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One of the unique properties of creative endeavor is its ability to make space for internal dialogue between the work and the audience. The visuals speak and the viewer responds with emotional reciprocity and contemplation. Many of the topics explored in my artwork center around extreme emotions related to struggles with trauma and mental illness. This can be uncomfortable, for both the artist and the viewer. It's much easier to consider the beauty of a rolling landscape than it is to work through feelings of frustration, isolation and sorrow. Work like this is also tends to be less accessible, and is often not nearly as enjoyable as more lighthearted imagery. But the purpose was never enjoyment for me. I want my work to make space for conversations about what it means to be human, to allow for the acknowledgement of suffering, and for catharsis, empathy, and connection. Though I do on occasion create art that deals with more neutral content, I find pieces that dig into that struggle to be the most fulfilling, not just for me but also for others. Having the opportunity to connect with someone through my artwork, whether because they empathize or because they share in the experience, is often very meaningful. It's easy to feel disconnected from yourself and those around you. If my work can change that, even for just a moment, then it's done its job. Life is hard. No one should have to do it alone.
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