When did you first realize you were an artist?
It really wasn’t until college. From childhood into adulthood, I had always loved to draw, but it wasn’t until I took my first academic drawing class as a freshman (as an elective) in college that I realized I wanted to be an artist. I fell in love with the act of making. So I changed my major from Political Science to Studio Art and never looked back. Eventually I applied to graduate school and got my Masters in Painting.
Could you tell us about your work?
My current work is a series of medium to large format graphite drawings. My goal is to represent the figure as accurately as possible, while making a comment on Popular Culture and its influence on identity. These drawings ask the sitter to take on a fictional character from Popular Culture that they feel was influential to them as a youth. It is amazing and startling when you start to realize that most of our ideas/visualizations of things like success, power and beauty are imbedded into our brains by the images on our televisions or movie screens.
What artists have influenced your work?
So many. But to name a few, I would say John Currin, Jenny Saville, Kehinde Wiley, Catherine Murphy, Julie Mehretu, Bo Bartlett, Kent Williams and Marilyn Minter.
What is your creative inspiration?
Seeing other cultures and being out of my comfort zone. Dialogue with someone I admire or emulate. Being immersed in a story that is not my own.
What other interests do you have besides creating art?
Traveling, education, reading, animation and music.
What advice would you give to a new artist?
Go to your room and work every day; even if it’s only for a short time. If you are serious about making art you have to discipline yourself to work even if you have no ideas. It’s like a job. To succeed, you have to be there every day.
Could you give some advice about the business side of being an artist?
Too many artists focus only on making the work, you must spend time on marketing your work too. In order for your business to grow, you have to be willing put as much effort into getting your work seen as you do in making the work.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
Continuing to challenge myself as an artist in the studio.
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