How did you get into art?
I started off with crayons, like everyone else. Loved Sonic the Hedgehog. I used to draw him a lot. And you get praised by your friends and your little, tiny peers. My aunt was actually really supportive in a lot of ways. She’d always treat me like I was already a developed artist. She’d buy me supplies and put my work in protective cases.
I got into markers and gel pens. My mother would actually buy those packs of clay from the Dollar Tree, and I would make little creatures to put in jars of water to keep on my desk. I got really into cells and drawing lead singers from my favorite bands. I did a lot of Kurt Cobain drawings [laughs]. I got more into writing, and I had a real Bell Jar moment in college. I only lasted like three months, and I had to medically withdraw. But then I got my first pack of Microns [pens]. I went crazy with those. Tons of black ink drawings. Then I got into photography.
As time went on, I got into acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and clay. Around 26, I got really into oil painting and then wood carving and wood burning. I’ve never done computer stuff. All my mediums are mostly 2D. A couple months ago, I got really deeply into graphite.
How did you develop your style?
Just the culmination of trying to many things created a distinct style. Like dumping a bunch of shit in a jar and just seeing what it looks like. It’s also different people I’ve met and different influences I’ve had over the years. I’m a huge Frida Khalo fan, so when I saw her work at a young age, I really latched onto that. Also finding inspiration in more free-handed artists like Jean Michel Basquiat or someone as wild as Francis Bacon. I really like the tightness – but also the looseness – of Salvador Dali, but that intricate, fine detailed stuff? I think I really latched onto that.
How would you describe your style?
I see a lot of it as very anatomical – very body-focused. Organs. Inside workings. Stuff on the inside being filtered to the outside. I even just had some medical issues and something as simple (or complex) as a surgery is very inspiring to me. Things like thyroids, endometriosis, gall bladders – these very anatomical, disgusting things – I find a lot of inspiration from.
What about anatomy appeals to you?
It’s as unapologetically human as you can get. Even things like flowers are very anatomical to me, because they obviously resemble a lot of parts of our body. Sexuality and sexual organs, the mind and how it works, it’s hard to explain. I got to be honest, sometimes when I pick up a pencil, I don’t even know what’s happening. It’s just happening. There are times, yes, when I plan things, but there’s a lot of times that I don’t.
What’s your process?
I start with shapes and let it lead me towards something specific. Or someone I’m sitting next to at training for a job will tell me she’s trying to get pregnant, and that inspires me to do a lot of art about conception and about sperm meeting the egg. I find that so fascinating – the cycle of birth. Everything from discharge to blood to particles inside cells.
What do you want people to get out of your work?
I love hearing what people think. I’ve never done psychedelics, but people used to come to my shows who were really into the psychedelic aspect of it. I didn’t see it, but they did and that’s super cool. I’d say the message is whatever you want it to be. I obviously have my own meanings, but one I vomit it up and share it, it’s for the viewer to decide. As soon as you release it, it’s like a child or animal. It’s gone.
How do you share your art now?
Prior to the pandemic, I was doing shows. I did sell some things online. It’s a very me-first process. I don’t like doing things I don’t want to do. I don’t do things for the aesthetic or to serve the ‘gram. I don’t really care about that at all. Right now, I have a wrist injury just from holding pencils incorrectly so there is some pain and discomfort while doing art. That’s been very hard. Art is very entangled with my identity, but I don’t like to force it.
How can people support you?
If you see something you like, go ahead, and give it a like. If you don’t, it’s okay. Just don’t be a dick. Be nice. Be kind. It’s not hard. You never know what someone’s going through. I think we all deserve a bit of grace. Don’t be unkind. Life is really short. Don’t be a dick.