Recently, my Intro to Printmaking professor asked our class to write about the reasons we want to create the things we do. He said we could discuss our philosophy behind making, life events that have shaped the way we think about the world, or artists we admire.This is what I wrote:
I enjoy the tactile. The process of making things by hand and feeling my fingers work to produce something intrigues me. I prefer cooking to eating out, reading a book to reading a tablet, talking to people to texting people, and writing my notes to typing my notes. Creating things by hand gives me a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. For these reasons I’m driven to make art.
I grew up as an only child and wasn’t allowed to watch TV during the day. This combination led to many days of finger painting, building elaborate traps to catch my cat, dancing around our living room in a pink tutu to loud 90’s rock, and gardening with my mom in our expansive yard (my young version of gardening was digging holes and catching snakes and butterflies). This love of the tactile world began to manifest into a recognizable art form in high school when I dropped a class and found that one of my only options was the analogue photography class. Our teacher, Nancy Abens, taught us how to read a light meter, focus the lens, take long exposure shots, roll and develop our black and white film, and how to produce an incredible image in our school’s dark room. That class, and the radiant enthusiasm of our teacher, has greatly shaped my artistic life. I took two years of film photography in high school and with Nancy’s help, began experimenting with printing techniques. Since then, I’ve always referred to film photography as my ‘first love.’ In college, I’ve added a photography minor to my degree and continue to play in the dark room. Though this class will be my first foray into printmaking, it continues to feed my love of the tactile.