Larisa

larissa2

“I feel strong because of where I am with my artwork right now, but I did not always feel this way. I spent a long and confusing time after completing my degree trying to figure out where I fit in the field of photography. There are so many talented people out there and I just felt like there was no way I could possibly compete.  For many reasons, some legitimate and some not so legitimate, I doubted myself and my ability to produce any meaningful work. I started off copying other peoples styles as best I could but the work I ended up with always looked and felt contrived and disingenuous. Then I said, screw it, I will just go back to school for another degree to somehow “qualify” the work I was trying to do but that didn’t work out for me either.

 I finally started listening more to myself and less to the people around me — and by listening to myself I mean, I stopped COMPARING myself to other artists. I realized I lacked discipline, direction, and I had no clear focus. I didn’t know what  I wanted my work to look like, feel like, and in turn I think people didn’t know how to relate to it.  So I stopped photographing for a while and spent a good deal of time just learning – learning about myself, reintroducing myself to artwork that I loved since I was a little kid, I began reading again. I discovered authors that I loved before – I loved even more now because I had gained a deeper understanding of their work. I also encountered new authors whose work I just fell in love with — and I began slowing re-engaging with my own work as a result. I found that I spent so much time being influenced by those around me that I had really done a great job of forgetting who I was as a creative person.  The kind of artwork I love to see and that I love to create, nobody else is doing it right now. I don’t know many current photographers who have a deep appreciation for impressionist painters of the 18th and 19th century, who have personally studied the works of Vincent Van Gogh in an academic sense to provide even a base line knowledge of how brooding, misunderstood and sad the man really was.  These were things I learned in the 6th grade in an arts and humanities class I lucked out in taking and Van Gogh’s work has stayed with me ever since.  I have been re-energized – and  I’ve felt so fulfilled in my work because I’m playing around with concepts inspired by these great pioneers of an era that seems not only forgotten but under-appreciated.  My current goal is to create an installation of contemporary artwork for interior designers/decorators to incorporate into modern and post modern  settings.   This is how I would love to see my work displayed, in homes, in offices and galleries. Photographing traditional subjects in a fresh, modern way with the smallest hints of homage paid to painters like Van Gogh who inspired an era of incredible works of art.”

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