Friday, October 11, 2013

Fruit- a link- and the first attempt at a personal statement... one of many more to come.

     As an artist who works both in clay, paint, theatrics and photography, I am increasingly challenged to slow down and work directly in each medium in order to produce readable work. I all too often loose track of my intent and my foreseeable outcome, sending the viewer a message that is more confusing then entertaining. One moment I’m trying out a dress costume, and next, I’m buying fabric for transfers while thinking of certain vegetables that would be attractive to photograph with witty slogans. And often ten ideas fall by the wayside before one manages to hold it’s head up for all to see.
     Through all of this home and school training I have found a trick to this madness that seems to pull me through; make a lot of art and don’t be afraid of breaking it. For me, visual art has so much more to do with the ability to perfect different crafts then getting the perfect concept and sticking to it. Though I am always pressured to act as a literal poet or smug philosopher. I would be much more confident in myself presenting work of good craft to a gallery with a mediocre concept then visa versa. And I think any gallery would agree. I’ve come to dwell on the fact that perhaps the ideals and expectations of art in this day and age are really hurtful in the creative process. Perhaps one forgets to enjoy making art, being so caught up in finding wittiness that really cannot be seen without a title placed conveniently next to it.
     I must go back twenty years to fully explain my argument. I remember at the young age of seven or eight sitting in my parents living room, with a drawing pad and colored pencils by my side, working on a series of pictures. This series was unique because all the drawings were the same. They were a simple picture of a house with a straw roof and wood walls. I worked on them all morning, perfecting my image and confidence in repetition.
     As I grew up, young teenager in the cold northern swamps of Floodwood, Minnesota, my parents gave me a gift that I will always thank them for! I received my first set of neatly labeled Sculpey clay. Suddenly I was an artist! I took the role of a demi god seriously and for years dwelt in clay land creating magic. This is when I began to realize that art is more then the end product. It is all about making mistakes and dealing with broken ideas. Clay is not an easy medium, especially for a girl who has no patience with details. I would more often then not cook my creations too long, set the oven to high, or make them too fragile. I began to get used to disaster after pulling out too many pans of browned beads and broken doll necks., and with my head up I would try again looking for methods to solve the situation. Over the years my hands seemed to perpetually maintain a sticky grimy feel. To this day I can still recall acutely the smell of this child’s clay. I had gained skill and confidence in repetition of my craft.
     When I turned seventeen in 2005, everything changed once more. For some random reason I was allowed to work with my mother at a local newspaper, taking pictures with a digital camera! I tagged along with her as mom did her interviews, and sheepishly snuck a snap here and there. Everyone at the newspaper was impressed with my work, and I was ‘hired’ from then as a volunteer. I soon bought my own Olympus camera continued my art addiction with it faithfully by my side.
To end this statement well, I want to encourage this generation not get to too caught up in the conceptual stage of the art making process. If you like to make something, do it! And for crying out loud do a lot of it! My hope in life is unabashedly pursue the gifts I have been given, and encourage others around me to do the same.