“Art means everything. Once my friends were talking about what they would do if they were not in the arts sector. Some said food industry: some said science; I had no answer. I don’t think I would be anywhere or doing anything else, than being in the arts.”
Name: Untamed Anatomy
Art materials: Digital media
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
People write, I draw. Art is my therapy. I talk about various personal issues. My illustrations help open up conversations and let people into my life. I am an illustrator and currently a graduate student for Arts Leadership (Arts Management) at Seattle University. I am an international student from Nepal. I received my undergraduate degree in graphic design, but I edged more towards illustration. Besides illustration, my future goal is to support artists as an arts manager with programs and resources.
How would you describe how it feels to create your artwork?
My artwork is my release. I get extremely personal about various issues I face, and then they gnaw into my everyday activities. Illustrations help me release those anxieties. I am not sure how I would be coping without art. Creating artwork helps me surf different emotions, which I feel better when they turn physically into artworks. Creating art is a constant learning process, it is a personal conversation with one self, and it is surprising how much I can learn about my myself when I create my work, and when I talk about my work with other people.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Inspiration comes from everyday. I know that sounds tacky, but I live my art. They come mostly from my personal experiences. One of the examples I want to give is the current series of work I started. It is about-facing people with mental health issues on the streets of Seattle. I commute in public transportation, and come in constant contact with them. Back home, I did see some people with mental health issues, but Seattle, it is fascinating and sad at the same time. There was a time, where I was commuting on the light rail, this man who entered the light rail one stop after I did, started yelling slur words and was so angry, he was screaming that he will kill her. He started screaming at a woman sitting in front of us, and then got down to the lower level and started screaming at us. One point he checked his pockets and pulled out something that was not very clear, but very scary. He got off at the next station and slammed the window of the light rail. It was clear he was screaming to someone in his head, but that was a very tense situation. This was few days after me and my friend faced sexual misconduct in the light rail, again, this person did not seem like himself, he was intoxicated and was constantly scratching his arms. Inspiration to create these works was to lessen my fear of the street, but also to not forget these people. I feel they have somehow become invisible, because it is so normal. I never thought this was something I would be facing this closely and regularly in the US, considering this country is one of the richest and has a lot of resources to provide for mental health services.
What do you hope people will take away from your current series?
What I am trying to incorporate in myself, as I grow older is to see my own biases and not judge people regarding who they are. No matter how much we try, there are always biases that pop in our minds. I am trying my best to be open minded about the issues regarding mental health. I hope people with mental health issues on the streets won’t be treated like they’re invisible. I hope that we gain sympathy for them, realizing that it could be one of us. I hope people are more accepting and hopefully some of them will take actions to help people on the street. Even smaller things like listening to them, or just smiling at them when they smile at you, instead of being very scared of them. All I wish is that we treat humans as humans, like we would like to be treated.
Tell us about your creative process.
I currently work in digital media. When I see or feel something, I feel needs to be expressed, so I create it. It usually starts with a sketch, and then worked on digitally on Adobe Photoshop or illustrator. I use flowing lines and stamp of pop colors. I use semi abstract to semi realistic forms in my works. Presently I am doing more realistic work for the Seattle mental health project, a slight change from my usual style.
What is the story behind your artwork, if any?
Libido, Aliens and Jesus:
I was riding the early morning light rail, and she walked in wearing all green. First she fixed all the flyers in the light rail neatly, then sat next to us in the long seat separated for the elderly and disabled. She sang about Jesus and had a beautiful voice. Then she started spitting in the light rail. When a man asked her to stop, she said,“This is what happens when you have a libido operation after alien abduction”.