• veldmanemily

The Transition to a New Artistic Practice

During the summer of 2018, I graduated with my Masters in Arts Management. This was a time of celebration. As a student, I worked hard to maintain my grades, work a part-time job, and even started searching for a position before my graduation. The world was filled with promise and new opportunities.

Although graduation was an exciting new chapter, I began to feel very lost outside of my student identity. I felt the reality of adulthood when my significant other moved across the country for a new job and more opportunities in his field. Additionally, some of my other classmates moved away as well and my established circle of friends and support system seemed to dwindle. This transition was challenging for me as I navigated from being a student to an employed adult.

Summer faded into fall and the seasonal sunshine in the midwest went away leaving the gray fall and winter. My depression and anxiety increased and I needed additional ways to cope with my feelings. I longed for brighter colors, patterns, and textures that I couldn’t find in my environment. After many years of abandoning my artistic practice, I began to create a new world for myself. I began painting animal friends full of the color, pattern, and innocence that I needed. By starting this portrait series I was able to find a safe space to cope with my anxiety and comfort the audience viewing my work.

For a year, I have been living with my significant other and enjoying our time together. Currently, we are experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic which is leaving thousands ill. The fear of sickness has created anxiety and depression in all of us and impacts our daily lives. This is another time to create comfort and coping mechanisms through art. In my studio, I am creating new works to relieve this anxiety once more. I am continuing the portrait series to make new friends.They tell me about another world filled with childhood nostalgia and quirkiness where I can explore safely.

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