Art is something that I use in various ways to help me understand myself and the world better. For me, my art making is an escape from my Type A and left-brained reality of structure, organization, and minor rigidity. At a much younger age, I started out with being slightly obsessive with attempting to achieve photorealism within my work, always being drawn to portraiture. This is when I was naïve and misunderstood a lot about the world. As I’ve gotten older and have had more life experiences, I realize that a lot of life isn’t perfect, and it never was, but I wanted to believe that it was going to be or that I could create it to be. I think this stemmed from the fact that I had such a shaky childhood that seemed unusual compared to those around me and a need to make it “more realistic or normal”. My work has progressed to be much messier and more chaotic, even some parts left unfinished intentionally to document those parts of life that are just that, unfinished. In my work I use various techniques and medias including collage, acrylic paint, charcoal, pastels, inks, and other unlikely materials to create my compositions. I like to experiment with different layers and medias to see what happens when they mingle and mix into each other. The various textures, lines, and forms created direct each decision. I'm very interested in the layering of “things” within the work and enjoying the process of seeing what happens when an element is covered up or left uncovered. It's metaphorical for human life--the results of sometimes injecting new experiences or ending experiences in your life, sometimes without our control of it. The process of making the work is more important for my journey than the finished product. Experiencing and seeing the process unfold is what makes it so enjoyable, while also knowing that there are hidden meanings and elements that have been covered up by paper or ink or paint and that if these decisions wouldn't have been made, it could have taken the process [work] on a totally different path. I enjoy letting loose on the decision making and risk taking in my art since that is something that I rarely do in my own everyday life. I enjoy that I can make those decisions, sometimes good and sometimes bad, and the only consequences are possibly wasted supplies and new knowledge learned that it’s not a good idea to mix those again or to repeat that process. In life we don’t always get second chances for decisions we make. I enjoy the experimental processes that sometimes create unexpected results, similarly to how they happen in real life when making decisions daily. These results are sometimes terrible, but more likely beautiful. It’s all about perspective.
Inspiration comes in a lot of forms for me—the human condition, cultural idealism, Mother Nature, literature, etc. Usually, this inspiration guides the methods, style and type of art I make—representational or abstract or a combination. I enjoy starting with an idea or thought that has inspired me and seeing what it morphs into with the various decisions made and how all along, subconsciously and intuitively, I knew how it related to my life and experiences. Sometimes I like to document my life lessons and experiences into my work symbolically, embracing that I’m the only one that knows it’s there. I have a strong spiritual force in my life that sometimes gets hidden in my work as well. I am also inspired by poems and narratives by juxtaposing textual elements in my work next to more “traditional” art elements, like a face or other imagery for added emphasis. This is sometimes with actual pages from a book or my own writings. This brings in that “hidden element” that unless you are detail-oriented or look very closely, you may not notice.