The Story Series: The Why Behind the Work
Whenever we talk about what inspired an artist to produce their work, I find there is this slight falsifying. Almost by putting it into words, we are leaving out so much. An artist, like anyone, is imprinted by things over the course of their life, and these imprints are aligned and organized in such a way as to produce art. Some imprints may be left out, some may be featured- but I can guarantee that the connections made between those things can be vague and exist in the land of day dream slumber. Simply put, it doesn't always make sense.
With that said, I am now going to explain to you why I made the Story Series as I understand it. This series came about first because I created a design to submit for a contest to be featured on the local bookmobile. My design had a few rainbow trout swimming in a bright river, looking to feast on the bugs flying above the water who had wings made of book pages. It was my way of saying books feed us. After I completed the design, I thought, boy, there really might be something here.
I love books. I was that kid who lost herself in stories from a young age, and who used novels to gain a wider world view in her later years. I related probably too much to some characters, I was given perspective and courage by some stories, and comfort by others.
In my junior and senior year of highschool, I remember two mind blowing moments with Toni Morrison and Dostoyevsky. They showed me how amazingly intricate and code-like novels can be, and how meaning can be created on so many different levels. Later, I pursued an English Lit degree.
Now, I still read avidly, sometimes vaguely aware of the intricate code but mostly to enjoy the story. I listen to story podcasts constantly (The Moth is my favorite). I have heard stories from people around my county (it's bigger than Delaware!) that have given me a sense of connection and understanding. I. Love. Stories.
And then, in the last year, I've come to understand stories in another, more personal way. Through the help of a dear and very smart friend, I've learned that the stories we tell ourselves every day have a huge impact on how we feel, how we behave, and therefore how our lives… go.
Now this isn't just talking about getting up in the morning and telling yourself affirmations. It's about paying attention to our narratives and catching the ones that are hurting us. These are the stories we tell ourselves from limited information, and past patterns help us fill in the blanks. They aren't obvious- they feel like logical conclusions. They make sense to us. They organize the world around us.
But once you can become aware of these stories, you can challenge them. You can respond to whatever your inner critic/voice is telling you by asking... is that the truth though, or just a perception/assumption? And then, sometimes you will find, that it isn't a truth at all! Personally, this has helped me a lot with social anxiety and even being wayyy too hard on myself in daily life!
Lastly- the Story Series is about creating beautiful illustrations that are 2-D with faint nods towards stained glass and iconology. They are about creating a world as my mind kind of sees it, not necessarily how it would appear in real life.
I sincerely hope that this series reaches you or makes you think, "wow! that is how I see it too!" As an artist it is my job to put ideas onto canvas- but it is my heart's hope that I'm creating something with impact. Thanks for taking the time to read, and I'd always love to hear from you!