Kerri Sullivan

:: AGE

26

:: LOCATION

New Jersey, USA

:: MEDIUM

Writing, photography

As a womxn, why do you think it is important to create?

We have a history of being excluded, which I think makes sharing our perspectives extra important. Society is greatly enriched when marginalized groups use their voices.

What is the space like that you create in?

For my writing, I work best in my room at my desktop computer. I keep my desk free of clutter and I always have a notebook open while I’m typing. I have an old-fashioned style letter board on my desk where I display quotes about creativity.

For my photography, I am endlessly inspired by places in New Jersey–my state is full of great spots to shoot. I find myself frequently drawn to bodies of water and returning to coastlines again and again to take pictures.

What do you like to listen to while you create?

I like it to be quiet. I’m pretty good at focusing and tuning out background noise, but I’ve never liked to write with a TV on or with music playing.

What is your earliest memory of making art?

I have a very vivid memory of being pretty young and sitting on the bleachers at one of my mom’s softball games with a spiral notebook. I was writing a story and using stickers to illustrate it.

Do you have any words of advice for young womxn/artist/creators out there?

Just get started.

How do you make time to create?

I have a full time day job, so it isn’t always easy to carve out time for creativity, but it’s really important to me so I do it. I write, in some form, every day, even if it’s just a few paragraphs scribbled in a notebook. Each week, I always leave at least one guilt-free evening open (no going to the gym, no dinner with friends, no plans of any kind). That’s my day to park myself in a chair for a few hours and really focus on writing.

I always have my phone with me, which means I always have a camera. I often find myself pulling over to take pictures or taking small detours to visit parks and historic sites. I also love to combine photography with exercise and go on a hike or walk on the boardwalk while keeping my eye out for interesting potential pictures.

How does your mental health affect your work?

I think the reverse of this question applies to me more: how does my work affect my mental health? Writing in particular is, I think, crucial to my survival. I know that sounds dramatic but I really do need to write about the difficult things that have happened to me in order to work through them.

 What message do you want to spread with your art?

When I write about loss or pain or the generally hard parts of life, I really do hope that my work will someday help someone with something they’re going through.

Kerri, we admire how you use your environment to inspire your work. Instead of becoming desensitized to your everyday, you find the magic in it. Thank you for sharing your writing and photography with the world.