Rachel Elspeth Gross
Literary Arts; Multi Arts; Visual Arts: Constructions/Collage, Crafts, Film, Functional and/or Decorative, Illustration, Jewelry, Mixed Media, Painting, Textiles
I love patterns.
Patterns inspire systems of sequence and classification, and if there is anything that nears equal to my love of patterns it would be my desire to design systems of organization that can be visually attractive when actualized. Drawing fabrics, hair, jewelry or just patterns is exactly that; an elegantly structured arrangement at best, or at least an ordered assembly. I find the entirety of this process to be terribly stimulating, and that excitement is what drives me forward.
Some days I even fall in love with my work. Those are really good days. Other days I can look at a project and know that I have destroyed it, or am getting perilously close to ruining something precious. This second experience is less amorous than the first, but even when I have thoroughly discouraged myself or proved inept at translating my internal vision into a tangible form of visual expression, I always return prepared to work a problem again from a different angle. I know I am meant to be an artist because no matter what happens I am always pulled back to my creative process. No matter what, I know that I will always draw, paint, and sew.
Anthropology is another point of fascination, especially when there is a structured model involved, like the Hierarchy of Needs or a Hero with a Thousand Faces. I would think it fair to say that a common theme across all my projects (regardless of medium or series) would be the resonance of archetype in cross-cultural storytelling. The more history I absorb, the more similarity and overlap I recognize. Celebrating the details that humanity agrees on has always seemed a worthy focus for my efforts. Especially when comparing the conceptual storytelling models we as western culture choose to perpetuate verses the stories we try to bury, and how this compares with the ideals of the rest of the globe. Fascinating stuff.
As to media, I like markers and inks right now. I was into oil paints and graphite last winter and the spring before that was all-colored-pencil-all-the-time. Some artists like to work with only one or two mediums and I applaud their dedication. But for myself, I like to be able to feel reasonably competent in as many stylistic forms as possible. This stems from my personal belief that it is important for me to keep up a well rounded skill set. I enjoy usable skills, and work to cultivate them. Moreover, I believe that there is an invaluable spiritualism that comes with hands on creation, and I want to be able to express that feeling in as many was as I can.