How did you get started doing what you do?
For as long as I can remember, I have felt the need to make art. I identified as a “painter” for a very long time. However, during an influential studio visit, I was encouraged to explore collage which eventually led to dabbling in book arts. Growing up, my creativity was also thoroughly supported, which I am ever so grateful for.
How would you describe your creative style?
Quirky humor with a tinge of nostalgia.
What’s your inspiration?
Primarily and most immediately, I am inspired by images of the past. I consistently find myself entranced by historical imagery, curious about the lives/stories of the people they depict. At its core, my work remains an exploration of this curiosity. Through painting, I emphasize the character (or what I imagine to be the character) of the people momentarily yet immortally captured in a reference photograph. Through collage, I narrate by displacing a subject’s timeframe.
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
The paintings take me a lot longer than the collages. I think I get more finicky about the paintings. Paintings usually take a couple months while I can finish some collages in a day.
How do you keep motivated?
Working on multiple pieces at a time keeps me motivated. If I am feeling stuck or like a piece needs to rest, I make sure to have something else to work on in the meantime. Then there is researching the reference material which both inspires and motivates me.
How have others reacted to your work?
People consistently respond to the humor within the work, which makes me very happy. For those seeing the works in person for the first time, the small size can be unexpected.
What do you want others to take away from your work?
I want my work, especially the collages, to plant the seed of a narrative for the viewer. While I very much enjoy when viewers connect with the humor in the work, I ultimately want the work to start a narrative which the viewer can continue to imagine.
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Explore more! As a younger artist, especially while in graduate school, I was far too concerned with how to explain my work rather than just making the work. The luxury of an MFA program really is the time to create and I wish I spent that time thinking more and hesitating less. Now that I have embraced the intuitiveness of my process, I create more freely. Once it is made, I find meaning within the work. However, for my own work, I feel it speaks for it’s self and less is more in terms of explaining it.
What are your thoughts on art school?
I went to an MFA program after having had an incredible and unique undergraduate experience at Sarah Lawrence College. SLC focused on education as a process of learning how to learn which I consider invaluable. When I got to art school, I found the program surprisingly homogeneous in comparison. In my experience, art school was more about adhering to a specific school of thought rather than finding oneself as an artist. Still, attending art school was an important factor in my personal growth as an artist because through advocating for it, I solidified my desire to continue making the work that I do.
What’s your dream project?
I would love to make a massive yet very detailed and intricate collage installation which would cover the four walls of a space. Ideally, the piece would be accessible to it’s audience, but would require time to view and would necessitate a thorough examination of the space. I am currently working on this project on a small scale in my studio, but the intention/ dream is to have the opportunity to make it on a very large scale.
What art supplies do you use?
Canvas, oil paint, pencil, an embarrassing amount of paper, scissors, glue sticks, found photographs and antique picture frames.
What’s your process like?
I have a very intuitive process- the people in my collection of photographs belong with others, they jump to join each other even if they must travel through time to do so. My process is also a playful process. The subjects of my work seem to have their own narrative, merely nudged by the artist’s hand.