What Art Reveals

Oy vay, 8 1/2″ x 12″, ink on paper

Oy vay. That’s how I feel right now. I’m facing one of the biggest opportunities to appear thus far in my life, and I have to fess up: there’s a part of me that keeps having the thought…I wish it would just go away.

I wish I didn’t have to somehow finish a dozen paintings in three weeks. I wish I didn’t have to create this installation piece entirely from scratch. I wish I didn’t have to figure out exactly what I’m trying to say with all this stuff I’m making. I wish I could just make the work and that it would speak for itself.

Therein lies the catch I am discovering about being an artist. The creative life encompasses more than just making things. You have to be aware of and, to some degree, understand the questions and foci that make up your vision. I suppose one could just make something aesthetically appealing and hope that people are drawn in. Often times they will be (the magical mystery that is Thomas Kinkade?). But I want to make work that goes deeper, that knows itself, that has something to say and says it clearly. After all, when I make art and put images in the world, I am demanding that people take time out of their lives to pay attention to what I have to say. I guess the feeling I have right now is, “It better be good, girl.”

Gasp, 8 1/2″ x 12″, ink on paper

I have a lot of ideas about what my art is about: synesthetic experience, memory, emotional discomfort, the desire to allay that. I also have this fear: what if, above all else, my art reveals that I am young, and confused, and doubtful that I will ever be anything else?

Maybe that is my vision. Maybe all I really want to create is a space for that to be okay. For myself, and for everyone else too.

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