ARTIST STATEMENT

(scroll down to read about the Unguarded Moment project)


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I am a Military brat and a Christian who values family, hard work, and good food. I'm constantly working on myself as an artist and a human, so stay tuned!

I got three degrees in school (BAS Leadership & Management, AAS Photography, and a Certificate in Graphic Design). I got all of those degrees because I'm passionate about a lot of things. (Why pick one when you could have it all?!) 

Back in 2011 when I was looking at colleges to attend, all of them asked me to pick one: Photography or Graphic Design? They asked me questions like "Which one did you 'discover' first?" and "Which one do you feel like you can't live without?" in an attempt to help me pick my "favorite". My answer was consistently silence, accompanied with a classic deer-in-the-headlights stare... The only school that was willing to work with me was Colorado Mountain College. They let me mix and match courses and credits until I got what I wanted. Four years later, here we are.

The result of that has been pretty awesome! My heart truly lies smack in the middle of it all, in a place I have finally dubbed "Fine Art" (noun: creative art, especially visual art, whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content). This kind of art allows me to most fully and freely express myself and my passion for people and storytelling.

Beyond that, I enjoy logo design and portraiture photography, and a million other things in between. The bottom line is that I am passionate about art that elicits a reaction and leaves an impression, and I aim to create art that impacts my viewers. The road I take to get there could be 1 out of 1000, and for as long as I am equipped to travel whichever road I choose, I'll be happy forever!

I currently spend ~40 hours/week at a really wonderful job, where I get to split my time between graphic design work and some administrative work. In my free time I create, watch Netflix, read, hang out with my cat (she has an instagram, if you'd like to meet her  - @zivalasvegas) and spend time with friends and family. :)

If you like my style and are interested in hiring me for something, or would just like to chat, reach out and let's talk about what all I can do! I'm always learning, changing, growing and creating, so the possibilities are endless. 

THE UNGUARDED MOMENT

In general, I think that having art explained to you is a blessing and a curse. As an artist, it allows you to further connect with your audience by sharing the exact message you mean to convey, and knowing that it has been heard. As a viewer-of-art, having a piece explained to you can sometimes take away the meaning that is unique to you. People usually see something entirely different in my art than what I intended while I created it, and that is incredibly valuable to me as an artist.

That being said, this particular project is worth highlighting and explaining.

In the Professional Photography program at Colorado Mountain College, students are required to create a portfolio of their work in their final semester. The first two semesters are spent teaching you the technical skills you need to take photographs. The third semester is spent exploring and defining your personal style as an artist, finding your niche, and creating art while also fine-tuning some of the more specific tools of the trade. The final semester is "portfolio" semester, and it's the worst. (In the best way.) During my portfolio semester, I started a project called "20 Questions" (now known as "The Unguarded Moment"). The idea was to photograph people of all ages, genders and cultures while asking them 20 different questions. The questions got increasingly personal as they progressed. The idea was that most portraits capture beautiful moments in people's lives, but there's always a facade brought on by the presence of the camera. People want to look good in their photos, and they act accordingly when cameras are around. I wanted to capture the essence of the person - catch them in an (wait for it)

unguarded moment.

The questions started out simple - What's your name? Where did you grow up? Who's your favorite super hero? etc. Then they transitioned into things like who is the most important person in your life? What would you do if you lost that person? When was the last time you cried in front of someone? What about by yourself? etc. Question by question, the subjects became more concerned with the thoughts in their heads than the camera in front of them.

The result was astounding. See for yourself here: