AP Studio Artist – Audrey Raflik (STM ’20)
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AP Studio Artist – Audrey Raflik (STM ’20)

They Might Be Giants is an American alternative rock band formed by John Flansburgh and John Linnell. It is one of my favorite bands because the wacky and absurd lyrics hidden under the unassuming music. When listening closely to the lyrics, a lot of strange, powerful, or fun images come to mind. I wanted to take the loaded lyrics and distill them into a simple, unassuming image. I asked myself how I could encapsulate the visual imagery in the lyrics using simple illustrations?

I wanted to keep my pieces simple because I often get stuck on small conceptual details. I decided to limit the amount of detail and challenged myself to make simple pieces that still convey my intent. Through the sustained investigation, I began to consider how to design characters to convey more information, how to use color to attach meaning or draw attention, and where to place elements to emphasize a certain feeling.

For each piece, I start by listening to a They Might Be Giants song and making note of any lyrics that stick out to me. I make little sketches of whatever images come to mind when I think of certain lyrics. From there I try to consider what I can show with the characters, color, and composition. Then, I sit down and make the piece. I sometimes decided to make another version of the same piece if I thought of a way to convey more information to the viewer. I hope you like my pieces!

To get the whole experience, try listening to the corresponding They Might Be Giants song when viewing the pieces. The title of each piece matches the song that inspired it

Ana Ng (Part 1), Drawing paper, black marker pens, watercolor, & Krita, 9 x 6
Ana Ng (Part 2), Drawing paper, black marker pens, watercolor, & Krita, 9 x 6
Birdhouse in Your Soul, Multi-purpose paper, black marker pens, watercolor, & Krita, 7 x 9
Doctor Worm, Drawing paper, black marker pens, watercolor, & Krita, 6 x 9
Let’s Get This Over With, Drawing paper & black marker pens, 9 x 6
Lucky Ball and Chain, Drawing paper, black marker pens, watercolor, & Krita, 8 x 5
Whistling in the Dark, Drawing paper & black marker pens, 9 x 6
Your Racist Friend, Drawing paper, black marker pens, watercolor, & Krita, 9 x 6



Leave a comment for Audrey below!

4 comments

  1. Beautiful & creative artwork. 🙂

    Isabel
  2. Audrey, Wow , i loved the simplicity of all of your art, especIally “dr. Worm”, “ lets get it over with “ and my favorite “your racist friend”. Good luck in your future endeavors.

    Linda skuhra
  3. I love how it’s so simple yet so complicated. Truly intriguing work!

    Jon Wroblewski
  4. Audrey, while your work is simple, there does seem to be some attention to the finer details. I know how agonizing it is for you to let go of the detail and perfectionism in your art. I would like to know the lyrics used from the songs so I can better understand what the pieces are showing me. You did a good job on your pieces.

    Kara Raflik

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    St. Thomas More High School
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    Milwaukee, WI 53207

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