Describe the first time that you knew creating art was something you had to do: I started out hand painting mugs as art therapy; this therapeutic outlet was an integral part of my evolution as a self-taught artist. I have since branched out in to abstract canvas paintings. Even in the beginning with the mugs, I loved to create funky textures; something that feels comforting in your hands. Now that I am focusing more on canvas, I carried that texture building process over in to my abstract paintings.
When did you first consider yourself an artist? April 2018. When I first started selling my mugs at art markets.
What are you trying to communicate with your art? I have always told people "I paint feelings." My artwork is a direct reflection of what I'm going through in my life. It's my home therapy, to put it quite plainly. Originally, I was trying to convey that through textured mugs, comfort & relief could be found when holding them. With my paintings, that message has changed a bit; I'm now expressing myself on a larger platform. I want to communicate that everyone can utilize this tool to paint their feelings.
Describe your favorite piece you created and why. Describe your worst piece you created and how you learned from it. My favorite piece was finished last February; I started working on it during the summer of 2020. The canvas was originally gifted to me by a close friend who passed away December 2020. So far it's been the biggest piece I've ever worked on - 4ft x 4ft, and it's the most time I've spent on a piece. My main goal was to create something that would make Jack proud. Worst piece?? That's a tough one. I've made a lot of bad art. If I'm not happy with how something looks, I always paint over it. All of my mugs & paintings have at least 3 coats. Sometimes my work has 5-6 different versions. But I love that transformation process - a metamorphosis of my ever changing mood.
What role does art have in our society and culture? Art heals. At the core of a multitude of humans resides creative expression. I truly believe everyone can discover, harness, explore, and enjoy this. I also believe that storytelling is best done through art & music, particularly historical storytelling.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as an artist? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given? The best piece of advice I've been given is to not let titles discourage you from applying yourself. A friend once told me during a tarot reading "if they don't give you a seat at the table, bring your own chair" and that really stuck with me. The best advice I've given to fellow makers & artists is to simply keep creating. Even during the rough patches, when it feels impossible. Keep making art, even if you hate the outcome - nothing is permanent, we can always paint over it, or up-cycle it in to another project. As a DIY creative, living in that mindset is key. I've chatted with other artists about the concept of "letting go" during the creative process - why is that incredibly difficult for so many of us? The constant worries of "messing it up" or "ruining the work" simmering on the back burner of our minds can prevent us from truly letting go, and reaping the therapeutic benefits of creating art. To be truthful, I'm still learning to heed my own advice.
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