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James OBrien
Welder
posted:
This image was for an article discussing an impending shortage of skilled welders, an interesting story for me since my father was a welder. I remember showing him with pride a bead weld from shop class in college. He was proud since I was the artist rather than the mechanic/hunter/fisherman, that was my brother's path. But my father was really an artist at heart, just a generation too early. Or maybe it was the small town expectations.
I struggled a bit with this image. Lately I've been less interested in concept, thinking more about portraits and subtle emotion. So it was a challenge to show a need for something, in this case welders. The concept I arrived at was the dashed outline suggesting "you could be here" or "missing."
By the way, I still have my father's welding mask which look much like this one.


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