h...I went to school at California College of Arts & Crafts (CCAC) in the 90's - it still had Craft in the name and we were in a time that still felt more analog than digital. I loved my painting class with Mr. Morsberger, the smell of oil paint and turpentine, the high ceilings, the live models, it was magic. My photography teacher was the first person who shared what was coming, Photoshop would forever change the landscape of photography. But at the time you still had at to be an upperclassman to use a computer in Graphic Design (we were still doing layouts on the Xerox machine!) and Illustration meant characters, not art. I wanted more. I wanted my design to feel like art and my art to also be illustration worthy. There was not a place to feel at home for me...yet.
Now here I am, printing digital paintings out on matte photo paper, cutting and mounting them to wooden canvases, covering them in gel medium, holding them when I'm done, finally free from the iPad. I can't help but wonder, as I make this art, what would my teachers think? Would they call it art? Will people who buy it call it art?
We live in an unprecedented time of access. The gatekeepers are no longer as powerful. We can post and share and sell all without a gallery or a store. And so I wonder if the gatekeeper is in my head? the voices of teachers and a friend with an MFA who saw my art once and said "oh, that looks like what I do to warm up"...ouch. Who is to say that what we make is not art? I have used office supplies to make art. I have painted on canvas and wood and chipboard. I love them all. And right now, I love working with an Apple Pencil on an iPad. It has expanded my universe in the midst of work and kids and life, I can still create. And I love the work I am making. The only hitch was how to 'make it real' and tangible. Well, mounting it on wooden canvases is working pretty damn well and I'm about to upload new pieces to my shop on my own website that I created even though I don't know any code. I'd say this moment in time is a pretty wonderful place to be in the creative world and I am thankful for all of it.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's real art.
Sometimes I wonder if I was born in the right time... I long for a bygone era and yet I dream of a future that holds the best of technology mixed with the “old ways” that are so much gentler on us and the earth.