For me, art is a way to relate to people. I strive to create images that people can look at and see a story in. Sometimes they tell me what they saw, and I think get worried that it’s not the “right” story and that I’ll be annoyed, but that isn’t how it works for me. I love that people see different things, because it reflects something about themselves. If you look at a painting and see a story, that’s half the work of the artist and half the work of your brain. Stories that are unique to you are being reflected back onto the image.
I used to intentionally make my images look rather blank so that there was this huge canvas you could imprint upon, but then I started to notice that I could put a whole story in there. I could paint the picture with a novel’s length of details swimming in my mind and clues in the posing and clothing about that story that lives only in my brain, and the variation in what people see increases! I can put myself completely in a picture, and people can still find room to squeeze themselves in, too.
Art, for me, was never a last ditch effort, the only thing I’ve been good at or wanted to do. All schools of learning are fascinating to me, and so many careers look really exciting. But nothing makes me happier or more exhilarated than hearing someone share what he or she saw in my painting or drawing. I know I’ll never get tired of it. I know I’ll never stop getting goosebumps when people try to describe why a picture affects them.