True Life: I Make Collages

So far, things are pretty light on this blog. I figured today would be a great day to go a little deeper into some current artwork. This season my personal style/aesthetic has grown immensely, mostly by accident. Aside from making earrings, I'm a fine artist. Like a real, deep down to my bone art school attending oil painting art history studying artist. That sounds hella douchey, but there really is a difference between a craftsperson and a fine artist. For example, if you watch the TV show Making It, you will see perfect examples of highly skilled craftspeople creating accessible creative objects that appeal to the general public and bring beloved creativity to every day life. Fine Artists are in it to make conceptual art that is not quite as accessible as craft artwork but aim to make a larger ripple on culture. I'm talkin' museums, 9 hour critiques, avant garde lookin-ass people. In the middle somewhere in there are designers, who are also high concept but high accessibility as well. They put a ton of conceptual thought into the design of objects and visuals we interact with on a daily basis. [[The differences and overlaps of crafters/fine artists/designers is a rich discussion with many different positions, but for the sake of this post I'm oversimplifying considerably.]] **If you want a free pair of earrings DM me on IG and explain to me what category (or categories) you fall under: craftsperson, fine artist, or designer.

Right now, I'm feeling out the title of designer. I still use that term lightly because I'm still limited in this area [cries over online illustrator course.] I've been designing album, book covers, submitting proposals, taking on clients. It's an interesting time, def never thought I'd be here using this label. Why? Because, it's really hard. It's a different artist skillset altogether to hear a client's ideas and create something for them. Designers have a real sensitivity for the shape and feel of things. They bridge a ton of gaps at the same time and it was never, ever, ever a mindset I thought I could ever pick up.

But, somehow, via paper, I've found myself venturing into this land.

A HISTORY:

I've always been into collaging of some kind, but for the longest time could never quite put together an aesthetic that looked good. I stuck with it on the side because the act of cutting- ripping-arranging-gluing paper was satisfying on some deeper level. It's the perfect mixture of unpredictability and control. Once you cut a piece of paper there's no real going back. You can test several different compositions in a short amount of time, which is a pleasing amount of agency. But once something is glued- there's no undoing. It's do or die.

In the good ol' days, working with paper was a refreshing break from the precision I had to put into oil paintings. I'd experiment in art school, but my projects often came out looking like an awkward departure from my typical figurative painting style. Fortunately, art school is the place for experimentation, and I spent a lot of time forging ahead with all kinds of materials I wasn't quite good at. I was very motivated by the fact that my raging perfectionism made the act of painting so miserable I couldn't bear it anymore. I stopped painting altogether for many years.

Cut to a couple years ago and about two careers under my belt (education and music) and I had almost completely departed from any visual art making. I picked it up again after visiting an artist warehouse studio in Tacoma, Washington (Shout out to the Laparra's) and feeling that mysterious call from deep within to make things with my hands again. The timing was perfect, as I was utterly burnt out from overwork and poor self care habits. Making art was, and still is, extremely therapeutic. I followed that instinct to heal my burnt out brain.

At some point last summer, I gave myself a set amount time and money to experiment af. I wanted to dig in and find my next steps. I wanted to create something simple with aesthetics I was attracted to. A couple of trendy flowers, florals and greens. I looked at what was in style at the time. While I have nothing wrong with trends, there's a huge weirdo part of me that knows no matter what, I'm always going to be a little left of center. Which is wonderful, because being weird is the antidote to being a basic B. So, I thought to myself, how can I make something really beautiful, in style, and just a little bit odd? Then it hit me... GOOGLY EYES GARDENER.

I can't embed the video because NBC is particular about that. But below is the link. Googly Eyes Gardener is my favorite SNL skit of ALL TIME. Featuring Christopher Walken, and the most absurd sketch idea I have ever heard of. This sketch has always stuck with me, firmly lodged within the storage units of my soul. Goofy, absurd, phobic, deadpan. A sketch after my own heart.

https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/googly-eyes-gardener/n12229

And thus... the portraits were born. Simple, bold, colorful, floral portraits of the kind of beauty I feel on the inside, celebrate on the outside. These were the launching pad of basically everything I've done this year.

I would write some more, but my hand really hurts right now so...

<3 CATAPHANT.

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