When it comes to my artwork, I am inspired by Tim O'Brien's assertion in The Things They Carried, a war novel I read my freshman year of high school, just proceeding the time I first discovered a personal visual style, that in order to tell a story truthfully, you must share it, and doing so may require a bending of facts. Rather than attempting to depict literally what's in front of me, I try to capture and do justice the essence of the subject and in doing so I instinctively emphasize lines, colors, expressions, and emotions that look significant to me.
When I saw the call for artwork to help celebrate International Women's Day, I knew that I had pieces to submit simply because I've met female students on this campus who are strong, vibrant, intelligent, and otherwise entirely unique, and I've drawn pictures of a few of them.
Last year, through Festival of the Arts, I solicited people on campus to tell me who inspires them. Their answers were mostly females, two of whom are depicted here-- Ms. Liz Denhup and Ms. Miriam Stevens. To “advertise” the project, I did the first self-portrait I'd done in years and stuck it to a poster with a speech bubble next to my mouth and the phrase “Who inspires you?” inside it. I include this self-portrait to emphasize what I learned first-hand by celebrating amazing ladies on campus and bringing them together: supporting our fellow females is uplifting and empowering and it comes back and does wonders for us as individuals.
After this festival, I began putting my work out there more in the UChicago community and found the opportunity to draw some friends of mine, and pictured here are also Ms. Grace Gleason and Ms. Nina Kate, two of the most soulful and self-aware women I could actually ever imagine. I'm very excited to celebrate all that women are and can be, and, through my attitude, my friendships, my education, and my art, to reinforce our potential to find for ourselves, in a difficult place, a room of our own.