I have never heard of the term Remix until I started taking the Digital Literacies #Diglit21 course at Adelphi University. For years I have digitally created content for advertisements, graphics and displays to sell a product or to help brand a business. Bringing together content, images, color and creating a final product has always been just a design or a layout. Everything I have created in the digital world has been for commercial purposes, but never as a form of personal expression for myself.
Remix. This concept of blending ideas, images, and effects to create and tell a story. A story that should be beyond, dare I say, the shallowness and emptiness that fills the commercial industry. I spent 20 years of my life in the design and printing industry. I loved and still love creating, and coming up with visually interesting ideas and stepping up to the challenges that clients presented me with. But the last several years that I was in the industry, I began to feel tired, stressed and not feeling fulfilled in what I have done for so long. I felt my daily work life lacked the purpose and fulfillment I so desired. Work consumed my mind, my life and left me little to no time to create for myself.
I have been an artist most of my life and have always loved to draw and paint. I took every art and design elective that I could in high school. In 5th grade, I had to research a possible career and write a paper about what I wanted to be. There weren’t any careers about being an artist or a fine artist, so I wrote about being a Commercial Artist. After high school, I studied at Cazenovia College and graduated with a degree in Visual Communications: Commercial Illustration. After I graduated my career as a designer began. 20 years later, I made a change. A Remix so to speak and decided to work towards becoming an art teacher and work on my own art full time. I went back to school to finish my BA in The Arts, am currently working on my Masters in Art Ed and have been working at a high school for almost 2 years.
My artwork is very personal. It is a reflection of myself, my fears, my feelings and I have always approached it in an intuitive way and with only fine art materials. I paint mainly in oils and have been influenced by the Great Italian Masters from a very young age. As I got older, I have taken inspiration by female artists such as Kahlo, Carrington and
Gentileschi. I have never enjoyed creating commissioned works of paintings or drawings. I felt empty creating art for others.
There has always been a very distinct clear separation in my mind of the titles that I have had throughout my life thus far. Beyond the titles of a daughter, sister, mother, wife, and friend. I have also struggled with titles of politics and religion all of my life but, I will save that for another blog post. Perhaps it is my non-conforming nature of not wanting to fit into any little box. But the title Artist is one that I am proud to have. The Artist is distinctly connected to my soul and my being. It allows me to be free of expression, my thoughts, and my emotions. It allows me to be myself. The Designer title has always been a job title that is strictly connected to my skills and experience. Yes, I apply my creativity to my design layouts and such, but it’s different. It feels different. I have actually been offended (I know everyone is offended these days and I am a Gen Xer by the way) when I am introduced as a Designer, rather than an Artist. I know it may sound silly to feel that way but, it is the truth.
I have drawn from my artistic abilities into my designing skills, but never the other way around. I have come to contemplate if it is time for a Remix in my thoughts, and in my approach to my work. My artwork.
Can I Remix my frame of thought on how I approach my personal expression? Can I cross the lines betweens fine art and digital art to create a piece that is Remixed? How will my work be perceived differently if it is digitally produced vs. oil on canvas?