How would you describe your artistic style?
My style includes the use of different mediums, which usually include scratchboard work as well as oils and acrylics. Sometimes I let these mediums overlap, sometimes I separate them, but I am always looking for ways to challenge myself. It is important for me to continuously find ways to present new and exciting changes to my work, and to approach my work like it’s a problem or equation I need to solve. If I feel that something has become easy to accomplish, then I lose interest and pride in my work, so I’m always looking for new techniques to learn. I approach a lot of different areas in my life in a DIY manner; and often I find myself thinking, ‘why spend money on that if I can do it myself?’ This approach has naturally found it’s way into my art, which has led me to experiment in woodworking and construction. I’ve built and made my own frames, I’ve created unique and custom cutouts, and I’ve even experimented with making my own scratchboards. So in a lot of ways my work is explorative and experimental. I try to do as much of my work from scratch as possible, so that every element of the piece can be seen as included as the work of art. The biggest challenge I find is trying to combine these styles and to make my work cohesive, though I feel I’ve been gradually getting better at meeting that goal. I have always drawn and painted faces, and I spend a lot of time trying to convey a mood or an emotion through the figures I use. I also enjoy using my work at times to challenge it’s viewer, whether if it’s to make them laugh, to evoke some sort of emotional response, or even to make them uncomfortable. This is something I believe I try to do consistently throughout my work, regardless of the medium I use.
What attracted you to scratchboard work?
I’ve enjoyed experimenting in the past with print making techniques, including linocut and etching, and to me it seemed that scratchboard was a logical next step. I find the incredible amount of detail it allows me to work with to be very satisfying. I can be a bit obsessive in my work, and scratchboard is a medium that allows me to work pretty meticulously. I also love that you can create texture and depth depending on the type of scratch you make. It can be a fairly challenging medium to work with; completing a scratchboard piece always feels to me like solving a puzzle.
What inspires you to create art?
There has never been a time that I can recall where I have not felt as though I have needed to create. Whether it be through visual art, music, writing, or any other way, I’m always creating. Of course I’m also inspired by the work I see around me, and by seeing what other artists are able to do. When I see a piece of work by another artist that completely blows me away, it motivates me to aspire to make my work better and better.
What do you enjoy most about the Postcard Show?
It’s such a great way to get original pieces of art out in such an affordable format, and it’s pretty exciting to be able to show alongside so many talented people who are at different stages of their careers. It’s because of group shows like these that I’ve been able to experiment with my own style, get feedback, and to meet so many other artists. I’ve seen a lot of passion and hard work go into curating the Postcard Show, and I really applaud the dedication I’ve seen from Paulina (curator) and Nichole (former co-curator).
How do your postcards reflect the theme of ‘transformation?’
Lately I’ve found myself creating contrasting pieces, so some of the pieces I’ve completed might have an opposite piece, or at least an alternative twin. I did this with the six pieces I entered into the Postcard show, as they are actually divided into three sets of 2. The pairs reflect the theme of transformation by contrasting or juxtaposing living creatures with their underlying physical structure and future decomposed forms.
Why is art important for society?
In University, I majored in psychology and minored in visual arts. I had wanted to combine these studies in the hopes of working eventually as an Art Therapist. Though this is no longer a career path I am seeking to pursue, it is still something I am very interested in. I believe art has been used in many ways, to connect people, to create community, to convey messages, to tell stories, and sometimes to express ideas where words might fail. I like to think that it inspires people to explore their own meanings and to become aware of how they react to visual stimuli. I also think it’s also people to approach art as something not to be passively consumed but as something they can interact with by adding to it their own meanings and experiences. I hope for it to inspire people to then find their own way to create, in whatever form that might take.
'Storytellers' (as featured in my solo show 'Scratch' at Hot Art Wet City) Photo courtesy of the artist.
Endings (as featured in my solo show ‘Scratch’at Hot Art Wet City) Photo Courtesy of the artist.