It’s nothing new for my art to be music-inspired, but this self-portrait series felt a bit different, driven by an almost manic need to create and very much unplanned until hearing the song, “Vultures” by Asking Alexandria. Though always a fan of rock/metal, it was a departure from the ambient music I had always used for inspiration in the past. It struck a chord and I found myself immersed in Sirius Radio's Octane #biguns list (2018-2020), Turbo, and Lithium stations, awakened yet comforted by each bands’ riff, beat, epic melodies, and screams. The lyrics being equally if not more important than the finished product, shone a validating light on my fragile mental health, pushing writings and sketches from the past few years' experiences beyond my journals and onto wood panels. Handwritten on burnt journal paper, verses of each song will be included with its art piece of the same name. Just Breathe is my thank you to the musicians who held my hand through various invisible mental health challenges, and motherhood, helping me to find my voice again.
With the culmination of creating the series and as the recipient of 2020's Business of Art Scholarship; awarded and mentored by The Studio Door, San Diego Visual Arts Network; I was presented the opportunity to exhibit Just Breathe at The Studio Door as an installation in January 2021. During the month-long exhibition, I hosted a Virtual Artist Talk where I spoke more in-depth about the process of creating it, technical challenges, and the benefits of art to our mental health and community as a whole. In continuing my mission to make creative outlets easily accessible, each patron visiting the exhibit was given a complimentary mini blank journal on the way out and will continue to be included with any/all purchases.
Just Breathe is also in the works as my next (seventh) self-published book, aimed for 2022.