Currently, I am focusing on the aesthetic nature of my artwork and how its appearance aids to its use. My work tends to lean towards the more organic/imperfect side of crafting: whether it be in my ceramic work or metalsmithing, I enjoy the small variations in form that create a true sense of the handmade. I further this sense of hand-craftedness by exposing the materials themselves, such as leaving metal to patina over time or leaving the clay exposed while glazing. The strong sense of materiality within my work, along with their organic sense of form, creates very naturalistic objects that emphasizes the materials themselves. I’m interested in the minimalism that these choices can evoke and how these aesthetic leanings affect the functionality of each piece. Recently, I’ve begun to incorporate shapes that are not simply round. I began by forming bowls and cups with my hands, giving them a sense of an abstract, bodily shape. I’ve pulled these forms into my recent metalwork, as well, implementing them into earrings, pins, and patterns.
Influences for my work include Chris Staley, Tom Kemp, Mary Giles, and Peter Pincus. I draw inspiration in the forms, color, texture, and materiality that each of these artists implement into their own work and experiment with ways to reinvent it into my own.
- Shelby Adams
Trash has become part of our everyday scenery. Check the Highways. Litter Breeds Litter. The physical effects on nature made through human intervention, drives me to document the aftereffects of what those interactions cause. Whether it be forgotten buildings in the middle of the woods, or plastic bags caught on broken tree branches, I capture images of the environment in disrepair. Through exploring ideas such as human interaction with nature, I hope that my work heightens my viewers’ awareness of the global climate crisis as they move through nature every day. I pay attention to everyday evidence of this environmental crisis in my work in hopes that it helps others notice it around them.
Through capturing images of abandoned buildings the viewer sees the consumption and disposal of resources made available to humans. This creates an idea of a consumer society which leads to the disposal of consumable products and trash. I am passionate about protecting the environment through recycling and educating others to do the same. Photography acts as an important way to record and to mourn the careless destruction of our world. The camera is a way to highlight the idea of destruction by capturing images overlooked by society on a daily basis. I walk through nature noticing every piece of trash left behind and can find a beautifully tragic image in the midst of these walks. I play with the scale of my images to find the most impactful effect desired. I want the images to feel not only large due to the importance of the topic but also small due to the lack of widespread determination to enact change in the issues at hand. What started out as a technical accident turned into a compositional choice to put the main object in the middle or almost in the middle of the composition to highlight the desired concept.
Much like another favorite photographer, Ansel Adams, I am constantly inspired by nature. Adams’ landscape & nature photography is beautifully inspiring, with all of the textures incorporated and the rich black values. Before I even realized it, I was photographing nature with similar ideas as Adams. Adams writes, “I cannot change the optical realities, but only manage them in relation to themselves and the format.” Like Adams, I formulate images through a photographer's eye to depict the realities of issues that threaten Earth’s future. I utilize natural forms such as trees, rocks, and water yet emphasize the harmfulness of manmade interventions.
Benjamin Von Wong sparked my interest in using photography to raise awareness for important environmental issues. Much of his elaborate photography is centered around environmental issues. The first image I ever saw of his was an image that depicted a mermaid lying lifeless on top of an ocean of plastic bottles. Seeing this image struck a chord in me, because the artist beautifully captured a very serious, ugly, issue in our world. I use my admiration for Von Wong’s work to inspire me to create photography that sheds light on issues that invoke passionate determination in myself and others.
Larry Eakels and Larry C. Eakels III
I have always liked to create things and make interesting pieces of artwork. Making work in the design field has been very delightful and engaging for me. Learning about how people react to imagery even when its digital or print has been one of the biggest things, I have learned from becoming an artist and focusing in graphic design. I chose to do graphic design because of my experiences with past classes and pieces that bring joy to me. As well as, the aesthetic you can achieve doing design work. Being able to create sleek, clean, and simple designs to fit the modern style is very pleasing and catches my attention and others. Seeing or knowing that my viewers of my work can understand it and also get a vibe of interest into the pieces gives me a satisfactory feeling which I enjoy.
