How To Make Art Without Killing Yourself

How To Make Art Without Killing Yourself is an attempt to address the frustrations of being creative, particularly for those in the (often lengthy) "beginner artist" stage.  I wanted to mock the contrast between artists who are struggling, insecure, red-cheeked babies and the artists who seem to simply exhale incredible pieces of work. I wanted to tap into the more or less universal feelings of inadequacy that will be all to familiar to all but the Piers Morgans of the art world. I wanted How To Make Art Without Killing Yourself to be at once both sympathetic and tongue-in-cheek, and I wanted it to offer genuine advice and inspiration. I originally envisaged it as a pocket book.

Occult Enigmas

With Occult Enigmas my intent was to turn a book into a piece of my consciousness, my existence, and a record of my time. It feels important to have such a portable construction. I always liked small art because it could be carried around with me, becoming a part of me in the physical sense as well as the metaphorical/creative/psychological sense. This portability encourages the development of a personal emotional attachment. The book becomes a creature, a ghost of myself, a horcrux if you will. It records a progression in idea and thought, as well as in identity (it is also interesting to see those changes taking place upon a found book rather than something blank and/or new). Occult Enigmas is also an ideal outlet for my infatuation with collection and the assembly of collections. The book format necessarily demands that each page or double page spread creates a relationship with the other pages and with the book as a whole. One is forced to take the book as a book, as a collection. This can be manipulated in endless ways.

I wanted to make Occult Enigmas heavily compressed and jumbled, like a stream of consciousness (which it partially is), positing that perhaps you could pluck a swirling, tangible mass of thought from my mind and cut a cross section into it and what you would see could be these images.

It's significant to note that the textural world created by a physical collage is subject to change as the edges of paper pull up and bend and various materials may fade or rub off onto other parts of the composition. I embraced this as part of the inevitable mess of the project, but also as a metaphor for life and memory, always travelling and fading in the minds of individuals and in the collective consciousness.

Laying my own artwork on top of a found book in itself serves to symbolise the continual erasure of historical narratives in order to accommodate the realities of subsequent lives.

My name collected from received envelopes