Most recently I’ve been making collages. They’re kind of inspired by sacred geometry. I’ve been doing a lot of symmetrical layouts which have a lot to do with my art projects recently, and a lot to do with my spirituality. I have this concept of Church of Earth- I find meaning and healing in nature.
My spiritual and creative practice are kind of the same thing. It’s hard to differentiate.
What drives you to create?
It’s a lot about processing, it’s a healing process. I’ve always had a need to express a lot of things, since I was really little I was constantly drawing or writing something and sharing these ideas. I bottle a lot of things up because I’m an introvert, people kind of need to draw things out of me. Art and writing are just a way for me to get those ideas out.
What do you think the role of art in the world is?
Our world is very practical I feel, not that art can’t have practical implications but it offers a more abstract window into our experience. You kind of see into people’s souls.
Not to be cheesy but I don’t really know how else you can do that. Seeing what people create I feel like I can understand people more, their inner-landscape.
What gives you hope?
A lot of things I think. There’s a lot to get frustrated about these days but I think people are starting to realize that we want to have more authentic-feeling lives and take better care of ourselves and each other. I really see that a lot, and it’s not the talked about thing, it’s not on the news but there are amazing things happening all the time.
It’s a really interesting time to be alive. There’s a lot of shit going down but a lot of things are growing out of that. I think that the younger generations have more of a sense of interconnectedness. I don't know if that’s because they grew up with the internet or what but I see it as we’re starting to have a more unified identity as humans and it’s exciting, to see people really opening up to who they are and sharing themselves with each other.
There’s so much pain to acknowledge to move forward.
Do you create with the idea that you’re forming a dialogue with a viewer?
I want it to be accessible. What I want to do through my art is help people realize or consider their own relationship with the earth or spirituality. I try to make things as magical as possible, draw people in and make it whimsical.
These are really heavy subjects, so I want people to feel like it’s uplifting that there are joyful and magical aspects to what’s going on. Hopefully getting people to self-reflect when they’re looking at the art.
How do you define success?
Being able to do what I love and have that be my life. Not that I hate the idea of working somewhere else in order to support doing art but not having it be a struggle, having a sense of ease that I can make art and it doesn’t have to be a problem. Being able to have a little more of a free existence and not being fast paced all the time.
What I really want is to make enough money to pay for what I have to pay for, spend some time in nature, make art, spend time with friends and just enjoy life because I think a lot of times we forget that that’s something we should do. We’re meant to enjoy with our senses. That’s what success is to me.
What are you most thankful for?
My family. Having my parents who are so supportive of basically everything I do, having that support as a platform to jump off of. People who don’t have that support might have to work a lot harder.
Also, my parents raised us to go hiking and camping all the time and that gave me a sense of why we should value nature.
What is the social responsibility of an artist?
I wouldn’t want to say that every artist has a social responsibility because everyone has different inspiration for creating, but I do think that artists have a lot of power.
If you have certain benefits in your life you can use that to lift other people up. I definitely want my art to help this movement along - to help people and heal people.
What is the power that artists have?
Opening people up to other ways of feeling. I’ve seen some art that changes the rest of my day or the rest of my week. Getting people to see things in a human way, in an emotional way. You can hear statistics about what’s going on or whatever or you can see pictures of somebody’s actual life, an actual story.
Art programs are getting cut and that’s interesting because those kinds of things bring so much joy. It’s your intuition. It’s like accessing another way of being, keep things magical.
Our lives can be sad sometimes. Art is a reminder of our human-ness, our short existence.
When did you first identify yourself as an artist?
I think at a very young age, like 5, drawing unicorns and stuff. I would make up stories and tell my mom and she would tape-record them. From the very beginning I knew I wanted to do something creative.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty. I think I would equate beauty with love. Beauty can be spending time with your family and friends. Something that is authentic and true. Getting to the essence of something.
Do you have anything else that you want to impart?
My wish for everyone whether you’re an artist or not is to believe in your own healing.
That’s been my journey in the last two years. With where we are in the world everybody has their own pain or trauma or whatever it is — but just believe you can heal yourself.