Artist Statement: Integrative Seminar II

As an artist, I’ve always been motivated by what is going on around me–especially in the political realm. Recently my work has been consisting of political cartoons. I use my passion and my opinions to create work with a strong message, although often times, the surface value is quite light. One of my goals as an artist is to be a cartoonist and have my cartoons featured in magazines like The New Yorker or in newspapers–whether they are local or national. Topics I have been focusing on lately have included the 2016 presidential election, gentrification, racial injustice, mental health issues, and animals rights. I work almost exclusively in black and white because of my current style. With these heavy topics, I make the cartoons seemingly light. I try to add humor where applicable because I believe humor can be used as a tool to reach people who might not otherwise want to listen.

Besides the political artwork I do, I enjoy character design. One day I hope to work for a television show or be part of a film team where I can design characters. Character design has been part of my artwork since childhood. I would write stories and draw characters to go with them. As I grew up and began to find myself in the art world, I’ve maintained my love of character design, still writing stories and coming up with characters (or vise versa). Most character designed start as black and white, then I add color to them to bring them to life and add dimension. Currently I’m working on a portfolio of character design and hope to get an internship at a television or film studio.

Other goals of mine include writing and illustrating books. As well as being an artist, I am a writer and am always looking for ways to mix the two disciplines. I write fiction and poetry and would like to compile my work one day into a book and add my illustrations.

Currently I’m working on a project in the form of a handmade book. This project is about problems within our society current and past through a broad lens. It is a series of eight drawings of ladybugs and fireflies on leaves. First you just see ladybugs then one by one fireflies join the picture. As the fireflies stay on the leaves, the ladybugs leave. The narrative that my drawings tell is a story that is relevant today and in the United State’s history. In today’s context, the piece is about gentrification a problem that especially faces neighborhoods in New York City. Gentrification happens in urban neighbors and displaces lower income residents, as well as small businesses. The culture of the neighborhood is then changed. Wealthier people move in, buildings are renovated and commercialized and Starbucks pops ups on street corners.

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