It’s been quiet over here on the blog this spring. A lot has been brewing and I’ll be sharing on that soon. For now I’m talking about identity. I have always been fascinated with humans and identity. As a young pre-teen I had my nose in a book always, living and relating to the characters, and in the process building my own identity by reflection. In university I focused on identity in my communication studies, in my modern dance choreography pieces, in my fine art class projects, in my literature and poetry classes, even in my resource and environmental management classes. This wasn’t a conscious intent—I was drawn and led by something intangible. I nearly did a Master’s degree exploring identity but instead went on to build a design career helping clients find their authentic visual voice and identity. And my fascination continues today. I read and watch shows and films to fall deeply in love with the characters and I feel sorrow when the end of the book or season comes. I read books about identity, truth and knowing ourselves. I explore human identity themes in my work. I’ve been drawing and painting women’s faces steadfast since I was less than ten years old. And every illustration, painting and surface design comes from a learning about the nature of humans and the individual characteristics that make us, well, us.
To use a common metaphor, discovering identity is truly akin to peeling back the layers of an onion, never knowing how many more layers there are to come. First we reject what we know in order to identify ourselves by what we aren’t. Then we seek, we find, and we begin to collect pieces of what we are. Then we grow to the edges and need more room. And this repeats, and we continue to evolve and shape our identity. One neat thing for me recently has been watching the big shifts in myself. A few years ago I embraced my feminine side, inviting and delighting in everything girly. Now that is morphing into a curiosity about the wild woman in me – the yearning and draw to let her out. It’s neat to see my art shift in conjunction with this - to see the movement from pretty and feminine to powerful wild woman starting to emerge. That’s what I love, the uncertainty and magic in letting our identities unfold. I wonder what’s next?