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Art for Self Excavation

This is a subject I don't hear artists talk about enough: art for the purpose of self excavation. I've been in an exploratory stage of my art for some time now, but only recently have I felt validated to do so. The stress to find 'success' and monetize art when pursuing a full-time career as an artist has been a pressure that has pushed me to rush and find my niche post-graduation. Many artists find a niche that they create in: something they specialize in, or a particular iconic style. Arguably, some of the more successful artists have cohesive work because of this. It can be easy to find yourself striving for this cohesiveness, and preventing yourself from exploring new subjects and styles. In reality, creating art for self excavation brings your most authentic self to the forefront, making you the missing piece that makes your work cohesive. Creating art for self excavation should push you to discover more about yourself & your style, push you to be more authentic, give yourself permission & feel free to make mistakes. Take risks! Art for this purpose is not to create incredible pieces, post them for the world to see, or to monetize what you create. If the final product ends up fantastic, then great! But, don't begin the process assuming it will be worthy of hanging on the wall.

This painting, "Lost: A Self Portrait" is a recent example of my personal excavation. I was feeling aimless and lost the year following my graduation. This piece allowed me to dig deeper into the emotions I felt, explore with different paint & color applications, and ultimately conquer that aimlessness I felt. I experienced a loss of sense of self, and a lack of direction in life after receiving my degree. This painting captures the overwhelming sense of productivity and successes of the people around us while denying our own accomplishments.

This piece, "Tortoise & the Hare: A Self Portrait" was an earlier work from my self excavation artistic journey. A clear jump in color and paint application, but equally vulnerable and authentic. This time exploring my approach to art and my relationship with the process. After completing each of these pieces, I felt a sense of 'leveling-up' in my both my personal development and my art. This painting explores the artist within me in a constant battle between working like the hare and working like the tortoise. Bursts of creativity and drive lead me to charge toward the finish line like the hare, but in turn, result in burnout and lack of motivation in the last stretch of the race.

My painting, "Matrix of Mind" is the third piece in this series. Our reality is a construct of the mind. Modeled after no one in particular, this piece is a reminder that everything perceived is through the lens of our personal bias, ego, and history.


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