Most of the work is made digitally, but always starts from sketches with a pencil and paper. Easiest way to make many different ideas for a topic is starting from paper and pencil then you can scan your desired pieces to the computer and go from there. Being able to make multiple revisions digitally is one of my favorite things about design and also the use of technology is amazing of all the beautiful things you could create digitally. Along with digital design I can also do print design as well which is another reason why being a designer you can do many things that can do physically and digitally.
Currently, my work has been inspired by advertisement and my poster design class. Experimenting with layers and colors to create diverse and complex posters that are also very clean and concise. Being able to continue this aesthetic in my current work brings me joy and hopefully viewers of my work can appreciate and see what I see with my work.
My most recent work delves into the relationship of sculptural form and ceramic tradition and how we perceive amorphous beings that exhibit resonance of the recognizable. I’m interested in where we draw the line between form and function in ceramics and how we can explore both possibilities through the creation of ambiguous three-dimensional representation of these ideas.
My work addresses these ideas through both sculptural vessels and nonobjective forms that leave the realm of the vessel completely. This exploration of form and fluidity started with single word: torpid. Torpid, according to the dictionary, is an adjective to describe slow, sluggish, languid movement, and the first thing that came to mind when thinking of this word is the 1958 American science fiction-horror movie “The Blob”. The first work in this series is Torpid, which is my response to the slow moving, vaguely ominous amorphous being and an investigation into representing the essence of torpidity in a rigid sculptural object. Over the last year, the series has progressed from the representation of languid movement to an investigation of our perceptions of objects and their apparent function, or lack of. After spending time attempting to marry the formal aspects of the blob with traditional ceramic profiles, my more recent blob forms leave the world of the vessel altogether, but still imply a relationship to ceramic tradition as well as the historical and archeological significance of pottery with references to blue willow china patterns and surfaces inspired by geological occurrences.
Pieces from this series often evoke a sense of whimsy and mystery and intend to inspire curiosity and questioning from the viewer. Two individuals that directly influence my current work are mixed-media sculpture artists Dan Lam and Alexandra Searle. Dan Lam is an artist who works primarily in polyurethane and resin to create psychedelic, other-worldly drip and blob sculptures dominated by vibrant hues and uncontrollable form to create a sense of unpredictable entertainment and whimsy while simultaneously shrouded in an unnerving sense of the unknown. Alexandra Searle creates installations dominated with concrete and medical materials to draw attention to the relationship between soft and rigid objects in a formal setting in relation to the human body and health. Works from these artists inspire me to explore new ways to represent malleability and flow in my work.
Ceramics has remained my preferred media as this series has progressed; However, during research and continuous production of works, an interest in installation has arisen in me and the blob series will continue to morph just as the blob itself does.
My art comprises one unifying idea: the body. We are our bodies, and with these bodies we experience life, death, and countless emotions. With my drawings and other work I embrace these experiences and depict stark symbols relating to the body.
I explore traditional symbols of play—such as toys and games—as well as images tied to life and death. The body is more than just a thing that can live and die. With our bodies, we feel emotions and interact; with these ideas in mind, I compose pieces related to color and our capacity for connection and interaction. In this sense, these drawings are not simply about the body; they are about life, movement, emotion, and death.
In my other work, I also explore the concept of body and bodily experiences; my photography, for example, emphasizes the lifelike and organic qualities of what is essentially lifeless, such as animal remains and city scenes. My prints explore subjects of dreams and the arcane. And my sculptural works explore the boundaries between organic and inorganic substances. In this sense, all of my work encompasses the ideas of the body in some way.
When designing my art I like to keep in mind specifically the audience’s reaction when viewing my work. Think of this as the ‘user experience’. If you are using an app on your phone and you quickly realize that the user interface is really bad and you can’t figure out what you’re supposed to do, that is the exact kind of frustration I want to eliminate when people see my work. Keeping that in mind with the fact that I draw a lot of inspiration from the minimalism movement, this is how I develop my designs to a point that makes it pleasing to the eye and easy to understand.
