'd done (I’m not that crazy!) I dared to wipe it all out at midnight! (Whoops, maybe I am?) But, like after a knock down, before the bell rings, I knew I had exactly one hour to work in the morning! After a hysterical flurry of after-hour-art-play-thinking at the kitchen table, (you had to be there) I managed to channel Jane Austen and finish my piece to the second. My "talking-head" dissing the challenge was not done lounging on the couch snubbing my nose. SO, I may have been less a believer in their game at that point, but my response was more to turn the tables than to leave the table.
4) The whole Jane-Austen-wrote-backwards story: (do you know that one yet?) OY, ok: AFTER I GOT SENT HOME I read a New York Times article that Austen actually wrote backwards in letters to her niece. To me this isn’t just an interesting anecdote, nor does it imply that I’m psychic (though I do read those whacky Tarot Cards). All I do know is that it happened and it’s so close to what I really believe can happen in the "fine art" making zone. It is something like leaving our habitual levels of consciousness...blah blah. And if it weren’t for that possibility, or my faith in it, I surely would not devote my entire life to it! Now that doesn’t make the piece good, but it does affirm the mystery of art making for me. Whereas the Bravo show may have its own honorable mission to DE-mystify art for the public, I, for one, am actually in it FOR the mystery.
5) As for being caricatured as "crazy," if it’s based on the fact that I live an "insanely" prioritized and goal-oriented life, all focused on my art making, (and I must add, reaping rewards for my efforts) then, well, so be it! In that one clip I was telling Miles we were gonna butt heads because we’re both intense, but alas, we don’t both know how to posture for the camera. Go Miles!
6) Let me close with an interesting quote by Ken Johnson, an art critic for the New York Times, which he posted on his Facebook page the morning after my exit: "What should have happened is this: the judges should have said, 'This was a trick challenge: we wanted to separate out who is a real artist from those who are really designers or illustrators.' By refusing to accept the premise of the assignment, by insisting on her own integrity AS AN ARTIST, Judith wins! Hah! Everyone else go home. Game over."
Judith is definitely her own person. No, I didn't like her cover. But I thot the judges were too hard on her the week before. I sort of liked her little metal sculpture. (I thot the judges were not clear enough on what they wanted in the junkyard challenge.)
Unlike poor Jaclyn, Judith has her set boundaries. I don't agree with some of them, but I respect her for having them.
Possibly a version of her backward writing could be used on a scholarly book about Jane and her beloved sister Cassandra!!! * * * * * But poor Jaclyn. Was I mistaken, or is this young, sorta lost woman---getting pushed to physically reveal herself by some of the judges? (Or---why would a judge hint in that direction concerning...a Pride & Prejudice cover???)
Is the hunt for ratings, sensationalism overcoming their desire to encourage the highest quality art responses from these artists???
Nothing like trying to exploit the young, slightly unfocused woman!
The producers are idiots! There's no question that commercial illustration and FINE ART are two individual totally separate entities. Judith is a fine artist....the others are a bunch of loser sell outs. I'm not watching this ignorant show any longer...it was a great idea that went south immediately. I thought finally America was going to see art and maybe learn something....this show is insulting to art. Get your act together Bravo and take some pride in YOUR work.
Number 6 above- I had said something very similar, but with a twist. I thought that the groups that were originally sent back to their room "safe", did exactly that kind of art- SAFE. Possibly the idea at the end is that only the ones who stood out (good and bad critiques aside), were all the winners. The art community is full of those who simply exist and produce but don't take risks or stand out. Good job being true to art and yourself.
Judith: Your blog is wonderful, thank you for being concise. Further, I enjoyed the energy you brought to the show. Clearly you have abundant talent and I tremendously respect all the artists who are doing the grueling tasks.
Keep being true to yourself and I wish you much success and happiness on the journey we call life.
You're wrong. This was specifically assigned as a "commercial" project. Art does have DIFFERENT purposes, and art is not always antithetical to commerciality. Your picture didn't stick out and clearly showed an ego in which your "essence" was more important than Jane Austen's classic title. You didn't channel with her; you subsumed her to your giant weird ego. However, I still don't think you should have left. As much as I prefer Jaclyn's work to yours, MISSPELLING Jane Austen's name should have been a fatal blow. That made her cover LESS commercial than yours. But then here's the rub. Nicole passed through without even being in the bottom 3 -- yet SHE spelled her author's name wrong, too. Aarrrggh. Should've been you, Jaclyn, and Nicole in the bottom 3, and then one of them should've gotten the boot just because of the egregiousness of their error.
judith i was really rootin' for you to win .... for me YOU are the winner no matter what the contest says ... you separated yourself from the other 'howdy -doody' illustrators ..... zzzzzzzz ..lol
judith, i am concerned that your have never been to a bookstore or library. they explained the project in a way that a kid could understand- make the book sell, have it jump of the shelf. no publisher would EVER except a backwards title on Jane Austen. This should have been obvious to you. It was like watching a child play. They start working with a medium, and hope that something worthwhile will come out of it. I'm sorry, in two episodes, you showed no direction or foundation to your work. The worst part is hearing someone excuse failures or shortcomings (which we all have) as being true to your art. this is a load of garbage the has been sung forever. if you were so sincere about your work, you would develop a process of thought first, then completion. anything less should be unacceptable to you. if you have been an artist for a long time, it is a bit surprising that this process has not evolved on its own, even without effort. it is time to grow up and make the process happen. i actually think you will be happier when you have focus.
