In my art practice, I duplicate each method of making which mirrors the repetitive nature of my coping habits for my mental health disorders. My accumulation of labor in both my life and art practices allow for beautiful moments to shine through.

Day after day I’m faced with tasks and routines integrated into my life that support my mental health. Having a Mood Disorder and an Anxiety Disorder put my life upside down. The heightened emotions and crippling agita can disrupt my way of being. But therapy, medication, and movement help me to cope. These tedious life habits allow me to appreciate the beautiful moments in life; coffee with friends, feeling the sun on my skin, and dancing to good music.

My final works are an amalgam of processes. I start to structure my canvases by using oil pastels to draw blind contour self-portraits. To create unity in the drawings, I emphasize woven shapes with acrylic paint. I then turn to collage, sourcing materials from fashion magazines that are scanned digitally. Using the scanned clippings I manipulate them into digital collages, multiplying the pattern and color taken from the printed pages. Tracing selections of the shapes created in the initial drawings, I create cutouts. I encrust a selection of the shapes with beads. Each bead I hand stitch after I pre-puncture the paper with an awl. I mount collage pieces on foam core so they stand off the canvas allowing shadows to be cast. My methods result in works charged with details to be observed from varying distances.

I parallel the structure and monotonous practices of my life in my art. The tedium of beading, the repetitive motion of collaging and the faith in blind contour drawing, reflect the acts of self-care I employ. Embedded in my load of art labor there is a comfort in knowing the next step for a period of time, the making not thinking. Structure delivers the relief I seek in life and art.

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