“Art is an original form of therapy that works if you pay attention to the signs. The art reveals itself to you. It’s beautiful what people create even if it doesn’t look like much…it all comes from their head.”
Art materials: Charcoal, acrylic paint, oil paint.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Kelsey, I’m 23, I am a student and I have depression. I am currently trying to finish an associates degree in Art and I am looking to probably double major in Environmental Studies.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Most of my inspiration comes from my music. In relation to my work, it’s typically Chillstep and Metal. Both genres create a unique atmosphere for me to produce artwork. Right now, it’s more metal because the lyrics from the artists “Being An Ocean” or “Fit for a King” are speaking volumes to me as I work at night. People who deal with different mental illnesses are usually up late. In a way, time itself inspires me as well to reach people using visual representation.
What are some of the lyrics that are currently inspiring you?
“I guess we’ll never understand why you chose to say goodbye,
but when a future is as bright as yours, we are left to wonder why..”
It was dedicated to a 17-year-old kid who took his own life which was a beautiful sentiment. It makes you not want to waste the talents God gave you. Another one that’s still in my head is from “Being As An Ocean”, “Our love was lost/ Your heart turned cold/ And that was when I let you go.”
That one just has a lot going on for me overall, attachment to people I use to know, bad habits and regrets. It sparks a ‘keep going forward’ attitude no matter how fast or slow you’re going.
How would you describe how it feels to create your artwork?
It’s therapeutic. There’s usually a lot going on in my head while I’m working on new pieces. I always start creating when I’m tired because it allows me to unwind my mental state and it allows me to reflect on the things that are burdening me emotionally and physically. But then as I’m painting or drawing I realize I’m creating the world that resides somewhere in my mind, where thoughts and emotions collaborate to tell me a story about that place. The place itself is microscopic but vast like a dream that I’m told when to leave out of. In the end, I leave amazed from what I’ve made and that someone out there might enjoy it or relate to its visual representation.
Are you ever surprised by what comes out of you and onto the paper?
Quite a bit, especially since I rarely have a goal in mind except for drawing off my -or others’- emotions. It’s hard at first but when you adjust and work over the mistakes you end up noticing a landscape instead of a portrait.It’s oddly fulfilling even though It’s not what I wanted to see. I view it as a message to myself. I see it as my subconscious telling me what’s going on in my life or someone else’s.
Tell us about your creative process.
It starts with me being tired. I’m usually in a melancholy sort of mood. I reflect on something that happened to me or someone else, or my emotional state of mind influences my work. I play a song on repeat that reflects my state of mind to help tell the story that I plan on creating. Then I choose the medium that I feel will be the most effective for the piece. I’ve come to adopting the title “Mindscape” to categorize my work. After I get what I need I just let my subconscious go to work. But If I notice an image that’s trying to be seen then I’ll push to uncover it at a steady pace so I don’t overwhelm myself. By the end of it, I reflect on the artwork, the music, and then back to the moral of me creating it. I create the context for the piece and upload it with either storytelling or poetry. On top of giving visual representation, I believe you need the words to provide translation for your work.
What is the story behind your artwork, if any?
I think it’s a melancholy children’s book for adults. The artwork takes bits of unkind, depressive, gloom that people don’t see and combines it with every loving bit of character about me that people usually see. As a result, it forms these characters and landscapes so you can see the stories I play in my head all the time. I feel like it displays me as a unique book that nobody picks up. But later on when they do, what they can gather is that I was different from the rest of people. So in general, you can see my struggle in my artwork. It shows how hard it is for me to relate to people outside of my paintings and drawings, but it’s a way for me to extend myself to people. It’s an attempt to relate to them even though that’s really difficult for me to do so.
Do you have any plans to create a story-line & make the artwork into a physical book?
I have worked on the idea quite a lot over the past months. It’s really a children’s book for adults but I really just have to figure out if I want to make the actual book with the pages by myself or purchase out through some manufacturer. I do have a few projects I’m working on now for the fall- winter season.
One is an in-person art event I’m doing at a busy park in my town. The other project is a story that’s based on people I know. It focuses on stories that aren’t actual events that took place, but are much like the experiences they’ve had in their past or would encounter in their future.
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