Fashion and beauty are often targeted as being superficial, but are they really? Such is a question I’ve asked myself, because for quite some time the idea of marrying my artwork to my strong political and social values has been an issue.
I’ve often felt like crying out in a loud and meaningful way against gun violence, violence against women, children and anyone else for that matter… not to mention the myriad social causes I feel deep compassion for. But the idea of illustrating a political opinion offends my sense of self, despite a deep admiration for those who succeed in such endeavors.
This lead to much self reflection and sparked the idea to start an online diary, where I could “think out loud” and grow from my own thoughts while sharing them with others. An online diary would also provide a platform to fully express my opinions and give rise to ideas that should remain neither silent nor unnoticed.
So getting back to this issue of political illustration: for the time being, it just can’t be done. It goes against everything I am as an artist. Although I’m reluctant to qualify my illustrations as escapist, they do in a sense allow me (and hopefully others) to immerse myself in a world of aesthetic beauty that heals rather than rallies one to a cause. They serve as a balancing weight to counter so many horrors prevalent in our society.
In this case feminine beauty is celebrated rather than objectified. Glamour and elegance do battle against humankind’s baser realities. And last, but not least, cultural diversity is championed through use of pattern and motif (note the Persian influence in the above illustration).
I’m certainly not saying I’ll never move toward a more political subject matter. I prefer to keep an open mind and refrain from thinking in absolutes or extremes. But for the time being, my artwork needs to remain on the path it’s currently traveling.
So thank you for accompanying me via this first post on a journey toward a clearer social conscience. Let’s find out where it leads.