I am often asked which artists inspire me. While there are visual artists that delight my eyes, music is a heavier influence. I had an unconventional childhood and fine art was not a part of that however, music has been with me always; as a kid I would carry around my parents album sleeves like loveys, as a teen I’d spend my allowance on my own albums, dance clubs, and more concerts than I can count.
In my art I’m usually working out some personal drama or trauma and specific music will come to mind as I’m preparing to work. It becomes part of the inspiration and the process. When I look at individual pieces I hear that music. As such, I include that music in my artist statements. I believe in sharing my inspirations that not only inspire but soothe me through the work.
When I fell ill last year I put away my art and I silenced my music. To me music is a stamp on time, place, and/or emotion. Many of my favorite albums I cannot listen to because they take me to a dark places that I don’t want to revisit. That’s what I was concerned with so I suffered in silence.
It happened that during this EPIK High had recently released part one of an album, on my birthday. I couldn’t not listen. A flicker of creativity. With what little energy I had I sculpted four pieces. It was exhausting but fulfilling. I felt maybe everything would be ok.
Then things went dark. It was a swirl of surgeries, drugs, doctors, pain, and side effects that the doctors had never seen before. My world had become like a corset pressing in on me from all sides. I was caving in on myself, in some places quite literally. But they kept telling me even though it was bad I’d live.
Treatment ended and I was unable to do anything. I had temporarily lost my ability to eat and to walk. I was bedridden for months but I was here. Then the aforementioned group released part two of their album. It all resonated with me. Their lyrical poetry felt like it spoke directly to my experience, as it probably did with many other people. For me it ignited that spark I needed for creativity to start to flow through again. It spoke of pain, loss, people leaving you, and a celebration of wisdom and overcoming. Most importantly for me of being HERE. I started to feel like I could overcome my ordeal as well and get past my nightmare. I have some faith that maybe I could come back for a part two of ME.
Determined, I opened the box on a canvas, programmed the album to play on repeat, and took baby steps back to being an artist in practice. The piece is large, involved, and will take quite a bit of time. This album will be with me throughout the process until it’s completed.
They will not know that they are playing an integral part of my healing, our inspirations usually don’t. But I do and I am forever grateful.
“To give you everything, I cut my soul open
My poetry was born from the blood that I’m soaked in.”