I believe some of the toughest periods of my life are the most impactful to my work, like when I go through a big life change, feel completely out of my comfort zone, or go through an identity crisis. I’ve experienced all these things since moving to the Bay Area from New York three years ago. Not only did I go through a big culture shock moving here, I also went through a break up with an ex-long-term partner in the first year. My world was definitely shaken up, but I tried to embrace the change since change was ultimately what I was seeking. My work and aesthetic went through a bit of a shift while I was adjusting to my new environment and new life. I started including more colours, both in my work and in my wardrobe, partially because I was inspired by the abundance of nature around me but also because I wanted my work to “fit in” with the work that I saw here. For this same reason, the subject matters of my personal work became more lighthearted, even though that wasn’t aligned with how I felt emotionally. In a way, it felt like I was trying to convince myself to feel the way I was portraying my work to be, or maybe it was a coping mechanism.
Looking back, I’m really grateful I made this work while I was desperately trying to adapt. The emotional disconnect I had to the work allowed me to realise that I wasn’t being fully authentic to myself. While some of the work that came out of that time reflected one part of me, I realised I was neglecting a completely different side of the story. Without that period of time, I wouldn’t have gained the awareness that I now have on how to identify the important bits of my experience that I actually hope to share with others.