An Artist’s Journey: One artist reflects on her relationship with art in its different forms.

Art cannot be defined or restricted to a singular process. Every artist has their own process, inspiration and definition of what art means to them. My art helps me to express whatever words can’t. My art may not be the most creative or beautiful, but it is mine.

As a dancer, performer and writer, I do not always have the time or inspiration to draw. I sketch whenever my other art outlets can’t express what I’m trying to say. Drawing is never consistent for me; I don’t practice on a regular basis. However, once I get the knack to start drawing, it’s weeks before I can put down my pencil.

When I first have the urge to draw, it’s because I have some feeling that I need to let go of. When I feel like this, I go to my good friend Pinterest to find some inspiration. I like to use another artist’s work to inspire my own. I will find one poem, painting or picture that captures every emotion I wish to express on paper.

Most of my sketches focus on one aspect of the human body in combination with some element of nature. This includes hands, eyes, lips and hearts with flowers, water or vines. Each combination represents some sort of emotion whether it be sad, angry, happy or pain. I like to mix human anatomy with nature because I think this represents what it means to be human. We sometimes believe that we are bigger than everything else on Earth and whatever we are going through is so much more than us. However, I like to be reminded of the connection between people and Earth. Drawing the human body with nature reminds me that whatever emotion I’m feeling is natural. I think that we sometimes get so caught up in our emotions that we feel guilty for feeling them. I believe that my art serves as a reminder that we are only human. While flowers and vines need water to grow, humans need their feelings.

I like to use as little equipment as possible when I draw; I believe that the only tools I need are a pencil and my finger. While this may make the process a little more difficult to perfect, I like the idea of creating something out of nothing. Throughout the drawing process, I find myself needing to take a step back from my work. I will obsess over one small detail and become frustrated when I can’t get it right. However, when I step away for a moment, I can usually see my work from a completely different angle. That one small moment of space helps me to distance myself from the sketch, gaining an outsider’s prospective. When I come back to my drawing, I somehow find a way to get the shading just right or to make the proportions to scale. I sometimes forget that my art isn’t meant to be perfect or realistic; it’s only meant for me.

This process is different for every artist. Art has a different meaning to every poet, dancer, singer, musician or painter. Art is whatever we want it to be and that’s why I think it is so beautiful. While other people may appreciate my art, I only draw for myself. For me, it’s not about the final product; it’s about the journey that takes me there. Every moment sketching and shading gives me a moment to breathe and let it all out. In a world full of chaos, we all need to find that one thing that makes everything go still, even if it’s just for a moment.

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