One particular piece of art that always comes to my mind when I think of inspirations is a painting called Composition with Red Blue and Yellow by Piet Mondrian. I love the simplicity of this piece. It’s literally just one big square that is divided up into smaller colored squares and rectangles separated by thick black lines. I find it very aesthetically pleasing to look at and it is what I hope to achieve with my own art.
For this work in particular I made vector illustrations the instruments of the four families of a symphonic orchestra. The thing I love so much about vector illustration is how simple and clean it is. This is the core of what minimalism is to me; taking an object or a subject thing or a thing and reduce it down to as basic as it can be. But even with all that simplification it is still possible to know exactly what that ‘thing’ actually is. And as a nod back to user experience I added in a little secret for the people who look close enough at these pieces.
I use photography as a way to capture the world around me. I take pictures to draw attention to the things the naked eye may easily overlook. These small details allow us to see the world in new ways. My goal as a photographer is to make photographs that the viewer can engage with. My work can be viewed as a portal into an unseen world, that opens the eyes of the blind metaphorically and gives the viewer a new form of seeing, that they may never see the world the same again. The environment has so much beauty to offer, and it is a shame to walk around blindly not taking it all in.
My subject choice of nature comes from my livelihood. Most of my life has been spent interacting with the outdoors. I have a personal and emotional connection with the land. I take great joy in capturing these special details that raised me. I want to preserve these memories, as well as share them with all who will see. It is important that we give attention to who we are and where we come from.
I am inspired by the beams of light casted by the sun, as well as the shadows formed by the interaction of nature with itself. Color has become something that I use strongly in my work. It portrays the rich details and beauty in each form of nature whether this be a decaying leaf or the flowing stream. We do not see in black and white, and I think when capturing the exquisiteness of nature, it is important to bring to life the beauty that is radiating and contrasting so boldly with one another.
I have been dealing with loneliness my whole life. I was given up for adoption at birth and brought from Paraguay to the United States. I feel a kind of loneliness for someone I have never met: my birth mother. In grade school I didn’t have many friends who would spend time with me outside of class. My brother was usually busy with homework and my mother and father were busy with work, leaving me a lot of time spent on my own.
My main emphasis in college has been drawing. I wanted to refine my skills that I’ve been developing since I was a kid, so it made sense to focus there. The most influential experience though was being able to draw the figure from a model. I had been drawing character and caricatures of people for a long time, but I didn’t really understand the human anatomy. Being able to draw from life has changed my understanding of what the body can do and what kind of poses are possible and now my figures are more expressive.
I didn’t think that my work had any kind of theme or concept behind it. I have realized though that everything I do, from my personal work drawing television characters to everything I have made in college that I have made has been a tool. Either a tool for me to deal with my loneliness and anxiety, or as a tool that has use for others. My work serves a purpose; that is to improve the world it’s in.
What viewers should be able to see in my artwork revolves around the concepts of the sublime and of nature in general. This is done by utilizing the theme of predator and prey relationships to portray the sublime. One side of this work involves the predator and prey relationships with animals, particularly birds. This is where I am inspired by wildlife, which makes me curious about the idea of nature presented in my work. By using the theme of “survival of the fittest” in my artwork, it can bridge the gap between horror and nature to create the sublime. For these works, I tend to work mostly with oil paints on canvas.
The other side of my work involving the sublime engages in conversation about Catholicism, and the nature of demons in this sect of religious faith. It is an interesting concept because the way evil is interpreted in theism is not as widely accepted as the good in theistic faiths. This is a new addition to the current sublime concept, which forces how to gauge predator and prey relations along with different topics revolving around religious culture today. The way this happens is by forming a satire of how demons are portrayed within the Catholic sect of Christianity and how they are portrayed in media. This is a way of satirizing this theme through real life means, and from widely accepted portrayals in media. For artworks like this I use painting materials and drawing materials to conceptualize my work.
