When you look at an artist’s self portrait, what do you see?
It might be a painting, a drawing, a sculpture, or embroidery. Not only will the medium differ, but so also will the expression and the emotion the artist is trying to convey.
Every artist has been influenced by a hidden story.
Mine began when I started high school, my grandma had inspired me to become an artist but she died of cancer as I was finishing year 7. The next few years were driven by bad grades for the most part, combined with built up anger and energy. This came out in my art, it was expressed in the ways I depicted myself and other people. Aggressive forms and starved figures filled the pages of my sketchbooks. But now as I’ve grown and calmed down, the expression in my painting has become more subtle. As I began reading more about feminism my view on the world started to change, and with that the subject matter I was depicting shifted.
The thing about being an artist is that you can’t separate your art from your life, everything comes from somewhere inside you. It’s your own unique experiences that you bring to the canvas everyday as an artist, even if it’s not conscious or deliberate. If you have a chance to walk through the art school and look at the work people are producing, you’ll notice that each reflects the individual, from the energy in the brush strokes to the range of imagery being used.
I see this in all my artistic friends. They each have a hidden story that finds a way of expressing itself in their work. Whether it be the experiences which led them to a particular political opinion, or a day they lived a year ago which had an emotional impact on them.
Art is our way of giving a voice to the hidden stories.