In Process: The Artist Statement

by | Sep 12, 2021

I am currently in the process of putting together a new set of images for a small book titled “The Beginning, The Middle, The End.”  Accompanying my images will be short essays and an artist statement.  As practice, I’ve been dabbling in creative writing about creativity and art; using Julia Cameron’s “The Artist Way” to guide me through this introspective deep dive into the right side of my brain.

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I’ve been asked many times, “Why is your art so creepy?”

But I ask the viewer, “What is art supposed to be?”

The idea of ‘art’ is a manmade construct. We develop certain expectations, based on our own individual backgrounds and experiences, and choose to engage or surround ourselves with this or that. We embellish our bubbles with what is appealing and what makes us happy. Is any of this necessary for survival? No. Do those who surround themselves with more art live longer, happier lives? Ask the starving artist.

Throughout history, the purpose and definition of ‘art’ has been used and transformed on so many different levels, so many times. At times, art was used solely for religious purposes. Other times, only the privileged few could afford to dabble in the arts. Funny how the natural progression of things made its way to the artist being referred to as a ‘starving artist’.

Is art the final product; or is it, the process of? Is art judged by its final product; or is it judged by the process of? This is all so subjective, and again based on background and experience. An artist’s life consists of being influenced, finding a process, creating a final product, and rehashing processes in search of the best ones possible. Can a non-artist person relate to that? I couldn’t answer that myself.

Everything I’ve accomplished thus far in my life, artistic and otherwise, has been possible because I have so much experience with process. I didn’t graduate high school knowing what I wanted to do. My background is somewhat of a free agent on the rogue; some kind of excitable person hyper-fixated on creating things. I have notebooks, sketch pads, boxes, filled with ideas, drawings, concepts, experiments, successes, and failures in art. Process, I know all about process:
-come up with idea
-research idea
-draft idea
-attempt idea
-what can I do to make this better?
-what should I avoid next time?
-and repeat, repeat, repeat.

In every job I’ve had, every time I started a new major in college, every single time I scored straight A’s – this was the result of my experience at process, in action. The over-confident side of me has finally met its match. I have finally found myself in a situation where my self proclaimed experience with process will not help me one bit. Just like the non-artist walking into their first pottery class staring at the pottery wheel like a deer in headlights; here I stand, like a deer in headlights, about to be an aunt for the first time. Never have I ever even once baby sat. For me, there has always been a FAQ page, a knowledge base, manuals, guides, etc. How does one care for a baby, or another person even? No flipping clue, but I’m sure going to learn.
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