I create graphic design pieces with the goal of inciting a feeling in the viewers. I have found through the years that creating a well developed color pallet is a major part of my process as an artist. This is because color can help enhance the specific emotion or idea that I am pushing for. I enjoy designing a variety of posters over subjects from music to commentary on social issues. The reason I choose the topics of mental health awareness, suicide awareness, gender roles, domestic violence, drug abuse, and other similar topics is because I want people to stop avoiding them. I want to inspire a change in the world and get people to start talking about them on a larger scale. I want to put the very real problems of society in their face and make them want to change their behaviors and attitudes. If not I hope to at least compel them to bring awareness to others. The less heavy pieces that I creat I want to awaken the fun that is sparked in Children. A feeling where the stresses of life are the farthest thing from the veiwers mind. Just breathe and have have. Be happy. This work is generally inspired by graphic artists that use vibrant and wild color theories, funky patterns, and interesting methods of creation. Artists such as Jessica Walsh, Stefan Sagmeister, and Milton Glaser.
Horror has always been something that has fascinated and intrigued me. Love for horror and horror imagery is something that was given to me by my older brother. I can remember being six years old, and sitting next to the arm of the couch, positioned perfectly so that I could see the TV, but my brother would not spot me unless he physically leaned over. Horror, especially the campy and sometimes silly fare offered by the slashers of the 80's, is psychologically fascinating. The movies allow viewers to surrender their control, and allow themselves to be scared and vulnerable, in an environment where they know they are safe. The visuals and backgrounds from certain movies stick with people for years, if not decades. When I began making my poster I wanted to honor these movies that shaped my childhood, by using their image and tone in a way that was distinctly mine. I also wanted to create my own fictional movie, to see if I could capture the same essence in a new way, that still fit in with the classic films. These posters are my love letter to the genre of horror, a genre that I feel is often misunderstood. They also utilize my passion for graphic design. The posters while reminiscent of the originals, utilize my distinct style of illustration and layout, to create works that are unsettling and scary but also fun and not to serious, much like the classic movies they were based upon.
One thing fascinating about being an artist is how we perceive the world through a creative lens, finding beauty and importance in even the most practical objects. As humans, we live in a fast-paced world and it’s easy to overlook everyday scenarios, as well as people, places and things. Every so often I get a chance to pause and look at a moment, an object or a genre scene and just enjoy it for a second and admire how the light and composition play off each other. To step out of my busy mind, to ponder over what I’m looking at before I slip back into whatever I was doing before.
My goal with my art is to share a moment with the viewer. To highlight the importance of even the smallest things, their roles in life, and how to be grateful with what we have now with something such as a glass jar, a fleeting moment, or nature. Out of all I paint, nature is where I tend to lean the most towards because of the significance it has in our life. Everything we have in some way leads back to nature. I enjoy experimenting with light and color to draw attention towards the subject and create an atmosphere from natural lighting to dramatic lamp lighting.
I look to Vincent Van Gogh and Janine Antoni for inspiration in style and meaning. Van Gogh had a way of expressing his ideas through his use of color, lighting and perceiving through a different lens to bring attention to an unseen world full of fleeting moments that grasp attention. Janine Antoni takes something ordinary like an everyday task and transforms it into an art form somehow for her sculptures and performances. We are told that life is short and should never waste it, but, we should also remember to live in the moment and try to be happy with what life has given us now.