I hope this show doesn't lose the true meaning of art! NEXT SEASON I want to try out, so far I agree with what the judges say. Who knows maybe you'll fall back in love with the show if I ever made it on...I a quirky girl in PA with my thick Boston accent /city girl gone country/ yeehaw..I can do great ART also.
Hi, Judith -
I think that being a fine artist is not incompatible with being a good illustrator, but I don't know if the challenge was really appropriate for a show about fine art. I don't think it's any accident that the guy who made the best book cover got sent home when the assignment was to shock the audience.
In the age of the internet, I'm not sure anything can be truly shocking anymore.
As to your book cover, I appreciate the process that created it as the 11th hour (I read Tarot, too) but as a book cover went, it wasn't good. Did you create art? Yes. Did you do the assignment? No. Was it fair to ask you to create a book cover on a show that's supposed to be about fine art? No, it was obviously a commercial decision, but then, it is a TV show.
I would like to have seen what you'd have done in the shocking category.
Nonsense! You book cover was simply poorly executed. As one of the judges said--if it worked as art, the rebellion against the premise would have stood up.
That said, I was very intrigued by the way it had started, with the feathery fingers, and I do think you are a wonderful artist, nonetheless!
Judith~ There is no doubt that you are a talented artist and should have gone further in the competition. But I'm confused about why you took such offense to creating a piece of artwork to compliment a novel, especially if you're a fan of Jane Austin. Writers are artists of words and their work deserves attention and respect. Books are sold, paintings are sold, monetary value does not take away from the soul of the piece. Soul-stealing is up to the sellers, not the creators.
Regarding number six on your list and the Art Critic you quote Ken Johnson. "Real Artist" what an arbitrary elitist turn of phrase. The dictionary definition: one who produces or is proficient, skilled in one of the Arts. that includes photographers,designers and performers!"insisting on her own integrity as an Artist" is a poor excuse for failure! HAH!
The cover art did not constitute Judith's best work, though I understand her objection to the assignment. Fine artists and illustrators/graphic artists operate in different ways; all of them must possess artistic talent to excel. It can be annoying and difficult to produce on demand or to a formula. Many otherwise talented artists and writers would find it difficult, if not impossible, to function under such constraints. The show's producers made a poor choice of assignment, and the generally wretched covers it yielded attest to that mistake. I would have sent Jaclyn home for her moronic misreading of Pride and Prejudice; she didn't even have the respect to spell Austen's name correctly. "I saw the movie, ... and it was tragic"? Which version of Pride and Prejudice did Jaclyn see that included anything remotely tragic. Jaclyn's cover looked like a poster for the musical Chicago. Kudos to Judith for even attempting to compete for this insipid title.
Judith, you truly seem like a very sweet woman. However, I am bias. I'm an artist. I like artists. :) That day just wasn't your day. I could have never made it as far as you did. All those time restraints, and that crazy pressure to produce art so quickly, surely would have driven me nuts...as far as the backwards words go,.. I believe what you were refering to was "The Stream of Conscience".... you should look into that, darling. Peace Out
Thank you Bravo for making me realize that I'm not the artist I thought I was. 45 years old...been doing art my whole life and finally a reality show has opened my eyes. I will now take this razer blade and slit my wrists in honor of you Bravo ...thank you again...and thank you Sarah Jessica parker in your designer clothing sipping champange where ever you are for producing such a wonderful show. Now artists everywhere who struggle with the thoughts of whether of not they are real artists can just stop producing. Quite honestly feels like a weight lifted from my shoulders, now I can go on living and not try...it's obviously all been done, same i wasn't born 100 years ago, art wasnt as hard.
I am so torn here Judith, I really admired you and loved the fact that your age freaked out the skanky self-absorbed one.
I am 6 years younger than you, went to art school, and now write and paint. I love that you still have that In-your-face art school attitude -that no critic will ever understand. I also think real art has a place inside commercial art and graphic design is art when done very well (albeit that is very rare). I was really looking forward to your work here, I mean Pride and Prejudice is the ULTIMATE parody on the shallow self-absorbed.
I think you were so offended by the thought of lowering your self to do commercial art you missed the personal challenge of doing art that can transcend the purpose. I am very good at pushing the auto-self-destruct button so maybe I am seeing me in your butchery of the title but it was a let-down.
This assignment and the Audi one were totally out of place here. They could have used the Intro BauHaus assignments and been more relevant to art.
