In this 'space' it has become very important to me to explore what art is and what I hope to do with it. I have loved work by Andy Goldsworthy, Wols, Hundertwasser, Barnett Newman, Klimt, Motherwell, Rothko, Barney, Marsden, Picasso, Pollack. Close, Brueghel, Bosch, Corbet, Warhol, Sargent, Lewitt, Hirst, Acconci, Kapoor, Velazquez, Dali, on and on and on it goes because the influences have been so expansive.
I see my own work here now on my iPhone and I ask myself can I achieve what I loved about these artists by working this way with a smart phone and my internal response that is somewhat motherly is that I can do anything I put my heart into doing. The reality however is that perhaps it is enough just to be myself and MY art however I wish and live my life in my own time.
I have worked in pencil, paint and video along with sound in the past. With sound and video I seemed to achieve a certain level of personal and authentic artistry which culminated in a showing of a video I made called Mere (aka Dark) at The Wexner Center for the Arts. Within two years I had another video show at the same event called Lodestar. I had started to cultivate a style and a medium. I was accepted into The School of the Art Institute of Chicago for graduate study. It looked to me as though I might have to pay money, in actuality it was never quite clear how much, if any, I would have had to pay because I didn't speak further with the admission counselor and also did not apply for FAFSA. I had heard from aquaintances that you should not go to grad school unless you were paid to do so.
My thought at the time was that I should be at a level with my art where SAIC would fund me totally. Another school, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, extended a very generous offer of fully paid tuition with a stipend simply to create work. It wasn't my dream to go to that school though, I mean I couldn't see it as a part of my true inner dream at the time. I wanted to make it as a real artist and equated SAIC with that journey.
After choosing not to go to graduate school at all, my dream quickly faded. After all the work and effort and raw heart belief that I was to be, destined almost, an artist of the highest caliber, I found myself neck deep in bills ironically for an artist-style loft I was renting though making less and less artwork. I soon had a car payment and got stuck as if in a web in a corporate office call center for AAA. The work had me recording my voice over the phone everyday for two years and that corroded the safe existential harbor I had helped develop for the purity of my art making. It embarrassed me to do what I was doing because it felt as though I was going against everything I believed in FOR NOTHING! I wasn't making tons of money. I actually have technically lived in poverty my entire adult life as far as money is concerned. It was a confusing time once my ship has sailed so to speak regarding grad school and so I got sad. Then I got really sad and spiraled into depression and then full blown Depression with a big "D". My mental and emotional abilities broke down and I eventually lost my ability to even function as a member of society. This went on for several years. I became sexually promiscuous. I started smoking. I had to go into therapy and take medication. Life sucked and all of the promise of my future, the one that I had been a good person for and secretly expected to all work out had been obliterated, mutilated and drug through self shame and all around ickyness of being.
My art had gone completely away and I was now working lifeless uninspired jobs for next to no money. I moved back in with my parents during all of this and was very much a kind of lost soul zombie being drug around like a Weekend At Bernies scene. I couldn't handle buying clothes for myself on my own. At one point I couldn't drive. Life had turned into a nightmare for me. I had adverse reactions to the medications I was taking and flopped around from one therapist to the next.
I hit bottom several times, leaving my parents house for my aunt's house, leaving my aunt's house for a hotel. I was on horrible medication. I reverted to cutting myself with a small knife in the palm of my hand and knicking the outside of my forearm. I had been brought to hospitals during all of this. Somehow I eventually hit a very rock bottom and checked myself into the psychiatric ward of a local hospital. After a few days of being there (where I actually wrote a story called The Story of the Elder Fear) I was released. An out-patient program ensued at one point in there somewhere along the way which was just downright weird.
Eventually I got with a psychiatrist who helped to make something click with me and I started to very slowly get better. I spent a season during winter down in the Florida Keys recuperating. It was then that I truly started to reconnect with myself and be creative again. It was during this time when I actually created the series of work called Corporealize included here in the website that hosts The Studio.
I came back from Florida and my art was still very weak. I as a person was stronger than I had been but still very weak. I got involved with a little volunteering at some points with a regional food bank and a thrift store. Eventually I got involved with the bureau of vocational rehabilitation and was placed as a cashier with Goodwill. I worked there 2 years and was just recently promoted to manager.
I have continued to drag art along with me kicking and screaming. I made a website after making paintings in s similar style to the ones I had thrown in the garbage during my breakdown. I also began writing creatively and making some video work along with a short stint in a music project. Through my writing I developed a connection with pure soul transformation and started to stop fighting what the universe seemed to be showing me in regards mediums for art and what art is.
Now I am at a place where my art work and work at Goodwill are sharing in their development. I recently made a trip to some galleries in NewYork City and have been engaging in forums online for discussing fine art. I'm traveling again. I'm loving myself loving my work again at Goodwill and here in The Studio along with my website and more. I'm in a completely new season of my life.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!