How did your upbringing influence your work? What does your family think about your choice to become an artist?
I can definitely say without a doubt that my upbringing and the place that I am from influences my work - and the way I work and think as an artist. Home for me is SmallTown, USA. I grew up on a small farm and my parents are the most honorable, amazing, hard working people I know. I was raised knowing how to ask the right questions, became a problem solver at a young age, and have a strong work ethic. With that being said, I am VERY DIFFERENT from my family. Sometimes I think the generation gap between my parents and I is larger than it really is. My parents are simple people and by no means is the term simple a negative description. They are country folk and a lot of times they just don't get my art work. I often get asked why I don't paint pretty pictures like Thomas Kinkade. My parents also do not like to leave home - at all. I traveled abroad twice while in college and I will be in New York City for a month this summer for the residency at SVA (yay!) and that's not really a lot of traveling, but my parents don't understand why in the world I would want to go, anywhere.
Choosing an art career does and doesn't make sense to my parents. They want me to do something that makes me happy and we aren't overly motivated by money, just enough to get what we need and a little extra here and there. So, that's a blessing. I hear a lot of students and friends say that they're parents don't want them to be an art major because they'll never make any money. That's not true, we make money, just not a lot. Don't get me wrong, I like to have nice things, but money isn't everything and I can't imagine a life where I hate my job everyday. I still don't have my life plan figured out but I know it will be art related and I'll be making daily. I'll be happy and my parents will support that.
Eggs Eggs Eggs!
I've been using eggs in my work for at least 3 years now. That credit goes to my upbringing. It started out as a metaphor for the relationship between my mother and I- in the books that I was making before grad school. I'm still using albumin (a fancy term for egg white) in my current work, but its less readily visible as albumin. I would say that all of my work has an element of my upbringing in it as a material. I've worked with clay pigeons before because it reminds me of home and my dad while I lived on campus- and I started exploring it as a material and loved the results. The embroidery pieces remind me of my grandmother because she taught me how to cross-stitch. Every aspect of the way I was raised deeply affects the person that I am and in turn influences all the work I make.
I am a contemporary artist focused on the intersection of art and science in Lexington, KY.