After staring at a blank sketchbook for months, the project became more and more intimidating. When I found myself “practicing” in another sketchbook I realized I was approaching this with fear instead of curiosity. I had been so focused on figuring out the order that I was unable to begin! I dug through my bins to find scraps from prior art explorations that I had held onto for the past two decades. I picked a page towards the back of the book and started arranging items together. That’s when I settled on the theme “This is not what it seems.” Years of discarded, but not forgotten, materials started blending together, creating a new narrative. I matched a test run of a woodblock portrait of a man I photographed in Cuba with words from a letterpress project on anticipatory grief; I cut and tore prints, then stitched them back together, turning water into sky, a building’s reflection into a snorkel; fused plastic experiments became rocky waves over a lifeless ocean floor. While my impulse was to work in a linear fashion, I let myself be guided by the materials. Interestingly I found that my work, whether experimental or intentional, followed a color story through the years and across mediums, which helped with the cohesion of the book.
I feel such gratitude for being able to participate in this project. As I physically repurposed old ideas and explorations in a mixed-media collage format with sewing and gluing, I mentally stitched together my evolution as an artist.
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