Recently, I was asked this question: “What does success look like for you and your practice?” It’s a good question to answer periodically, because it forces you to take a bird’s eye view of your work and practice, which can be easy to forget when you are impassioned about a particular project and focused solely on the work you are doing to complete or build out that project. Below is my answer:
Success is being able to experiment and create work that moves people in some way. My work in the past has told stories and moved people emotionally, but my more recent work has more of a practical purpose. In fact, ultimate success for this body of work would be to start a movement to be more conscientious about paper, plastic, and water waste, all things that are considered in the making of the works.
I’m also working on some writing to accompany the artwork, with information on coastal degradation, why it’s happening and how to diffuse the problem. Living in St. Petersburg, FL, we are on a peninsula within the Florida peninsula, so we are surrounded by water, and caring for our coastline is of utmost importance not just for human life, but for the wildlife and plants that inhabit this place alongside us.
No matter where I live, I try to leave the smallest carbon footprint possible. Learning about local environmental issues helps to invigorate both my lifestyle and my art practice. I believe that if more people were educated on environmental issues specific to their localities, they would be more inspired to take action to alleviate pollution and environmental destruction. When you realize what’s happening in your own backyard, it becomes even more of a reality than general EPA and Federal-level discussions about the environment, and even the surreal and ongoing battle about global warming.
On the heels of Earth Day, it seems appropriate to share this goal, as it is part of my mission to raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire more people to take action.