Something Deeper

“It needs to be about something deeper,” he told me. It was my third to last studio visit before our final senior thesis show, and I was lagging behind.

Had I sheltered myself so much that I really had nothing to talk about via my work? Did I care about nothing more than color and form?

For a while… yes.

I didn’t get it. I just wanted to paint pretty pictures, and that be my life and yup. Whole story.

I didn’t realize there needed to be more to it than that. I didn’t think about what that life would look like if I had it. Over the past year or so, I’ve given that SO much thought.

And then I had to look back and shed all of the things that weren’t working… like trying to land a graphic design position with no experience in the field, or trying to score events to plan, and trying to make studio time but working full time, oh, and learning to code. I was doing too much. My family was telling me. My friends were telling me. Greg was telling me. And I was just running amok from networking events to tech classes to painting to literally running to cooking to phone calls and it was exhausting.

I did learn to code though. I’m not very good at it, but I will eventually advance the skill and put it into practice as a means of expanding what I can do digitally, artistically. It’ll be fun.

Actually, a lot of fun came out of my running amok. Life experiences. Memories. Lessons. Long days, short nights and infinite moments.

But this is about going deeper.

In the midst of an erratic year, I also came in contact with some really. dark. shit.

When I didn’t land positions from those job applications…

When I failed to cook dinner…

When I didn’t get out and run…

When I got triggered by my daily duties at work…

When I didn’t make time for the studio…

Digging through the muck and the darkness though, I finally found all of the things I wanted my artwork to run through the streets screaming about:

The little girl who grew up never feeling like she was good enough or worth enough…

Anger for the systemic oppression of women and people of color…

Frustration at the expectations society strangles women with…

Sadness for the growing epidemic of toxic masculinity…

Sorrow for the increasing suicide rates, and my own very suicidal thoughts…

I found the dynamic between light and darkness and realized I’m not alone in this…

I discovered the difference between living from a place of fear and living from a place of love…

I found my core values, and they have nothing to do with what society expects of me…

I learned about alternative forms of spirituality and faith…

I realized that only I can carve out the path that I want my life to follow…

And I identified what all of that could potentially look like in the form of artwork, in my style, with my voice behind it, and everything clicked.

This is what my work is about. Maybe not all of these things that once, but all of these things at least once.

Because that’s what I found when I dug a little deeper.

These are the things that shake my soul into action, and it is my goal and my hope that through my work as an artist these things will shake you into action too.

Most Shook,
L

 

 

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