As a feminist and an artist I am often faced with a dilemma when integrating my thoughts, ideas, and beliefs into my work. For a very long time I have chosen to focus solely on universal emotion. Because of this my work has had a very distinct look and feel for close to ten years.
In recent months though, my work has started feeling stagnant. I don’t know what it is I’m trying to say with my art and I, unfortunately, feel as though I have lost my voice. I don’t know what it’s supposed to sound like anymore and it has been creating major turmoil in my life.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am almost never without an opinion. So why is it so hard to translate those opinions into my work? Do I even know what I believe in? How can I claim to be an artist if I let my fears bully me into being quiet? How can I tell the world I am a feminist and an activist, if I don’t even hear myself? These are questions I have begun to explore and although it’s terrifying, it’s also quite liberating.
Who I am is not only important to my work as an artist, but to every aspect of my life. How can I be happy and fulfilled if I don’t know what it is I’m looking for or trying to achieve. Since feminism is something I have been exploring a lot in the past year with writing for Obvi, I decided this was the topic to begin my journey of self discovery with.
I have set up a curriculum of sorts for myself. This way I have specific measurable goals that I know I can hold myself to. For the next six months I will focus, one month at a time, on a body of work created by an artist. I will then seek to create work (recreations or new) based on the work they made. These artists have paved the way for me, so it feels right to let them help me find myself. In the beginning I tried to make sure they were all women but, in researching there were two men whose work it would feel wrong not to explore for this personal project.
I will be completely honest, I am stepping way out of my comfort zone on this journey. As I move closer to beginning this project, I am beginning to feel incredibly nervous and self-conscious, so I am writing this article as a means of commitment on my part. I also ask for the support of the amazing Obvi, We’re the Ladies community. I am going to go crazy, I can already feel it!
I have knots in my stomach that are born from anxiety and anticipation of what I will learn about myself from this research. As I stated, I will be documenting my journey in a monthly article that you can follow. I will share what I learn from each month’s experience and maybe even some of the work I create in response. (But, I’m not holding myself to share anything unless I’m comfortable) Listed below are the six artists whose work will guide me on this exploration: