When did you first start getting serious about art?
Never. Hahaha. I've never taken art too seriously. For me, making art is just another way to create culture, but so are things like talking to people, going for walks, or choosing an outfit. I make art, but I don't consider myself an artist any more than any other person; we're all artists, in the same way that we're all art. I think that the divide between artists and non-artist is bogus. Give any kid a crayon and he'll go nuts with it; it's just a matter of carrying that curiosity, creativity, and vulnerability into later parts of your life. But to answer more pragmatically, my interest in producing and sharing started to blossom in early 2010, thanks in part to an invitation to ArtTimeCollective, an online community started by some great folks.
What would you say is your genre or style?
I definitely get asked that a lot when people find out I make art, and I never have a good answer. My art ranges from dark to cheerful, and from science-oriented to psychedelic. I have a love for words, so my first posts were poems, but I soon discovered the fun world of collages. But I've also delved into making jewellery, making felted objects, sketching, painting, and just fooling around with whatever I get my hands on. There's not really anything I can say to sum up my art, but anyone that's interested can feel free to check it out here:http://arttimecollective.com/author/kaleidoscopeflux/
Do you hope to have a career in art one day? If so, any particular area?
Yes and no. I plan on making my living from a diversity of different projects. I can see selling prints or books of poems in my future, but it's not something I'm banking on. I make art because I like making art, or because I have the urge to express myself in a certain way. The thought of devoting my life to art and making my living from it doesn't really appeal to me, but I'd be interested to see if my art would sell. I wouldn't be opposed to making my art accessible by selling it at a low cost. That being said, most of my uploads are scanner-resolution, so anyone that wanted could print them off themselves. I like it that way, but my buddies say my files are taking up too much space :P
What inspires you the most to create your art?
Oh, jeez. Hahaha. So many things. Sometimes, it's the medium I work with; other times, it's a message I feel like putting out there. I find I'm at my most productive when a lot of new things are happening in my life. New experiences are crucial for self-development, as our constructed realities fall short of the real thing. Look at the messages of Taoism, Buddhism, linguistic relativity: we understand the world through categories which are far from perfect; such is the human condition. Altering our mental states by traveling, camping, walking around new parts of the city, meditating, experimenting, and so on, are all ways to bring novelty into our lives and break up some of the tired categories we live by. I end up making art out of necessity, in order to process ideas I've encountered in life and to reconstruct some of these categories; it plays a huge role in making sense of a world that's equal parts beautiful and horrifying.
What artists or creative people do you look up to?
The first one that came to mind was Norval Morrisseau, for his vibrant use of colour and the abstract simplicity of his works. I was really into MC Escher's work when I was younger. Recently, I discovered Walter Coucill's watercolours, and I've been really digging those. And of course, I'm always happy to see a new post from my friends on ArtTimeCollective. I'm pretty diverse in my tastes, and I don't like to pick favourites of anything. I enjoy fine art and graffiti alike; I try to be open-minded, but have little patience for pretentiousness.
Do you have any direct experience with bullying?
I'd be very surprised to meet someone who doesn't. I think we've all been bullied at some point, and are willing to admit to that fairly easily, even if we're not keen to go into any detail. I think it's harder for people to recognize that they've also been on the other end, doing the bullying as well. We're not born with the complete knowledge of how to navigate social situations; we've all been unfair to other people at some point in our lives. That's no justification for bullying people; it's the opposite. I think that if we try to understand what drives us to bully one another, we'll learn a lot. We're very quick to point people out as bullies, and then take remedial action against them. I worry that the anti-bullying movement is easily converted to an "us vs. them" mentality, which is ironically the very essence of bullying.
Do you think art can change behaviour and cultural norms?
Absolutely; ideas can be immensely powerful.
Selina Jane Eckersall is a content marketing strategist, freelance writer and entrepreneur living and working in Burlington ON. Selina is the Executive Director of No Vacancy.