The Artist’s Panel: Bird

Hello everyone! To any of the UofM students out there reading this: A little bird told me that you might need some encouragement during this exam season. You’re doing great! You are capable! Drink some water and be kind to yourself! Have a safe, productive and healthy week, all. This little bird believes in you, and so do I.

The Artist’s Panel: rEVOLUTION

Today, I wanted to highlight a current UofM exhibition that speaks on issues that are close  to my heart. The 16th Annual rEVOLUTION: Transformation exhibition, which is curated by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) here on campus, showcases work created by UofM student  allies and survivors of sexual violence. I was deeply moved by the powerful work on display. For the above illustration, I drew from my own experience as a sexual assault survivor as well as references to some of the pieces on display. To see the virtual exhibition in its entirety, click here! I strongly encourage everyone to spend time with this empowering body of work. 

The Artist’s Panel: Routine

 

For this week’s post, I want to talk about switching up your medium. Lately, my eyes have been killing me from staring at a computer screen for so long, as I work almost entirely on the computer. Zoom fatigue is real, and let me tell you, so is Wacom-Tablet-And-Adobe-Suite fatigue. When I was recently assigned to complete an illustration for one of my classes, I knew I had to make a change in how I worked. 

I found a pallet of water color paints while searching through my drawer of miscellaneous art supplies (you know the one) and I couldn’t resist the temptation to use them. I spent the rest of the evening sitting on my porch with a glass of sweet tea and my paints. After touching the illustration up in Photoshop, I was pretty proud of it! Fine art and painting are by no means my specialty, but it was a needed change to my daily routine. 

After completing this illustration, I felt completely reenergized and inspired to approach my other digital work in a new way. There is no “command Z” when you are painting, so using watercolors forced me to relinquish some of my control and trust my instincts. It brought to my attention that I have been caught up on the very small details instead of looking at the bigger picture of the assignment, and I would have never had the opportunity to reflect on this habit if I hadn’t switched up my medium for a day. It can be very easy to get lost in your daily routine, but breaking the cycle every once in awhile can do wonders for your work — and your motivation — moving forward.

The Artist’s Panel: Self-Care

 

Hello all! As many of you may know, today was the second and final university-sanctioned Wellness Day of the semester. I know that it is difficult to focus on wellness for a day at this point in the semester, but I hope that students and faculty alike could take some time to focus on mental health. Mental health is something that I am extremely passionate about and it’s a common theme in my artistic work, so I always take the opportunity to talk about it when I can! I’d love for this post to serve as a check-in for anyone that may need it. Feel free to comment below about how you are, what you did for the Wellness Day today, or what your favorite things to do to take care of your mental health are. Personally, I tried to spend some time working on homework outdoors, and I made sure to cuddle with my adorable cat, Juniper! I drew the things I did for my mental health today in the image above. Be well!

The Artist’s Panel: Prospect

For today’s post, I wanted to talk about an amazing public art piece in the Ann-Arbor/Ypsilanti area! Prospect Park is a DIY skate park that was painted entirely by the community of people that skates there. Visiting Prospect is like stepping into an immersive world of color and movement. The varying height of the ramps makes the art feel alive, and the sheer amount of it is all-consuming. Adding roller skaters and skateboarders into the mix creates a whole new dimension of life within the art. Many of the skaters are clad with bright-colored outfits and statement pieces, bringing their own unique style into the mismatch of striking art around them. Prospect Park is just that: a jigsaw of personal expression, an explosion of color, and an epicenter of life. To see more images of Prospect Park and to read statements from athletes that skate there, you can follow this link to a copy of my book, Unsponsored?: A Feminist, Queer Skate Story. I had the amazing opportunity to photograph female and gender non-conforming skaters within and outside of the Ann Arbor area. Many of them are artists; one roller skater I talked to has a business selling hand-made rugs in the shape of roller skates. Another is a fifteen-year-old photographer that is just starting out, but produces portraits that make it look like she’s been taking pictures for years. One skateboarder is going to a school across the country to study design this coming fall. Another is a non-binary fashion influencer. Listening to their stories was like talking to Prospect personified; art was all around me.

The Artist’s Panel: Alumni

Happy Tuesday! In honor of Stamp’s annual Hail Yeah! celebration, where students gather to give our thanks to alumni donors, I thought it was fitting to make a post celebrating all of the amazing Stamps alumni who have given back so much to our school! Thank you, we appreciate all that you do. To read about Stamps alumni, click here. To find more information about how you can participate in Hail Yeah!, click here.