When I graduated from School of Visual Arts, I was selected to participate in ADC’s National Portfolio Review, much like Portfolio Night. The phrase “Blood, Sweat & Tears” totally describes what I felt like I poured into my own portfolio. An outstanding portfolio should have a unique personal perspective and leave a memorable mark on the viewer. I approached this project by creating a fluid pattern of lines to form a whorl, as well as the title.
I found the expression within the characters themselves. A little story that illustrates the phrase “Blood, Sweat & Tears” while you read it – where the letters are drawing, lifting, and working hard to show what they’re really made of.
I decided to focus my piece around the ideas that are flowing around your brain, and the Blood Sweat And Tears you put in, to get them out of your head and into reality. So I constructed the letters and image out of intertwining brain neurons to represent this.
For my rendition of Blood, Sweat and Tears I chose to create a piece that was a little more immersive into the concept. I opted for the traditional and created this graphite drawing on paper, getting back into the labor-intensive mindset that is sometimes absent from digital work today. With dozens of hours poured into it, I think this is exemplary of what “Blood, Sweat and Tears” means to me.
Like most things emblazoned on the backs of leather jackets, this phrase is a point of pride. Blood Sweat & Tears is painted in OneShot Lettering enamel on a found leather jacket. A nod to those who take the long, hard, stupid way around; those who take things apart and put them back together in their own way; and those who muck things up to make something worth being proud of.
As makers and creators, a lot of our hard work, self doubt, energy and obsessive attention to detail get hidden in the simplicity of our final products and the ease with which images are consumed. People looking at the end result imagine a clear and linear path from blank page to finished work, with ‘creativity’ being the only requirement for creation. The concept of this piece was to create an image that is delicate and precious, but plays off the expression to allude subtly to the unseen effort, pain and frustration that often goes into creating a end result.
One of the best things I’ve learned through my career has been how to throw things away that I’ve spent a lot of time on, its an important part of process to realize something isn’t working. Its true that you need to kill your darlings. My Blood, Sweat & Tears piece is a graphic expression of this way of thinking, simply a crumbled design sitting on its own.