Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I’m from St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (the place with all the tourism ads in the NYC subway) a 5th generation FL native, but currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. I am a paper hoarder.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
My story is the classic art kid story of just wanting to draw on anything. my mom would always give me the receipts from the bottom of her purse. It wasn’t until at the end of high school that I realized being an artist could be a possibility. It clicked when I went to New York for the first time and the idea sticked thankfully to a supportive mom and one amazing art teacher, Susan Harbison.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
absence/presence // perspective/distances of viewing/intimacy // thinking of the dynamics of past, present, and future (these things have always been core themes in my work) now I am trying to find the door for humor in my work, to not have the work not be completely soaked in sentimental soup.
What is your process like?
A lot of organizing and classifying found scraps of paper; making neat piles, making chaos, and then rinse + repeat. I work primarily with watercolor, ink, gouache and collage. often things will be made and then reworked and then sit for a few months and then reworked again. most of what I make is always in flux. an artwork is finished when it departs from me.
Is there any subject or theme you’ve been particularly interested in lately?
Now that I have a longer commute to work I have been reading more and more. My current reads have helped in pulling me out of the perfume cloud of nostalgia and I have become more infatuated with exploring the nuances of relationships, dialogue, and points of view.
Recently have read:
“Tacky Goblin” T. Sean Steele (READ IT)
“Trout FIshing in America” + “In Watermelon Sugar” Brautigan
“Transparent Things” Nabokov
“Notes from the Fog” Ben Marcus (short stories)
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do for art?
As a former studio assistant to different artists I have accumulated quite a list of strange things done for art.
Perhaps not the strangest, but the most unique (maybe not the most legal) was renting a U-haul and driving around Brooklyn with an artist to salvage materials for an installation. We went out to Dead Horse Bay by the Rockaways and pulled a hand-truck across the street, and walked through the tall bushes/trees to try to reach the beach. The first path led us to a makeshift camp site someone had created, it was incredible. They had covered the ground with smashed milk cartons and bottles, almost as if they were pavers but I also understood it to be a security alarm of sorts. We didn’t dare walk any further and eventually found a new path to the beach.
We walked the beach collecting bags full of shards of glass, rusted metals, warped chunks of driftwood and large found abandoned objects that had washed ashore. It was a seaside desert of junk and remains one of my favorite places in New York. We hauled the stuff across the highway back to the U-haul and were scolded by a self-appointed park ranger who was rolling a pink suitcase through the parking lot. We then ate lunch at the cafeteria of the Aviator Space & Events Center, a GIGANTIC rec center which was completely empty on a Monday, a contemporary ghost town.
It was quite the memorable day.
Do you have a day job or other work that you split your time between?
Day job: gallery assistant in Chelsea full-time. Night/all other time job: studio.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
I was recently told: “When artists are too comfortable, they fail” and that has been looping in my head for the past 6 months
Is there any piece of advice you would offer to others?
Make, and then ask questions later.
What does it mean to you to have a “community?”
It’s important to have a community, they don’t have to make similar things but it’s about sharing the same language.
What is your studio like?
Do you have any routines or rituals in the studio that get you into the mode or mindset to make your work?
I always listen to music when I work, sometimes a podcast. silence is stifling to me.
Often I find myself listening to the same song over and over and over again – I get in a trance and it helps me to focus.
If I am at a loss of what to do, cleaning/organizing is the best way to dislodge the mind-block.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
Trying to get the work seen outside the studio. It’s a lot of rejection.
How would you define “success” in art?
Art is successful when you see someone connect to the work or hear them reflecting upon it.
To impact someone with your work, even if just a single person is pure success in my mind.
Are you involved in any collaborative or self-organized projects?
I have a secret drawing project (shhh….) a project I started after the loss of a significant person in my life. The drawings are left in miscellaneous places. Right now the project is semi-anonymous, so I will leave it at that.
What are you working on right now?
New body of watercolor drawings!
Anything else you would like to add?
This was fun! thank you for this, now going to climb back into a pile of paper