Ana Wahlers and Ana Wahlers
Art depicting normal, everyday events are uninspiring because there is nothing to invoke a note- worthy emotion. When I create a picture, the scenes I make either come directly from dreams or are an attempt at imitating the atmosphere in them. Most of my dreams are similar and have a nearly identical emotion, but I don’t have a name for that emotion. I have two goals when making art. The first is for the feeling from my dreams to echo when I look at the picture. Since dreams are often forgotten and the emotions in them become distant, I need something to look at that gives off the same emotion. This way I can ‘study’ whatever it is I’m feeling. The second is for others to get a similar, if not identical, emotion so that they can describe it and possibly give me a name for it. I like to bring things that can only exist in the human mind into these unassuming scenes. For example, in Looking Down you are seeing through the eyes of someone exiting a room on the upper level, looking down over the catwalk, and gazing at a dark living area. At first glance it looks to be a scene of a house at night. The only thing out of place are the four figures around the coffee table. A green hue changes the entire scene that adds to the uncanny scene. These pictures are usually dark and desaturated, and while I try to stay true to the image in my head, I also make sure the image is balanced and has emphasis on the source of the emotion. The piece Desolate is not from a dream, but an attempt to mimic them. In this case the scene is set in a vague setting outside. Like the previous piece, it’s monochromatic and the figures are mostly silhouettes. However, the focus of the image is much more obvious. The giant crow on the electric pole is more in your face than what I’ve typically made.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to improve my style and found an artist named Bobby Chiu. I like his particular style conceptually and visually. I wanted to learn the skill of being able to turn something that is obviously imaginary into a believable creature. Recognizable traits are necessary for our brain to see as real. It’s not really the fact that he draws monsters that catches my eye, but rather how he makes them convincing. Using the program Photoshop really helped me loosen up and stop restricting myself with outlines. I’ve grown more comfortable with only having a sketch and jumping right into the colors and shading. This also allowed me to be more liberal with colors which only taught me more about them. For example, I’m more likely to use blue when painting a tree because I take the environment into consideration. Because things are easier to move, I can play around with balance and even see how different the value of something is when I change the colors to grayscale.
As a figurative painter, I use my art to tell a story and evoke a feeling of seclusion vs. inclusion with my viewers. I use semi-anonymous figures to drive the feeling of relatability - whether that feeling is coming from a witness or a victim, is up to the viewer.
Tending to work with oil paint and loving its fluidity, the work I produce is about self-healing and growth through struggles. My work is inspired by the toughness instilled in me at a young age and the idea that, in order to help others, I must be able to help myself first. I produce my artwork to make others feel that they are relatable and I use my art to promote self-love, self-help and an appreciation of the vulnerability and effort it takes to be honest about mental health issues and what it takes to find help.
Stylistically, I approach these unwelcoming themes by using soft lines and textures, bright, yet harsh colors, realism, and careful value shifts to accurately depict form, mass and space. Color is an important tool of mine, and oil paint allows me to use that to the full potential. The subject matter within this body of work is more specific than some of my previous works, however it is still open enough to allow the viewer to see it as whoever they wish it to be. I chose this concept in order to convey to my audience that it’s okay to not be okay, and that they are never alone in that, no matter how much it feels that way.
As many other artists are, I am influenced heavily by contemporary artists. Katie Geary and Mary Woronov are two artists that inspire and influence my work heavily, as they are painters who focus on realism, value, color, and the effects of mental health. I am often drawn to paintings or painters who focus on things like line, the figure, color, and value shifts. I make new works based on my own current state and find inspirations from those who surround me and the ways in which they handle their own struggles.
-Hailey Church, 2018
Figurative work is what drives my art to convey and evoke emotion. The figures become derivatives of nature using organic lines, whether they are a naturalistic depiction or an abstraction.
My preferred mediums are woodworking and drawing. Many of my wood projects focus on form and are constructed of smooth, flowing lines with open spaces. My form-focused works are often modeled after things such as nature, the figure or music, and target a specific emotion or idea. Some of my works incorporate drawing and work in conjunction with a wood so that a specific concept can be conveyed. In an interest to mix my interest in drawing and woodworking, I began exploring and experimenting with pyrography, or the art of wood burning. This technique gave my drawings more depth and emotion than the simple pen contour drawings I had made before.
The subject matter I most often use in my drawings consists of hands. The concept behind this is that hands are a strong indicator of feeling, whether it be calm, tense, open, closed, etcetera. hands can be an important source of information, whether it’s interpreting an emotion or conveying an idea. I became interested in this concept in my teens, during a time in which conveying how I felt or thought through words was very difficult. I became enamored with hands and how communication can occur through gesture alone.
