I have always described myself as an introvert who loves people. I love to problem solve and internalize my thoughts, which makes me an introvert, but for me, being around the people I love is utterly euphoric. This has guided my personal interests throughout my entire life in different ways. It is why I am drawn to art and theatre and the communities that surround the two. I love hearing people’s stories more than anything else in the world – and I love the peculiar ones. I think that this is why I have never enjoyed math or the standardized testing that goes along with it. I don’t believe learning should be constricted to awarding what is right and punishing what is wrong. We cannot learn if we do not make mistakes, and if we get punished for our mistakes, how can we advance? They are what make us individuals. As an individual, I think that my greatest skills are listening sympathetically to all stories (seriously, the weirder, the better,) and problem solving when things aren’t in my favor. Independence is also something that is very important in my life. None of these skills are perfect, by any means, but it is something that I look forward to critiquing every day.
I am a storyteller, but more importantly I am a story listener. This is something that I have not identified until recently, but I have been interested in this for my entire life. One of my favorite memories as a child was listening to my grandpa tell stories at my grandparents’ house in Northern Michigan. We would sit on the couch as my grandpa would flip through photo books of all the photos he had taken over the years. My favorites were of the times he spent with my Grandma in non-touristy parts Mexico after he had retired. There seemed to be a story attached to every one of them. However, I never viewed these as art, and he never called himself an artist. I just always appreciated it for what it was – a good memory worthy enough of a story. Now, I was not even remotely interested in art until I was a sophomore in high school. I quickly became incredibly interested in Kandinsky and the Expressionist art movement. I thought it was so interesting how stories could be told entirely without words, or even recognizable visual images. It was the first time that I really viewed art as a concept, and not just a pretty picture. This kept me interested until my freshman year of college, but I quickly become discouraged because I felt like I didn’t have personal stories worthy enough to be told through my art, which is when I found theatre. Through theatre, I quickly realized the impact and the art of telling other people’s stories. It seems that I am always attracted to the dark stories, and in particular, the darkly comic ones. You know, the ones where everyone dies, and you laugh about it. I have never been able to pinpoint why, but they seem to be the most impactful. All of this has impacted my visual art. I am deeply interested in photography and the “instant memories” that they create, but I am also interested in the abstract non-representative style of storytelling. My work is usually relatively dark, since those are the stories that I am drawn towards.
My life as an artist is an ever-growing process that I look forward to learning from. Maybe my interests will change. In fact, they most certainly will, and I will continue to articulate and respond to my process. This is something I that I looked forward to because it is my story.
Frantisek Kupka, Madame Kupka Among Verticals (detail), 1910-11
Here is a detail photo of mine of Mme Kupka Among Verticals by Frantisek Kupka that may be of interest to your readers. While not the full picture I feel it does the vibrancy of the painting more justice in terms of the more accurate colouring.
(Submitted by firstfloormetaphor)