My art has always had an element of self-discovery. If it weren't for my art, I don't think I would have gotten to know myself so well. I believe in order to have any sort of healthy grasp on life, you first have to know yourself. Very well. My subconscious has forced itself into my art, not always with my direct permission. At times when my thoughts and emotions were clouded, my art would always tell me what was going on. Freshman year of college was the one year of my life I would say I was depressed. (In spite of my reservations of showing you such amateur, emo art) here are a few examples of the art that came out of that:
Yikes, my art has come a long way since then. But the point is, I would not even know what a piece of art was about until AFTER I made it.
The top image was literally my first assignment of art school. I seriously thought I chose these poses at random. It wasn't until the critique that I realized what I had done when people said, "Wow, all of these figures are closed off and lonely." Imagine my surprise at how everyone knew exactly what I was feeling before I did!
The last one, called "Divided" was about how I felt separated from myself. I was torn between a boyfriend in Virginia, and art school in Baltimore, in which I made no friends the first year. I was depressed and I didn't feel like myself anymore.
Fast forward to after graduating from Maryland Institute College of Art.
Many of you may remember when I owned the Gallery Above. It was an amazing experience and it completely consumed me. All of the art that I made in that time period, was about me and the gallery. You remember it as the octopus series. Here are a few examples:
I absolutely loved the Gallery Above, but it was so challenging. These pieces of art were heavily influenced by my daily struggles.
Throughout college and after, my art was always about me. I needed to figure myself out. I had wanted to create art about larger, more global issues, but my art wasn't ready for it yet.
Now, I think I know myself pretty darn well. I'm extremely happy, and have created a life for myself that is just awesome. Once all that happened, I was finally able to make art about something besides myself! Now I can make art that is a contribution to the positive change in the world.
This was the evolution of my art until this point. I don't think everyone needs to make a bunch of art about themselves before they can make art about anything else. That is just what worked for me.
In recent years I have been doing a lot of critical thinking and research about how we live. All of it has influenced my life and therefore my art. Last night I watched a documentary that had many of the elements I have been discovering. It was informative and inspiring. It is Inspiration Source # 5: "I Am". "I am" is a documentary which finds director Tom Shadyac conversing with prominent philosophers, scientists, and spiritual leaders about what ails our world and how we can improve it. Traveling the globe to conduct his in-depth interviews, Shadyac finds insights and inspiration from Archbiship Desmond Tutu, historian Howard Zinn, philosopher Noam Chomsky and other luminaries. It is available on Netflix. Watch it.
Let me say it again, watch it.
This blog allows me to let you into my world as an artist. Thank you so much for reading.