The importance of people and their roles in society are of great interest to me. Within our society the idea that certain individuals are held higher than others is the most interesting of others, usually based off of the privileges they have such as money, class, respect from others that not everyone gets. The ideas of our current societal norms paired with expectations are fascinating to me and how we as humans begin to react to them is something I enjoy including in my work. I am a designer, an innovator, artist and creator of things. I focus on the digital world of creating but 3 dimensional beings have always been something that will grab my eye. Using these ideas with geometry and dynamism is what I find when looking to create.
I use photography to start the creations of my digital illustrations. This imagery, creating a focal point and then accompanying it with geometric shapes is something that feels natural to me. Along with these ideas, I like to create pattern with textures and shapes, this helping the central theme. The use of positive and negative space shows through as well when it comes to my work. The shapes geometrically are simplistic but the composition is not as it could be said to be busy and chaotic. For example my work consists of a central figure or focus such as a person that is surrounded by varieties of shapes and movement.
Influences of the world are present. For me specifically, I draw inspiration from the Art Deco movement, specifically the architect William Van Allan who is best known for his work in the Chrysler Building in Manhattan, NY. The detail, pattern and line curvature as well the pattern and consistency of the design all are something that I find interesting and aesthetically pleasing. Other influence from that time are graphic designers Leo Marfurt and AM Cassandre. Constructivism and it’s use of shapes is also something I find highly intriguing such as the artist El Lissitzsky. As well as drawing inspiration from the past, I also find it in the present of the works by street artist turned graphic designer Shepard Fairey who came to fame by doing the Obama Hope poster as well as painter Kehinde Wiley and his use of color and pattern. These visual inspirations connect to me by their use of color, shapes and pattern. Kehinde Wiley is a painter that visually, the work isn’t compatible in style to the other examples but the use of pattern can be aligned to be similar as the use of pattern in the Art Deco examples. Naturally I am drawn to primary colors, their monochromatic difference within their color and how the colors work when put against one another. How these colors play off each other as well as how strongly they can stand alone is something I think lends itself to the theme of the people I am so interested it in the bigger picture; strong and individual but when put together intense and powerful.
For me, creating art is a way to escape, a way to free my mind. Being able to design and then build my design with my own two hands is very satisfying and calming. Having the skills to create something that someone can actually use and or wear, I think is an amazing skill to acquire and have.
The work that I produce doesn’t always have a specific meaning or concept behind the creation. I mainly focus on the new skills and techniques that I have learned and put them forward to create something both aesthetically pleasing and functional. In doing this, it is a sort of escape. When I create something i want the viewer to be able to have a connection with it and decide for themselves what it means to them.
Happy Family Company was inspired by the people I meet on mission trips I take every two years. It is a wonderful experience that I encourage everyone I meet to partake in. Although mission trips are usually emotionally exhausting, overall the mood I experience is happiness. There is happiness within the families, as well as excitement and joy when they see our team. I revisit old friends and make new ones. My Jamaican friends are positive people who do not dwell on what they do not have.
This is the inspiration I wanted to capture in my brand. My brand was targeted to be positive and upbeat propaganda with a personal touch. I used this color scheme to grab viewers attention through bright colors, and to convey happy vibes.
Two of my greatest inspirations for graphic design is Stefan Sagmeister and Louise Fili. Sagmeister often uses hand lettering as well as strong complementary colors, such as black, white, and yellow. In his shows he has a strong branded feeling, which is what I wanted to capture. Fili has beautiful, elegant hand-lettering that is also associated in a brand.
Hand-lettered and hand-drawn is an important detail of my branding. I feel like this was a nice compliment to the sanserif typography and helped the words stand out. The hand drawn elements were created to be a balance between the use of photography, webbing and animation.
This brand was created to be experienced from screen to print, I wanted the animation of “Happy Family Company” to strongly suit the happy and light nature of the brand. The commercial it comes alive in was made to highlight the joy of the children, I wanted the viewers to visually see and hear the excitement of the children.
