Saturday, October 8, 2011

1. Found on Pinterest. 2. Overexposed nature 3. My inspiring soon-to-be sister in law, Elizabeth 4. Brent 5. Shanna Murray's decal 6. Miss Kenzlie Balboni 7. My tools in Flagstaff 8. Thanksgiving
Font: RNS Camelia Tape brushes: Keep Waiting

This was hard for me. When you've spent a few years neglecting your creativity it can be rather difficult to use that side of your brain again. The period of time spent neglecting it, and the experiences & people that forced me out of the lapse in my life as an artist are exactly what inspired this collage. It also embodies some of my thoughts on the lesson "Being an Original". Some of these photos are literal, some are mere reminders of an event or day or person.

My hiatus from art began after my senior exhibit in college. Preparing for the show was exhausting and made my eyeballs want to pop out. Not to mention the persistent cramp it gave my right hand, and twitch of my eyelid. I was all too glad for the non-art related jobs that came after moving to Mississippi. Even by the time I followed my fiance, Brent (4) to the dry climate of Arizona (1) I was beginning to yearn for the feel of graphite meeting paper (7 - more on that one later). It wasn't until a couple of things happened in Arizona that I reopened my eyes and began to explore my artistic self again.

My artistic self. What a strange thought to consider myself an artist. It sounds like many of my classmates feel the same. Why is it that a cook is a cook, a homemaker a homemaker, a nurse a nurse, but an artist feels an oddness about considering themselves qualified to be an "Artist"? Many jobs and specialties require little in the way of certifications or qualifying tests. Even after attending art school I feel unqualified. I've experienced countless insightful critiques, I've sold art, and I know that art is in my blood. I can't escape it for long. I can't live without it. So when will I become an artist? I've decided that I begin calling myself an artist today.

When I moved to Arizona I began feeling suffocated by corporate jobs and boredom. I needed more and I turned to blogs, talented friends, and my own creativity to give me direction. I was inspired by people like Shanna Murray (5) who didn't know that teachers had told me the straightness of your line was important. I began to see artists all over the internet who didn't care that their portrait had an oddly placed ear, or the nose was a touch too long. I realized that in order to be happy and true to myself that I was going to need to break a lot of habits. I started tearing down the walls that had held me back and made me feel like I couldn't fulfill my own artistic desires. I took a trip to Flagstaff (7 again) where I sat in a coffee shop and drew things I never would have drawn before. I began underexposing photographs on purpose. I enjoyed the tone it suggested. On Thanksgiving (8) I designed a tablescape inspired by the likes of Sweet Paul. I proved to myself that my artist's touch could change everything I did. It wasn't long after that I photographed my best friend's baby, Kenzlie on a whim (6). The session was a delight and I began to overexpose some photographs as well. I learned the importance of natural light in my photographs. I was one step closer to knowing one of my photographic styles.

Even after all of those eye-opening experiences, I still struggle opening my art to the public eye. I shy away from taking photographs in front of others, and hide my drawings. Sometimes I feel like my art is too disjointed. Too scatterbrained. My original goal in taking this class was to find a very clear and narrow niche. It turns out, I knew my niche all along. Now I need to give myself more room to create. More room to fail. Elizabeth (3) made me realize that it's okay to whip out my camera and photograph with abandon. I need to remember that as I attempt to give into this class and the lessons it will provide me, both intended and accidental.