From a young age, my family struggled to meet my needs. I endured a neglectful childhood. My father was an alcoholic and became homeless when I was twelve years old. He moved out of state and I rarely heard from him. I was constantly worried for his safety, as well as my own. When I was thirteen years old, my mother was diagnosed with stage four terminal breast cancer, and as a result she died the following year. Life after my mother’s death became very difficult. My living situation was unstable and eventually my guardian abandoned me during my senior year of high school. I was left to navigate life on my own, without resources, and with four animals to attempt to care for. I suffered extreme stress which caused sleepless nights and an inability to focus at school. I was quite literally alone and I truly felt the effects. I did not graduate high school on time, although I prevailed and eventually graduated on my own.
In order to make it through these turbulent and heavy times as a child, I put much of my energy into creating art. Art was my means of expression and escape; my emotional outlet, and safe haven. I am very passionate about conveying purpose and messages through my art. When I am not creating my own art, I love to consume the art that others bring into the world. It feels inherent in my being to be creative and experience art in every facet of my life. In my early twenties, I studied fine art and worked to fund my love of traveling. I was searching to find out who I was, as I did not have many opportunities to explore this throughout my early life. I spent time backpacking through Europe as well as exploring various parts of the US and Canada. I sketched, painted, and photographed the various buildings and scenery during my travels. I found my passions and strengths throughout this time.
Due to the trauma I endured, I have suffered some mental health obstacles. Through my journey to mental wellness, I have developed a passion for psychology and helping others. Last year, I completed my associates degree in psychology while simultaneously working for my local community mental health organization. There, I spent my time helping those with severe and persistent mental illness. Presently, I work in a psychiatric hospital, helping those with acute emergency mental health crises. I also attend Central Michigan University where I am working toward my BS in psychology with a minor in anthropology. My overall career goal is to one day combine my psychology/social work background and art experience into doing something that I love while helping others. My ultimate goal is to create a space for artists who also come from disadvantaged backgrounds; a space for them to produce and showcase their art. My hope is to help other artists find success in their journeys who may not have the resources to do so otherwise.
Description of the Project
I aim to craft a triptych collage, or a kaleidoscope layout type of collage, depicting concepts related to morality and humanity. This is a piece I have always felt a strong desire to produce, but have not yet had the opportunity to do so. Some of my favorite styles of art reflect ideas about morality. I take inspiration from many subjects, but there are a select few of my favorite artists whom I will use as reference for this project.
This piece will be a mixed media collage triptych with three panels, or a large kaleidoscope-esque layout with one large panel, either canvas or wood. Whichever route I take, it will be an expansive piece; large enough to display my complete vision. I would like the project to be at least 6’x6’ and up to 10’x10’ feet. As previously mentioned, it will be depicting concepts related to morality and humanity. Some concepts represented in this piece will come from ideas related to good and evil, sin, heaven and hell, purgatory, atheism, agnoticism, mythology, folklore, sex, drugs, science, politics, corruption, war, suffering, love and hate, happiness, and more. It will be heavily detailed and overflowing with symbolism. It will have an air of fantasy, but it is based in reality and humanity.
My inspiration and references come from a few places. First, my favorite artwork is that of Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights. Another source of inspiration is Marco Brambilla’s Megaplex, a three part video collage series in which the works are titled Civilization, Evolution, Creation. Another source of inspiration is the short film A Trip to the Moon directed by Georges Melies. These artists' common themes represent ideas pertaining to humanity and/or morality and it is that kind of style that I wish to achieve with my own modernistic take. I have taken several art history courses so I am well-versed in clever symbolism which is something that I hope to convey through my art.
Here are the examples that were mentioned above.
The Garden of Earthly Delights - Bosch
Megaplex - Marco Brambilla
A Trip to the Moon - Georges Melies
What Will Your Project Produce
This project will be my first large piece; one that I have never had the resources or time to create, but something that I would like to continue to produce beyond this project. My goal with this project, specifically, is to provoke thought and conversation about the ideals of society, what is reality, and what is right or wrong. This project will also help to secure me, personally, in order to produce the art I am passionate about and sell more art in the future. I wish for this grant to aid in cementing myself in the art community, reaching more people, furthering my online presence, and allowing for the level of growth that I wish to achieve in order to reach my higher goals.
I plan to document each step of this creative journey using my art Instagram, or a website made to showcase the art process as well as my other works. This will allow me to build a more solid portfolio. I find enjoyment in watching other artists’ process with their works, and believe that people would enjoy watching my process as well. I have a variety of ideas for visually documenting my progress. I would like to share videos or images framing my hands while I cut each piece for my project; this is something that I could even livestream. I would film myself putting the pieces together, letting others see my creation unfold. I would use as many platforms as possible such as Instagram, Twitch, Tiktok, Reddit, etc. My goal is to gain an online presence that helps me reach a larger audience while producing meaningful works of art. In combination with this extensive piece that I hope to have displayed, I will also be working toward becoming a more independent artist.
Timeline, Schedule, Deliverables
Week One - Begin by going over art piece, ideas
Week Two - More ideas, begin rough draft of piece, begin collecting images, magazines, parchments, and so forth and continue throughout
Week Three - Begin researching the platforms to promote my content and create accounts, check in with advisors.
Week Four - Acquire equipment necessary for filming my process, start to learn more about camera work, technique, keep drafting ideas for the piece
Week One - Continue to work on setting up platforms, specifically a website should we choose to go that route.
Week Two - Continue working on draft, getting feedback, working more with cameras
Week Three - Continue working on website, by this time I hope to be posting my own art on various social media outlets
Week Four - Continue draft, collecting images, gaining feedback on website/social media Month Three
Week One - Be engaging with feedback and making changes. Post more of my content online. Week Two - Presenting the idea of this piece on my social media.
Week Three - Begin to finalize my draft of this piece
Week Four - Present finalized draft and go over if anything else needs to be done. Month Four
Week One - Start piece. Organize/categorize images, magazines, various parchments throughout, should continue collecting parchments
Week Two - Collect necessary art materials, begin painting background of piece, all while filming, be cutting out images/filming
Week Three - By this point I should be solely focusing on creating the piece. So filming, cutting, editing, posting
Week Four - Film, edit, post, check in progress with advisors
Week One - Week Four - Be consistently filming my progress, editing and posting weekly, multiple times a week. Weekly or biweekly check-ins with advisors
Week One - Week Four - The final month is finalizing the art piece and fine tuning anything necessary, going over it a few more times, then presenting it.
Include Other Resources Needed for Success
Aside from my main goal to be the creation of the artwork itself, I would also appreciate any guidance and help on learning more about social media if that knowledge is available. I would love to learn about camera work if there is help available for that. I will need camera and editing equipment necessary for success. I will need to have supplies to create the piece (adhesive, canvas/wood panel(s), etc).
Anything Else That Should be Considered to Accept Your Application
You can view some of my artwork on instagram here! Thank you for your consideration. :)