I am very interest in the idea of the body in my work. I’m attracted to the idea that the body is more than just a vessel that we exist in. The way we see ourselves, the way the world sees us, and the way we are told to see the world. It’s all about how we connect to people and the unpredictability of the lives that we live. Each day that life could be taken and that moment of fleeting unsureness peaks my interest. My work focuses on what we have been conditioned to believe about body image and they hand we are dealt with. I aim to challenge the viewer to embrace their own body and every flaw or perfection we have that makes each of us different. I feel that the ability to make something out of nothing and share a piece of you with someone else is a rare moment of vulnerability.
I work mainly in ceramics as a functional/conceptual potter. I enjoy making little clay figurines that emulates the idea of body issue. I think the female body is exceptionally beautiful.The softness of the curves and the long lines of the female body are things that I am interested in and can incorporate into ceramics. A lot of my art has faceless figures so that the subject of the piece is someone that could be anyone or all of us. I feel that this connects the viewer to my art and makes them think deeper about themselves. I’m attracted to very round and curved lines that to me represent a sort of softer quality of humanity, but then I challenge this softness with the harsh realities of life.
My functional work focuses more on how the viewer interacts with my pieces. The relationship between the hand and the mug or bowl to me directly relates to a handshake or an embrace. It’s about the physical interactions that we as people need to be thriving members of society that fuels my functional work. I can have this very personal connection between me the artist and the viewer/receiver because at some point I am physically touching and handling the clay. Then translate that to when the viewer is holding the work there is this almost intimate interaction as if a friend was comforting another. All of this, figurines and functional work, relates back to the unpredictable vulnerability that we as people have in the connections we make.
My art is apart of who I am. Each piece is personal, thought about, made with my own two hands. I take great pride in all the things I make, like most people I had always signed my art to make a claim on its origin. With these new pieces I am taking a new approach on my leaving my signature, I am instead leaving my physical mark on each piece. When I made these pieces I was mainly considering passing them on, either gifting or selling, and how my audience and consumers would connect me to the art. So to make my pieces more personal I embed marks and make each piece by hand, no potters wheel. All these pieces encompass marks or fingerprints left on their surfaces, I call them my purposeful prints. The marks are all decorative and thought about, but mainly made to carry myself on with each piece
I connected to Aesop’s Fables through the stories they tell and how they communicate the morals they represent; in my own life, and the lives of every reader. They are a reflection of morals that we collectively believe in, so the lessons learned can be applied universally. I want the reader to take something with them as they finish these stories, whether that be questioning their surroundings or themselves. Thinking of the readers, my choice of style, color, layout, text, and presentation were all designed to help keep them engaged and easily relatable.
In order to make these age-old stories feel fresh and more relatable to readers across generations, I created a modern, illustrative style. Using influences from extremely well known cartoon-like styles from Hayao Miyazaki, Rebeca Sugar, and Bryan Lee O’Malley ,it made the characters approachable; connecting a hint of familiarity and a dash of quirkiness to the stories. Pushing the stylization of the character’s emotions and gestures made them visually interesting and fun.
The text is hand-written to create a more personal feel and the layout in the stories are consistent so the reader will know where the text and illustration will always be located; giving the text a more grounded feel. The individual book covers all have designated colors that symbolize the characters and the lessons they learn. While the larger collective book cover is simple line art with the text popping from a distance.
Every choice I made was to help grab the reader’s attention, give a fresh and familiar feeling to the stories, and make them relatable. This bridged the gap between age-old stories and a new generation of readers. As a result, these universal stories can continue to be retold and passed down in a refreshing way but keep their morals and traditions of storytelling intact.
Currently my primary art making is very corporate, as the field of study I’m hoping to enter has a very corporate atmosphere. It may be that the art of Graphic Design does seem to lend itself to more distant and less intimate art making and I believe that may be what attracted me to it in the first place. Although, in the previous semester I did take steps towards making my art more individual by choosing subjects that I am interested in personally and not just classical figures that are generally interesting to other people. In the coming semester I am forcing myself to take a much more intimate approach to art through an independent study, the concentration of which being deeply personal and difficult to keep at arms length.
