Thursday, January 31, 2008

Getting personal about my art

I have never really planned to write about the start of my career. In fact, most of the time this is a topic I am cautious to discuss. However this week Anne, a 14 year old girl from Northern Ireland took me on a journey down memory lane.

Wait. Before I tell you more about Anne, I have to rewind to this time last year when I worked on my media package for my first New York ARTEXPO. Part of the requirements are to submit a media package with the usual biography, resume etc. I really felt that all those boring stuff says little about my work so I decided to ask the help of a wonderful writer from Greece, Sunny Long, to help me in this. While preparing my ideas I spend nights thinking about me, my work and asking myself some very hard questions. This process really forced me to do introspection. After much thought I came to some conclusions and was able to give Sunny the information she needed to write my Informal Biography.

Now back to Anne in Ireland. Anne is a student from St. Pius X College who sent me a questionnaire for a project she is working on. It seems like interviewing or writing about artists is a popular assignment for art students since I get quite a number of questionnaires every week. However this was one of the most personal ones I ever completed. It was obvious that Anne read my Informal Bio and based her questions on that. Herewith I share some of her questions as well as some answers.

What inspired you to first begin a career in painting?
Most artists will tell you that they’ve painted or created since they can remember, and so will I. However making a crayon drawing and building your life around your art is not quite the same. In short, I have suffered from severe depression since I was 15 and had quite a few challenges come my way. During the years that fallowed I spent a lot of time in hospital and was in desperate need of a way of expression. I’ve never felt that I ‘chose’ to become an artist. Rather that art chose me.

Do you believe art can be used as a therapy?
Absolutely! I believe art is some of the best therapy methods out there. I think of it as my self-therapy keeping me in touch with sanity.

How did your motorcycle accident, at 17, contribute to your artwork?
It made me realize how fragile life is and not to take anything for granted.

How did art help you with your grief and understanding of the event?
I don't think one can ever really come to true understanding of something like that. But I do think everyone experiencing such a devastating event has to start somewhere to pick up some of the pieces and put them together. Everyone needs a form expression and not finding it causes us to build up. I believe my art has served as my outlet, my mirror and my story.

Did the betrayal by your friend (stolen diaries) encourage you to start painting... if so why?
Yes, I lost trust in using writing as an outlet and needed another.

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