My educational foundation, always shaping how I see, interact, critique, and make a mark on the world.
In 2017 I rented a studio in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, conveniently located less than a mile from my job at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers. I could leave work at 4pm and walk there in 20 minutes. It was the great spot to throw myself into a new art project.
The last time I had my own studio or any type of workspace was three years prior. San Francisco rent is atrocious, so paying even more money for 200 square feet certainly gave me pause, but I had the urge to get my hands dirty. I wanted to create a series of large charcoal drawings.
While my day job lends itself to creativity, there are many constraints, and you’re ultimately selling someone else’s product. The goal is different. That doesn’t mean there’s less satisfaction, but the process isn’t driven by your own intention, needs, and desire. It’s always commercial product. When creativity is on your own time and terms, the process is personal, and the result can be more meaningful.
The seven drawings on this page were created in the studio. They started pretty swiftly, on a small scale, about 18×24 inches, then quickly grew to 76 x 56 inches. The work was extremely physical. I went through boxes of charcoal and erasers. I would lay down material, then remove it in a subtractive drawing process. It felt like making sculpture. Sweeping up a giant dustpan of rubber shavings and charcoal dust was the last step.
The physicality of the work correlates with the subject matter. Since graduate school my art has explored the instability of the human body and psyche, and how they work together to engage and respond to the world around us. These drawings are an extension of that exploration, and will likely be my last in the series.
After two years in the studio I turned in my keys. I made the work I wanted to execute, and didn’t have the time to justify the cost of the space. I also wanted to spend more time outdoors with a camera. There will be more studio time. Right now I’m in research mode on a new creative endeavor.