I vividly remember my notebooks from 7th grade. I drew the same doodles over and over and over again. I mainly ripped off skateboard deck graphics. My favorites were the Santa Cruz decks, which I would later find out were illustrated by Jim Phillips. I drew his “screaming hand” image at least 500 times. I kept repeating this image because I could always tell that my screaming hand wasn’t as good as his. I credit this pivotal experience as the inspiration for what would become the source of my content in future art production, BUT there are two themes fighting each other to dominate the subject matter of my content.
The primary subject matter of my personal work is “youth culture”…. and by that I mean: zines, stickers, mail art, show flyers, and street art. This is reflected in my subject matter and the way I produce and distribute work. The second, and slightly less visible, theme is tradition, or what the youth culture would be reacting in opposition to. For me, this is represented in where I grew up . My upbringing in rural Alabama is my point of reference for all of my experience, not just my art production. My observations of life in a poor section of the United States has provided me with a morbid sense of humor. It is through this lens that I question whether traditions will continue to withstand the onslaught of progress without becoming caricatures.
The struggle between youth (my) experience with background (traditional values) is consistent with my art practice….traditional academic education vs lowbrow art production like stickers , zines, mail art, and street art. This internal debate of tradition verses contemporary is reflected in the dialectic formed from keeping a balance between “lowbrow” art forms and an “academic approach.” This is the content of my work……
confronting the issues mentioned because of my conflicting opinions about the traditions/value system that was handed down to me.
If you cannot trust your basic value system that was engrained in you….what can you believe in? This is why I am always self evaluating to make sure that I give proper respect to traditional processes while showing why I love them, even while questioning them, and how they relate to why I have a passion to make art.