"Durer 718" Mixed media piece made with ribbon, sheer polyester fabric, denim, cloth, and tissue paper. 11.5 x 7.5" 2016
How did you get into debt?
I'm in debt from student loans that I took out during college.
"Bronx Faces - Ed" Mixed media piece made with cardboard, acrylic paint, tissue paper, sheer polyester fabric, headphones, pipe cleaners, cloth, a plastic necklace, and Jesus bracelet stickers. 16 x 8.5" 2016.
How does your economic reality effect your art?
It limits both the quantity and the quality of materials that I have at my disposal. I can't make quality oil paintings with an impasto technique even if I wanted to because that's too much money on a canvas that I don't have. But I'm seeing this limitation of quality materials positively. It's pushing me to create the most beautiful works out of every day, accessible materials. Have you ever blended oil paint? It's almost effortless to make something come out beautiful. But to make something incredibly beautiful and pleasing to look at out of cheap, old, almost unusable materials? I've used dried out Prang markers that I haven't touched since I was 10 years old in some of my most current work. Doing this is much more of a challenge, and I've actually been enjoying myself. I just created a mixed media piece made entirely out of different fabrics and mimicked the blending of paint. I never would have challenged myself like this if I wasn't economically limited. I almost value my works beautifully done on cardboard more than some of my painted canvases, just from the amount of creative effort that was put into them.
"Prince" Made with cardboard, acrylic paint, sheer polyester fabric, ribbon, lace, duct tape, glitter, and coffee filters. 16x18.5" 2016.
Would your work look different if you weren't in debt?:
My art professors during my undergraduate classes would require me to buy expensive art materials that I really couldn't afford at the time. So I'd do my work (beautifully) on cheaper quality materials. But when we had to bring specific materials to class and they realized that I never bought their required materials, I'd be penalized. Just one item on our list was Arches cold pressed watercolor paper - $70 minimum. Typically in undergraduate classes, we never even got around do using all of the materials, buying them all seemed ridiculous at a time when I really needed to be frugal. Then a professor told me that if I were to do my work on cheaper materials, I needed to make it deliberate. This completely changed the way I made art. My mixed media recycled works came out of this time when I decided to stop buying canvas and use cardboard instead.
7 piece mixed media set. Made with Ziploc bags, cardboard, glitter glue, acrylic paint, computer paper, fabric, red pen, a paper clip, a black plastic bag, sharpie, Pokémon cards, and napkins. 2016