Fix Your Priorities - Imogen Johnstone

Earlier this year we launched our pilot Young Artists Development Programme (YADP). Ten incredible disabled and/or neurodivergent artists have been working on developing a creative idea or project. Over the coming weeks we’re delighted to be sharing a guest post from each of them showcasing their work and experiences. First up is Imogen Johnstone.

This piece of art is called Fix Your Priorities. It is a cartoon style image of the Earth from space, the background is covered in stars and blue and purple galaxies, on the right side of the earth there is a star that is closer to the foreground that casts light across the rest of the image. Above the earth there is a drawing of a brain that is a pink fleshy colour, the brain is spilling a rainbow coloured liquid onto the earth, partially obscuring the planet, the liquid

My piece ‘Fix Your Priorities’ is based on the idea that art is often seen as something unimportant or childish, and that striving to be an artist is a fantasy rather than a realistic goal. People often fail to realise that art is one of the core essentials of everyday life.

Art is everywhere – everything has been imagined, designed, and created by someone. The world could not function without artists. There is some degree of creativity in everything made by humans – even the trains we take to our jobs, or the desks we work at, have been designed by an artist.

I experimented with putting more detail into the colouring and overall design of ‘Fix Your Priorities’. It’s less cartoonish than my usual work, but still maintains an element of fantasy. I think this was successful for this piece as it accentuates the different elements. I would use this technique again to highlight an important area within a piece of art. The change in style assisted me to add extra detail to spotlight the importance of our imagination and ideas.

I designed this piece to demonstrate that art is not one specific subject, it’s diverse and beautiful. Anything can be art if you have creative intent when making it, and we should represent art as more than just paintings or drawings. Art is not just face-value, it’s more than just throwing colours onto a canvas. When I create art, I feel a cathartic release of emotions that are showcased in my work as a display of feeling and thought.

During the pandemic, art has become significantly more valued. Whether it be rekindling an old hobby or picking up a new craft, it’s become a way to deal with the uncertain sea of emotions that seem to be swimming around in everyone’s heads.

As someone who is home-educated, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time teaching myself art, and I’m able to work with different styles and mediums. Through this, I’ve developed my own style.

One of my goals for the future is to develop my art further and to be able to illustrate or potentially write my own comic books.

Thank you to Imogen for getting us started with such a strong image and set of ideas. Look out for more YADP work coming soon.

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