To me, the process of making art has always been a ritual. Throughout the maturation of my style and technique, I have sought to create works for others that illuminate their individual passions and ideas. I desire to do this through a visual narrative in order to prove that one can incorporate what gives them joy while also living their own truth in reality. Yes, it is possible to do what you love without being held back. This I truly believe.
It is because of this vision for my work that I take great care in even the more mechanical aspects of the process. When soaking watercolor paper to stretch for the next piece, I often anoint the water with a sage spray. Mantras are often played, (and in most cases sung along to) as I work. For instance, a client who desires community as a part of their mission statement would be a good candidate for the Buddhist Heart Sutra being played as I create their logo.
Music is an incredibly important part of my process, as it is for many artists. All the steps in preparing artwork are done to the beat of whatever soundtrack the day brings. Music allows images to bubble to the surface during my walks outside and in nature, another place I go to be inspired. Often, flowers, rocks and other items from nature are taken from these walks and displayed with care and reverence.
I see music as image; it is a crucial part of conceiving a piece of art, but I also value the music that is hidden within daily life experiences and seek it often.
Movement is incorporated into the ritual of creation as I transition my sketches up the stairs to the loft to the only computer that will work with my faithful old scanner. There, the work is cleaned up; the lines are transformed into a sepia pigment via Photoshop and printed on my large format printer unto watercolor paper. If I choose to color digitally, the scanned image is extracted via thumb dive and brought back down the stairs to my newer computer that can run Photoshop more efficiently for this part of the process.
If I choose to work traditionally in the sense of color with acrylic inks, I have the further joy of working with crow-quill pen to enhance my lines after the color is added, outlining the characters with more sepia within the background. In this sense, it is not as much an outline as it is a balance between choosing which lines are most important within the image and sometimes adding additional value. It is here where I really strive to create balance between the intent of my original line, while allowing myself to be open and loose with my additions.
Endeavoring to create this balance is an eternal process, both in art and in life. How do we work mindfully towards creating the life we intend to create and how often do we step back and allow for new ideas and external influences to move us?
In my studio, I tackle these questions as well as my vision with the purpose of creating a piece of art. Outside my studio, when I feel pressured by the immediacies of daily tasks and challenges, I have been trying more and more to recall my memories of the energy and flow within my personal space. In this space, I create mindfully a vision of the now that is most important. In the same sense, I look for the light within myself that is the spark of that positive, creative energy. This is the same light that I wish to recall and illuminate within the minds and hearts of everyone who encounters both my work and myself.
With the action of creating mindfully, I am able to meet the needs of my clients in the realms of children’s book publishing and design as well as my own. When your vision is in sync with the successes of others, there is a certain light that needs to be shared, and can only grow as it is shared more and more. This is the concept that gives my studio its name; I create from within with sincerity and love. Everyone needs an advocate, and I seek to be just that, as long as the spark of creativity is alive.