When were you all introduced to Art? And, what impression did it leave on you?
I was introduced to art through school art programs, extracurricular art classes, tv, movies, plays, concerts, and musicals. I always liked drawing characters from my favorite shows and movies and would eventually start creating my own characters and worlds they lived in. After years of drawing, I find myself more interested in inventing worlds. A lot of the prints I create these days are science fiction-inspired landscapes.
What's a work that has left a lasting impression on you?
I'll say Hayao Miyazaki's film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. I watched all of Miyazaki's films but what I appreciate about Nausicaä is its unique environment and world-building. I wish I could build worlds as rich with my prints. I love the narrative story-telling aspects of movies. I try to bring some narrative components into my print-made work through zines.
What's one word you would use to describe your Art? And Why?
I'll say "mysterious". My artwork tends to be ambiguous in ways. I like to tell part of a story through mysterious imagery but avoid spelling out all the details. Not knowing keeps us thinking, wondering, and coming to our own conclusion. Once we know everything there's a sense of excitement lost so I try to retain that mystery.
How do you feel that your work affects others?
People have told me my work is fun, strange, and pleasant to look at. All these feelings fulfill us, enrich us, and make our lives better. I want my work to provoke feelings of wonder and inspire others. I don’t know if my work has many conceptual lessons to pass on but I think I offer some of that through my practice as an educator which I see as part of my art practice. In the classroom, I try to teach patience, understanding, and communication and hope that has a positive influence on others.
What is your opinion on the rise of A.I. generated Art?
AI art generation can be great for idea generation as long as it’s done fairly and equitably. I like the idea of folks using it to explore their imaginations and build images they otherwise wouldn't be able to. That being said, if it's exploiting artists' work or used for greed to undercut artists that's a problem. As we continue to learn how it will affect artists it's important that we continue to advocate for ourselves and each other.
Should Art have a limit or boundary? Why?
Successful contemporary art has always explored boundaries and pushed limits, that being said, artists should have a clear understanding of the boundary they're trying to push and why they are doing it. What is the goal of the art? Could it be misinterpreted in a way they wouldn't want it to be? If they're unsure of the answer to these questions it's best to research the themes they're working on with or consult a trusted peer.
How would you like to evolve over the next 10 years?
I'd like to become more cohesive with some of the themes and concepts in my work. I may always feel that way since I think my work is always changing thematically. If I don't feel like my work has become more cohesive in 10 years then I'd hope I've evolved to a point where I've accepted that it may never.
How does your Art contribute to the human experience?
I think all art can contribute to the human experience. Even if you're the only one that sees it, it has an effect on you. Hopefully, it's a positive effect and you bring those positive emotions into the world and share them with others. I think my artwork has affected some people in this way. I recently got to work on a collaborative mural in Erie and I like the idea that anyone who sees it could be positively affected by it. Maybe it makes their day slightly better and they pass that positive energy to others throughout their day.
Are there any songs that inspire the creator in you?
I listen to a lot of music while I work and write. A lot of it tends to be ambient and kinda boring. I think I feel most inspired and creative after a camping trip or hike where I've been in almost complete silence for a while. The lack of sound gets me brainstorming and I usually return home feeling inspired to create.
Any Final Thoughts?
If you're in Erie PA check out my collaborative mural on the Erie Center for Arts and Technology building!