To me, art is just something that I invest in creatively that makes me feel something. It’s so tricky to try and define capital-A Art, and it’s much easier not to think to hard about it and just focus on creating things that make me happy!
For me, art is a form of escape from real life, as cheesy as it sounds! I think it’s important to allow yourself an outlet to be as free and creative as you want, and for me, that outlet is my art. I’m in love with the idea that my art can be as frivolous, outlandish, and loud as I want it to be. It’s a way for me to keep from taking things too seriously!
It’s important for marginalized groups, including women, to put our brain-contents into the world in whatever way possible, because we haven’t always been afforded the opportunity to do so– I make art as a form of escapism, and put it into the world because I know it has the potential to reach someone else in a way that it definitely couldn’t if I hoarded it all.
I’m very inspired by music! I started @sonicblumezine, a music zine aimed to combat pretension within the music industry, earlier this year and I’m always inspired by our contributors as well as the musicians and artists that we feature. I listen to a wide variety of music and find a lot of inspiration for my conceptual work in lyrics from artists like Florence + the Machine, St. Vincent, Bjork, and Grimes. I’m also inspired by tons of other artists and photographers– Tim Walker is my favorite photographer in the world, and I also love Olivia Bee, David Uzochukwu, Lissy Laricchia, and Glenda Lissette. I found out about most of my favorite photographers/artists through Flickr when I first started taking pictures and they’ve been a huge source of inspiration for me.
I’m 18 and live at home, so I generally work in the kitchen. I don’t like to be completely alone when I create, otherwise I’d probably relegate my art-making to my bedroom floor. I like having space to spread out my supplies and be messy!
I love listening to podcasts– some of my favorites are Call Your Girlfriend and Startalk Radio. I also listen to lots of music– lately I’ve been listening to a lot of St. Vincent, Beyonce, Christine and the Queens, and PWR BTTM.
I generally will put it to the side and try to come back to it after a few days/weeks and fix it, or somehow morph it into something I can be proud of. If it’s really bad, I try my best to take note of why I don’t like it, and then throw it away.
A lot of the art that I create is freelance work, so it’s a matter of getting things done by deadlines (and thus is pretty high up on my priority list and requires less “making time”, and more of just, like, sitting down and doing the thing.) I’m working on carving out more time to create personal work, and honestly that just takes making plans with people (models, assistants, other collaborators, etc) and sticking to those plans, I think.
I remember being about six years old and my mom giving me a box to paint bright blue– I think it was for a project she was doing and I was supposed to be “helping” her– and absolutely slinging blue paint all over the kitchen ceiling. She was not too thrilled at the time, but there are still spots on the ceiling and our kitchen table that we can laugh about now.
Practice, practice, practice– ask your friends to collaborate with you, and reach out to artists that you admire and ASK QUESTIONS, because that’s the best way to learn. Also, don’t be afraid to put your work into the world/onto the internet, even if you don’t think it’s very good. One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling bad about my work is to look at the archives of some of my favorite photographers and remember that we all have to start somewhere, even if that somewhere is…not so good. I can’t imagine that archive not being there to offer me reassurance when I need it, and I think it’s super important for young artists to see that not everyone starts out as a perfect artist with a concrete aesthetic!