A book design by an artist is really best done after the fact not on assignment
look forward to seeing your shows
Judith, I commend you for being your own person and staying true to your nature. Having said that, the piece you submitted did not completely work. A shame, because unlike Miles, you are not a preening poseur but a true artist. Commercial art and fine art are not necessarily mutually exclusive, merely different subsets of the art world.
Hello Judith & Fellow Art Enthusiasts; My life has been devoted and modeled to reflect the Artist Way for at least 4 decades, and yet I've remained isolated both socially and culturally from much of the vanity that pervades the art world ("All is Vanity, saith the Lord" Eccl 2,2). Still, this program is a most welcome beginning toward filling a void in media programming and the public awareness of and understanding of art. Art has liberating power by its potential to awaken meaning but there are powerful forces obstructing the artist's ability to connect with the public, especially and most importantly those who inhabit the learned class.
"PRIDE & PREJUDICE" as conceptual syblings, represent, like Vanity, inescapable qualities of the human condition. I had hoped Judith would have used her idea to illustrate the dynamics inherent in the two words. For example; there are ways to present words spelled backwards so the reader immediately recognizes the challenge, such as; writing the alphabet backwards or placing the word in an oblique frame such as a sign that points or directs the eye to the background of a field.
Regardless, we are all prideful and prejudiced against pronouncements to the contrary. In Islam or the Quran there is a story that says God has placed 2 things on the mantle that (hu)mankind are Not to partake of ~ Pride is first among the two!
Judith represented my demographic and for that reason I am sad to see her fail to remain as an influence on the other artists as well as the public imagination. It is said that art is rooted in the subjective experience as opposed to the objective realm that science commands. I find that access to this inner repository is needed ever more as science and psuedo perveyors make that field so difficult to divine, discern, and/or dispute. This is more reason for Judith's presence as what remains seems to be a less insightful and intuitive legion of warriors for the public's Enlightenment.
This piece didn't work on any level. Besides not being recognizable or paying off much if you can get the concept, it's just unappealing to look at.
This piece did serve as an interpretation of art but in no way did this piece work as a book cover. Worse was the artists' lack of willingness to try and create a book cover. As with most of the artist, it failed probably due to the lack of education on what a proper book cover should be. Thus is the difference between art and graphic design.
I was impressed with the young man that read Frankenstein, however he missed the message. The story is about mans egocentrical obsession with his own mortality and his attempt to play God and has very little to do with the creature, but rather the doctor (the true monster), but I don't think anyone knew anything about these literary giants.
The Time Machine that won was a hideous pile of crap. The artist based it upon what he wanted and not a target market. It was a simplistic shape thrown together without thought or reason. The rationalization of the latter was lame and pretentious and had NO association to the story. The story was about a journey both through time and of the soul and neither was captured.
The only one that came close was Dracula that used the blood drip into the D. Although this was the closest to a book cover, it failed as well in the fact that it was over done with the drips of blood and no one even said anything about not seeing the authors name. A literary great and no recognition? Fail.
Dear Fine Artist, in response to your comment
" Judith is a fine artist....the others are a bunch of loser sell outs." Please get an education. Illustrators are Fine Artist, what do you think they go to school for, colour by numbers?
Perhaps you're one of those people that run off to University, get a degree in art and don't have a clue of what real art is? You hang around in the self absorbed art socialites crowds snubbing everything and everyone. You know what real artist truly think about people like you, "those that can't create, snub the rest of the world and try to bully their opinion onto others" while an artist that gives into people like you are the real sell-outs—your a self absorbed art critic.
I liked the first version of the book cover painting, with the feathering fingertips. It looked like period wallpaper or fabric; it was feminine. The later "split screen" version could have gone somewhere also, considering the dualism of the P & P theme, but the backwards text was inexcusable for the assignment.
The previous week's critique of the found-object (or junk) art seemed really subjective if not unfair, considering the pieces that got a pass!
This was a rather fascinating challenge. It really showed the difference in the disciplines. I think the problem was the type/lettering. When doing something for an audience that needs to recognize it in a few seconds, and be attracted to it, most of the covers failed miserably. I am not sure the challenge was fair, but I think the challenge of graphic design was proven to be a little more difficult than this group at first anticipated. It is always good to have a healthy respect for something you don't do. If I was Penquin Books, and I wanted successful covers, I would have a collaboration between a fine artist and a graphic designer. These two paths work well together, but a fine artist does not necessarily make for a great graphic designer, and vice versa. Really the only one that worked within the parameters of challenge was the winner, all the rest were lame. And the reason it worked was the fact that it showed the hand of an artist even in the type. There are some amazing book cover designers out there, and it wouldn't hurt to check them out. It has a bit of a learning curve. It was fun to watch everyone struggle if nothing else. That is what these shows are all about n'est pas?
I think you went out much to early. I think you would have taken the Serrano challenge and REALLY worked it, unlike the others. I thoroughly enjoyed watching you create; I enjoyed your boldness and quirky nature. You were spot on when you said, "I make art to live, and I live to make art." Judith Braun, everyone! *applause*