I make work that helps me face my fears. Fears as varied as that of insects, memory loss, and death all appear in my work. Everyone deals with fear in different ways, be it through avoidance or through exposure. I’ve chosen the latter: exposing myself to my fears through research and art. I am influenced by works that symbolize death, known as memento mori. Memento mori is a Latin phrase that translates to, “remember that you will die”. These works communicate to the viewer that time is limited and stops for no one. This can evoke a sense of impending doom for many, but also a sense of peace for others. When I am making art, I strive to find that sense of peace for myself, as well as convey it towards the viewer.
As I work, I’m able to temporarily forget about physical or emotional pain. I focus on the process of each piece I make, finding beauty in things I originally found horrifying. This focus pulls me out of my own head, allowing me to channel feelings of fear in a meaningful and productive way. I approach each fear with compassion, giving each aspect of the work the same amount of detail and care. Balance and movement are important. I leave the linework visible beneath the paint to give the illusion of depth, of veins that move beneath the surface. Because of this, my work can toe the line between the real and surreal. I find that when I complete a piece, my fear has softened into something more manageable, sometimes even affection.
I know I’m not the only one who has these fears. My goal is to help others feel the way I do once I’ve finished a work of art; at peace.