Of All Things; Of Everything

It's been a very busy couple of weeks. Last weekend, my parents and I drove down to Salt Lake City to attend an illustrator conference sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I met Mark Pett and Guy Francis, illustrators of, among many other beautiful books, The Girl and the Bicycle and Clark the Shark, respectively. Some tools of the trade were added to my knowledge bank, and I met with and spoke with other aspiring illustrators. We had soup. It was delicious.

And, all at the same time, I've been speaking and meeting with lawyers and authors, getting ready to (hopefully) illustrate a couple of my first books. 7% Chance is kind of taking a short snooze, but I'm hoping to get it up on the shelves (even if only my own shelves) by the end of this year. Maybe just in time for Christmas.

So, while all these things are going on and getting settled and unsettled and started up in my life, I'm going to post some pretty easy-for-me blog posts. I just took down my art show at the Cathedral Gallery, but several people have been asking to read my "artist statements", or, as I call them, my "scattered thoughts". Every day or so I'll post something from the show, so if you missed it, here's your second or third or twelfth chance.

Today, we'll start from the beginning. These first pieces were my first paper cuts, or cut paper pieces, depending on how you look at it. These were completed for my BFA thesis for my undergrad.

In an effort to visually stretch our understanding of identity, I found that it may be necessary to reveal the power that is unveiled with the discovery and acceptance of our own vulnerabilities.

It is amongst the clutter and chaos surrounding our every day living that we get wrapped up in materialism, consumerism, and the pressures of professionalism, searching for a power we hope can take us where we desire to go. We become the pretenders, casting ourselves as something other than what we truly are.

What we sometimes forget, in the midst of societal influences and all manners of apparent self-awareness, is what we were only too aware of in earlier stages of development – simply that we are ourselves. In accepting ourselves for who we are, we uncover a kind of fragile, beautiful, and natural strength, a truth from within.

In constructing this piece, I found it important to communicate with an adult audience through a child’s vision, giving a fresh light to what we already know, on some level, to be true: that before adding all other things, we are already everything. And when we rid ourselves of all things, we already have everything we need. We are the paper before the painting.


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