In these difficult times, we have decided to ask our artists how they have been personally affected by the pandemic.
Here's what XRAY had to say about it.
Station 16: How has isolation affected your work?
XRAY: For the first few weeks I was working on a commissioned project but now that I've wrapped that up I'm starting to see an effect. Since my work is tied to my emotional states and perception of the world we live in, I've been feeling introspective and feeling around for a point of reference since there seems to be a lot of chaos and uncertainty right now. On the other hand, the lack of structure and increase in free time has given me space to explore new ideas and to follow up on things that had been on the back burner.
Station 16: Do you have a new routine related to our current situation?
XRAY: Yes, my routine involves a lot more time at home! I usually go to the gym 4 to 5 days a week for an hour or two to relieve stress and anxiety. Since I can't do that, I've been napping more haha...also cooking, cleaning, and spending more time with my partner Cyril and our dog Kingston. I've also been working out in my art studio with some exercise bands that had been collecting dust.
Station 16: Where do you take inspiration from at the moment?
XRAY: A lot of my inspirations come from my memories of childhood and growing up in the 1980's & 90's; even the early 2000's. I find myself being nostalgic for a time before smartphones and the internet; when I used to skateboard everyday with my friends and be "out in the world" exploring and having unexpected encounters with random people in real life. That being said, I also find inspiration in the creative friends that I have now, many of whom I see more on Instagram than in reality. Really, anything can inspire me... from seeing a little kid riding their bike, to a sad love song that makes me cry, to a smell in the air that reminds me of a forgotten feeling of joy.
Do you have any tips for new artists?
Yes, I do. Put a high value on yourself and don't let the world tell you who to be...you tell the world who you are. It's good to emulate your heroes while you’re learning but don't be afraid to go through the frustration of finding your own voice... and don’t be afraid to fail or look foolish. It's how fast you get back up and how you deal with failure that counts. Always believe in yourself. Get lost in your creative process, it's good to have ideas and concepts going in but allow "happy accidents" to surprise you. Don't compare your story arc or success to that of others, they might have advantages that you don't(family money, connections, etc.); your focus needs to be on YOU and what YOU can do with your strengths and what's available to you so MAKE IT HAPPEN! Be a dreamer and believe in your dreams wholeheartedly. Study the old masters and develop an appreciation for composition. Be aware that it's your originality that will make you stand out as an artist, not your technical skills. The amount of time you spend on something is not what determines if it is "good art" or not. Take care of your health of body and mind, we artists have a tendency to live in our heads and can be self destructive at times. Always remember that your mind is just part of your body. Take self care seriously and DO NOT buy into that cliche that artists are supposed to die young or are more valuable when they’re dead. Finally and most importantly...be humble, be kind and understand the importance of relationships to your career. Treat the people you do business with with respect and professionalism and be open to constructive criticism!
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