What art do you identify with?
That's an intriguing and potentially self-revealing question. My own eclectic portfolio is interpretive and process-driven. Frankly, I'm so in awe and appreciative of other's process, I enjoy works across the gambit. Sometimes I'm intimidated by works with intricacy and other times am inspired by bold simplicity. In my home I have Asian, Indian, and Indigenous pieces. So I suppose, to put a finer point on it, it would be best to express what I don't care for. That's traditional “fine art” that attempts to replicate with exactness, that which we have been indoctrinated for ages is the standard for “real art”. I DO have a camera and copier if I need that. They didn't have either in The Renaissance, for example. I appreciate the effort, but it tells me more about the subject matter than the artist themselves.
Do you have a favorite type of media to work with?
Since the pandemic's forcing the closure of the workspace I was using for most of my mixed media work, I've gravitated toward line art, digital photography and manipulation. Pandemic restrictions forced adaptation, but that is not necessarily a bad thing; rather a natural process.
What is your favorite piece (if you have one), and why?
My favorite mixed/found media piece is called “She Subdues The External Chaos.” It was described recently for the Public Art Exhibitions & Collections Specialist for the Regional Arts & Culture Council thus: “...not on canvas, but rather a reclaimed, vintage canvas-board attached to the original frame. A 3D representation of a feminine warrior is centered over a field of Pollock-esque chaotic colors. She and her sword are silver in color to represent the purity of a mindful, meditative, focused state-of-mind, and the overall value of historical female figures who proved themselves valiant, virtuous, and victorious in chaotic times.” Made of 100% reclaimed materials, it celebrates my own various “victories” by discovering my own inner truth through my mindfulness practice.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you!
A personal story that has become family lore is simply called, “Second Base.” It predates the film version of Jean Shepherd's “A Christmas Story” and exemplifies and amplified my disdain for bullies of all stripes.
I was the new kid at school, struggling to fit in and yearning to be a part of the daily kickball game. However, the playground power-mogul, Diabolical Diane, asserted her dominance in the pecking order and mine at the bottom by demanding that I, “Go find something to mark second base.”
Dutifully, with glimmer of hope, I scanned the barren field, meandering off. Head to the ground, I saw nothing but dirt and despair as my desperate heart begged the heavens to provide something, just one thing to prove my worthiness and earn inclusion. Then I saw it. Manna from heaven. I'd play the avenging angel and Diane would experience a “Come to Jesus” moment. Feeling self-righteous power surging through my little fourth-grade body, I leaned down among the dirt-clods, retrieving my gift from the God of The Tormented & Patron of The Oppressed. Placing my treasure behind my back, I returned to home-plate.
“Find something?” she laughed. I nodded. “Give it to me,” she demanded with hand outstretched. Into her hands I placed a chalky pile of petrified dog-dodo. Diane's scream of terror became a thing of schoolyard legend. I thus earned inclusion into The Game.
What is your biggest barrier to being an artist? How do you address it?
Currently, I'm aware that I've internalized & adopted others' expectations... whether they are familial, cultural, or societal; behavioral, academic, or religious. In doing so, I also realized that I can never live up to those idealized standards. When I honor my own art-making process as an organic, needful and unique means of self-discovery, I'm always much more sated with and excited by the work. To set aside what others think, feel, and expect, allowing an individual work to have it's own say is a spiritual process. The only barriers to this spiritual experience are formed by the religious dogma of expectations, delineations, and criticism driven by a lack of appreciation for the divine nature and purpose of creativity.
How do you make sure you have time to create art?
You might as well ask, “How do you make sure you have time to breathe?” For me, art-making is an integral part of my wellness regimen. It feels as awkward not to be creating in some way, than it does to not fasten my seat-belt or not take the fistful of supplements (and a couple prescriptives) in the morning. . . or not to dream a dream. It has taken years to truly appreciate, but I think constipated creative expression is as detrimental to one's well-being as sleep deprivation. Just as a toddler gets cranky at nap-time, I sense the need to start or revisit a project when I get cranky, too.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“It is what it is”
Any plans for the future?
During the summer of 2022, I was recruited to be a Community Cohort Member for a for a fledgling NPO tasked to level the balance of power in the area of consumer justice by educating and advocating in and for marginalized communities.
Historically, as I indicated, I'm intolerant of bullies... on the playground or in corporate boardrooms