Warning: I like corny made-for-teenager TV shows. Including the likes of: Dawson's Creek, Glee, One Tree Hill, etc.
So I've started watching this show called "The Carrie Diaries". Some of you may have heard of it, (and have therefore realized that I have terrible taste in television) but if you haven't - it's about Carrie Bradshaw, the main character from Sex and the City, but it's about the 16 year old version of her before she became the oversexed diva living in NYC drinking cosmos and being seduced by a man named "Big". Anyway, the Carrie from "The Carrie Diaries" biggest dream is to be a writer and see her name in print. She's innocent and sweet and while she has poofy hear and wears awkward clothes from the 80's and exists in a cheesy plot line, she's pretty entertaining to me. So why am I giving you a description of a goofy teenage drama show (currently available on Netflix!)? Because for the last few days, I haven't been able to get the main character's voice out of my head from a recent episode I watched. The episode was about her trying to decide to be rebellious or a good girl and the episode ends with her, pen and paper, writing about her day and how she is still searching for her "voice" but that she's going to have fun while looking for it.
A little cheesy right? But it got me thinking about MY voice. It got me thinking about my art and the kind of artist I want to be. What do I really want to say through my work? For a long time, my voice has been for feminism. I've screamed through my art about my anger and frustrations at the difficulty to break gender roles. I've whispered through intricate lithographs about my fears of pregnancy and the mental effects of birth control. I've used my artistic voice while drawing and painting memories for others with funds going to fight for a cure for the disease that steals the most precious part of our brain.
I've painted seas of stress, thrown words from my diary on paper larger than me for all to read, I welcomed critiques in a gallery for a nude drawing I created of myself. Now, writing this out makes me sound brave, but the truth is - I've censored it all. There's always been a layer covering the complete truth. My fiance, Ben, asked me recently if I censor my art and I answered without a doubt - "absolutely, of course". I've been afraid of showing everything - of being completely exposed for fear of rejection but I have a feeling that's all about to change.
For the first time ever, no one is telling me what to do with my art (disregarding commissioned work of course - believe me, I welcome criticism when you're helping me pay my bills). But when it comes to the art that I make on my own, it's almost scary. There are no limits anymore. It gets me to thinking, why aren't I making something more exciting? More rash? Reckless? No teacher is hovering over my shoulder telling me I'm not allowed to use white paint until I'm 60 years old or that my emotions should never take control of the art I make. It's exhilarating and terrifying and occasionally it can make me feel pretty lost. Turns out having no restrictions can also be tough, because you can't lie to yourself that it's someone else's fault that you didn't make a painting to your complete potential. It's all on my shoulders now, and it's not easy.
So what this post is here to say - is that my art is about to make a change. I've been working longer and harder on a new series than I've worked on anything in a long time, maybe ever. I'm using my voice in a new way, and I haven't figured it all out yet but I'm excited for the day when I reveal it to all of you! For now all I can show you is a small preview below, the same photo from the "Fantasy" section from this site. More is coming and soon!
Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
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