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Reflecting on where I'm at as an artist

Blog

My musings on art and life, both personal and as an observer

 

Reflecting on where I'm at as an artist

Elissa Barber

 at home, laughing at Fiore playing with her friend, photo by @thesevenpm

at home, laughing at Fiore playing with her friend, photo by @thesevenpm

Today I’m exhausted. Being an artist is incredible and I’m not trying to complain - I get to do what I love every day. That said it is also extremely hard work. This is not my hobby, I spent five years in school and my entire life training. Now I'm a mother to a seven month old daughter and feel so incredibly driven to make a life and not just a living. You might look at these simplistic images I choose to do and wonder why, of all the images I could spend my time making, why this?

It had gotten to a point where I’d overcomplicated my entire life, my artwork included. The elaborate process of getting to the finish line with a piece no longer gave me joy and felt forced. When I knew I was going to have a baby I also knew this process would no longer allow me to create in the way I had as an individual person. I had to get back to the root of what made me love art in the first place. Now, for the first time in many years, probably not since my carefree days working in my sketchbook while a student at Sheridan, I feel my work is coming from a confident, clear place that is in tune with my personal aesthetic.  

 art in situ

art in situ

Using one simple, fluid line to create images of women in all their varied, flawed forms feels like just the right juxtaposition to convey what I've lived. Each image is a mini autobiography that follows a twisting and turning path to get to where it is. It reminds me that we are all on similar paths as females, at our core we have the same basic wants and needs. Sometimes that journey can be more or less complicated based on our personal stories but there is still an inherently complex physiology that unites us.

The line I use to create my works is my own language. It is as natural as breathing for me to apply. I’ve trained for it and developed it. It allows me to get lost in a varied repetition with endless outcomes. It’s no longer creating but all the other things that need to happen behind the scenes that run me down. It’s the hectic schedule of life. I love and am grateful for every moment that makes me feel this way.

 little details

little details