Entry Six - "Big Puzzle" [August 2019]
A period of color and bright, beaming growth. I am so enamored with creating a new life Baltimore and facing challenging creativity. Despite the juggling of four different jobs this summer things are starting to ease up, and I'll soon have some time to focus on spreading out in other mediums, as well as honing in on making some prints. The BMA is a 9 minute walk from my house, and artists like Kara Walker have been stuck in my head for the past week or so. Really makes me want to paint again, or at least draw more consistently. My big 3 right now: Agnes Grochulska, Henrik Aa. Uldalen, and Stefano Altamura (Seattle based painter and also dance photographer). Of course I'm always looking for more screenprinting inspiration, and I just bought a beautiful new print from Dave Kloc. (Did you hear? I have four jobs now so I'm loaded! Hahaha just kidding.)
I'm also listening to Renata Zeiguer, when I haven't been in a music rut. Everything is really... good, and there's a sweetness in the air, as well as an unbelievable amount of uncertainty in where I'll be in the fall. But that's part of what makes me feel so free - that I have a choice. For now, it's all starting to fit.
Entry Five - "Being There" April 2019
There are often moments this year where I've felt totally debilitated, creatively speaking, as well as emotionally (and even physically, though I think this could be avoided if I stopped crashing my bike into things). Academically, I've struggled with flying inside the constraints. At times I've let my ego get in the way of personal growth and development, and by narrowing myself into stubborn corners I forget that I'm still learning, and actually a very naive artist. It's interesting trying to exist in that space between artist and designer. Reasons for compositional decisions come from concept as opposed to client, and yet they interweave in terms of trying to communicate something, anything.
In the end I'm grateful to have professors that challenge me, despite the emotional angst that I've vented out to my peers. I hope I haven't taken this time for granted.
All things are well, with my relationship/s, with my family and with my friends. I guess that's what makes my internal struggle with finding out what I'm communicating in art so difficult and isolating. It's good that there's some discomfort though, I think that's where most good things (creative revelations, athletic achievements, the best relationships) are generated.
I hope in these next couple weeks I can let go of my ego and dig in to what my professors seek to get out of me. And by May 23rd this giant bruise on my thigh will have formed into just a slight discoloration to match my blue graduation dress. Discomfort, or Type-2 Fun, allows for the best stories, and the most human experience.
Pinterest has become essential to this process. Feels like more of a layered collaboration than solitary state of grey cubicle.
Entry Four, what we have (to change): March 2019
Lucius, Hop Along, and Caroline Rose have been big influences lately, as well as the work of artists Ryan Tippery, Dave Kloc, Gabriella Sanchez, Hank Willis Thomas and Jessica Gatlin. I’m finding that I can’t ignore being attracted to rich typography and bright colors, and delving further into that, especially in screen printing, has revealed truths in terms of taste and style. Of course I’m always trying to limit the “comedic” side of my work in order to be taken seriously, yet the dozens of lucha libre photos always make their way into my pinterest board. It’s interesting overlapping in fine art and design, only to go to improv practice two hours later and pretend to be someone named Dave Blinkin, the inventor of the mealiest apple on the planet. How do I separate these, and why do I? Despite this, I’m trying to accept the genuine moments and reveal a sense of self awareness.
This period has been wildly productive, I’ve been making more than I ever have, blazing through sketchbooks and working late into the night alone in the studio. Of course it’s heinous but it’s also fun (most of the time) and I have a strange energy that is usually reserved for the warmer months. Maybe I’m just in love with these last moments of school, and my friends, and riding my bike at midnight through College Park. Nostalgia for the present I suppose. While I am so happy to be where I am I also can’t wait for the real fun to begin, entering the next chapter of my life.
Entry Three, EXPLOSION! DISARRAY! CHAOS! October 2018.
Have I said it enough? What a time to be alive, and a YOUTH no less! Hehe. Just kidding. I do slightly feel like I'm riding my bike at 60mph and just crashing into signposts left and right and for some reason I'm just sticking with this totally ridiculous speed that will ultimately end in injury. And (non-metaphorically) it has. I've been on and off sick for the past two weeks and have this totally bizarre stress knot on my back that looks like it could initiate a plot to a really bad science fiction movie (oh and also I actually crashed my bike in real life).
That being said, life at this speed is pretty fun. You see more, you do more. Maybe this desire is fueled by my latest inspirations, fast moving, energetic artists like Ralph Steadman, Raymond Pettibon and Molly Crabapple, and also music like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Joy Again. Art and music that feels improvised in form, and often the results are surprisingly bizarre and beautiful.
Despite the chaotic state of the work/play environment, there are times for true and honest relaxation, running has become a good friend to me and I hope once this illness is gone for good I can get back to where I once was. There is also great nurture in my College Park home, which I feel I've mentioned before but I can't express enough how lucky I feel. This weekend we hosted an improv show and somehow crowded 40+ people into our living room to watch college kids play make pretend on a Saturday night. I was reminded of how people just want to be entertained, to be told a story.
Whatever I look for in a career it will be something along these lines, of communicating good design yes but most importantly to tell a story.
When going down a pinterest worm hole this month I found this old travel journal that communicated just in small hieroglyphs. I think artists, designers and writers, myself especially, focus too much on what is there than what isn't, which is usually more interesting, that negative space.
I don't remember this improv scene but I did fall off my bike one hour before these were taken, and it looks like I'm dealing with the ptsd from that accident onstage. Hey man we all cope differently. Photos courtesy of Sarah Sykora
Entry Two, jumping the ship. September 2018.
Fall came with a crash and a bang! The past few weeks I’ve had trouble sleeping because I’m afraid I’ll miss something if I close my eyes even for a second. I’m trying to battle the oncoming grey hues of winter with bright colors in my work and in the music I’ve been listening to, but I’m afraid the dullness is inevitable.
Despite the busyness of this semester I’ve found comfort in doing improv, cooking with my roommates, and finding movies and illustrations that make my heart skip. Lille Carré is a great influence, her work is bright and sort of unhinged, sort of like the music of The Go! Team.
Though I love working with motion graphics I can’t deny the debilitating energy looking at a screen for 6 plus hours takes out of me, so as always, I’m really grateful for the time I spend away from the screen, whether it’s in screen printing class or running around the lake. I’m trying to pay attention to what my mind and body needs.
Maintaining focus in a sea of disorder
Entry One, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. August 2018.
Hoping this space will be an all-inclusive space, maybe for my process sketches and illustration or other self-promotional stuff; or maybe a space to notice progress as an artist, seasonal change, etc. Ah, whatever works.
Part of the reason I want to start this portion of the site was to have some sort of blog/writing space (ehem, without having any audience interaction). I've wanted to give myself the opportunity to write publicly for a while now, even if it's just speaking into the void, it's vital to participate in the digital age.
I was also hoping to have some way to document, to collect in a way of hyperlinking instead of clipping cool typography out of a newspaper [Not that these methods are lesser than].
In the past month or so I've been scanning different artists all over digital forums like Awwwards to Instagram, from designers, tattoo artists Julio Betancourt to painters Zio Ziegler, Kylie Akia to cartoonists Dylan Balliet, Polly Nor.
I've really been into looking for artists who sample, whether that be in music or visual collage, layering elements seems to be the most powerful form of narrative. I'm optimistic for the fall; getting back to some sort of work ethic again after a summer of indulgences.