the face behind the art

How would you describe your art?

"I use the medium of collage to create portraits that are both extremely realistic and entirely fantastical. I want to represent people how they see/ present themselves but also add colors, patterns, and dimensions that open them up to a world of possibility. The best compliment I can get when I give someone a portrait is 'Wow, I look so cool!'"

What does being an artist mean to you? 

"Being an artist is being brave enough to produce work that is truly and purely your vision. Even if no-one sees it but you, trusting yourself to make something that there are on instructions or 'right-way' takes a lot of self-confidence and courage."

What makes you feel most aligned when you are creating?

"I am most aligned when my distractions are limited. I typically start collages late at night when my brain is already half in dream mode and I like to wake up really early to finish. I feel most detail oriented and focussed right in the morning. A perfect time for toast, coffee, and finishing touches".

What changes would you like to see in the world?

"I would like to see people become less inhibited by what they feel like they should be doing and instead focussing on cultivating their most true selves. I struggle with this personally."

What does “home” mean to you?

"Home is where I feel held by community." 

What is something you want people to know about your art that isn’t apparently shown?

"A lot of people ask me what I use for materials. Old magazines! It’s funny to me because I could probably identify the magazine and image for each tiny piece on any of my collages. Sometimes I am very purposeful about the images I use if I feel that they connect to the person’s identity or ethos. For example, with the collage of my brother I used old bike maps our dad collected from all the towns where my brother has lived and pieces from his University’s magazine."

When are you most grounded?

"When I’ve had enough sleep and recently been hugged."

Who or what inspires you?

"I am most inspired by the people I meet and experiences I share with others. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by this feeling that a conversation, feeling or moment deserves more celebration than it would normally receive and that’s when I try to document the reality and highlight the magic of it all in a collage."

How do you decompress? 

"I go for a walk in the woods and listen to a podcast."

Coffee, or tea?

"...Both? Coffee first, then copious cups of tea the rest of the day."

Are you an early riser, or a night owl?

"Early riser! If I were a muffin I would 150% be a morning glory muffin." 

What lights you up? 

"My people! Every single day."

Describe your perfect day. 

"Any day that starts with sunrise at the beach drinking a thermos of Mudslide coffee from Caffe Kilim and ends with a walk/ rollerblade with my best friend." 

What values do you keep closest to your heart?

"Kindness, honesty, and flexibility." 

What is something you just can’t picture your life without? 

"Time spent outside exploring new places and meeting new people."

What is one piece of advice you would give to people who are scared to share their art? 

What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

"There is no one like you and no art like yours and no lack of space in this world for creativity and self-expression! Let it sing." 

What are ways people can support you and your art?

"Follow @ExStrangers on instagram, buy a print for you or a loved one on Etsy, or send me a message about collaborating on a project/ idea!"

What are ways people can support you and your art?

"Follow @ExStrangers on instagram, buy a print for you or a loved one on Etsy, or send me a message about collaborating on a project/ idea!"