Even in the past, my art has not been very emotionally driven, instead covering overarching classical themes that tend towards universal concepts, as opposed to expressing a personalized narrative. Its because of this distance that the subject of my show was as far removed from myself as possible. I made an art exhibit about an aquarium that doesn’t exist.
Artist Statement for "Fixed" Eagle Upper Gallery, 2017
When I was a child Band-Aids could fix anything. From cuts and scrapes to broken toys, they were a cure all to my childhood. But as I grew older I realized they really couldn’t fix anything at all, if anything they could be a bit of a hindrance.
"Fixed" is a satirical commentary about that childlike naivety that I once, and I’m sure many others, felt once upon a time. In this exhibition, I use striking photographs to emphasize the fragility of life while equating each of them to a different country wide issue we all face, as adults, and as Americans. Each issue greatly effects are current lives and our future and yet many people choose to ignore or throw aside these issues thinking someone else will take care of it, or it’s not my job to handle it. Much like the view many have in regards to the roadkill alongside the road.
Aristotle once said that “the aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”. To me this means that we do not create art in order to show the objects or subject matter as is, but instead to show what the subject matter means to us or how we interpret it. The work that I create isn’t necessarily representational. Instead it takes a more abstract form of the object that I’m trying to interpret.
When it comes to making my work, I enjoy exploring the use of line and value so the image demonstrates a more three-dimensional look. Different textures, cross hatching, exploration of patterns are all important to me. I am very interested in psychology, which was my minor. The theme of my more current art is exploring psychological disorders and phobias. I am drawn to this because I want to make people more aware about these disorders. When it comes to my art making I don’t really have any artists who inspires my work. My work which is primarily abstract/ non-objective art, comes mainly from the things that interest me. Again relating back to the theme of my show which is psychological disorders/phobias. This is something that really is important to me and makes me want to make art. Not only was it my minor, but it is also the career path I hope to pursue later in life.
Assisting individuals through art therapy, is the career path of my choice. I believe that art can be something that can help others heal and gives others a voice that they may not necessarily have on their own. I want to use art, and help other people create art in order to heal themselves.
Having a Self is like having an intimate relationship with someone you’ve known since you were young and yet feeling like you know nothing about them. I’m catching glimpses of who I am and who I might become but it’s capturing what my identity is now, in the present moment, that is the most difficult. Studying the Self isn’t an easy thing because it’s constantly changing, but to me that keeps it more interesting.
It’s challenging to get to know oneself through an introspective discussion, alone. Having that experience can be a very staggering reality, as questioning the Self and what makes you an authentic being in your own regard, can cause mental unrest. Many might fear even attempting to have this intimate experience and wouldn’t know where to begin. Socrates once said “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Interrogating yourself is a beautiful and painful experience that induces change in how you perceive your life. Painting is how I communicate to an audience to see the fruits of questioning my metaphysical presence, how I perceive my life.
I am inspired by the intimacy and honesty of artists whose works allow us to peer inside the individual. Jean-Michel Basquiat has always been an influence to my work with his use of symbolism and social commentary to give deeper insight to the truth of an individual. Basquiat’s use of crowns and halos turned the artist into a symbol within his work, and I want to experiment with this idea further. Studying the Self led me to discover Bryan Lewis Saunders’ work of daily self-portraits. Taking on the task to create a self-portrait every day for the rest of your life, is an inspiring level of getting to know one’s Self.
There is an immeasurable amount of experience waiting to be painted by my Self. Every work captures a different moment, a different glimpse, and a further understanding of who I am. I aim to model through my paintings how people can become more honest with themselves and start creating relations to their Self, bringing their experience to the table while walking away with a new one. Hopefully through this process of intimacy and honesty they will grow closer and more accepting of the understanding of their own Self.
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