MY EARLIEST WORK
My earliest memories of making art aren’t really memories at all, but stories that my mom has told me over and over again until they’ve become real in my mind. She loves to tell people how I learned to draw and craft before I could even write my own name. Her favorite story being one where I crafted a miniature nativity scene out of erasers and blocks at the age of 3. Meticulously drawing faces on each character, and dressing them in different colored tissue. It’s from these stories that I began to see a recurring theme of religion and in particular the birth of Christ (see above). At first I thought it a little heavy for a small child to dwell on such heavenly beings, but after talking it over with Ryan it made perfect sense.
As a small child the most significant characters in my life, outside of my family, were those figures I saw repeatedly on Sunday mornings and at holiday celebrations. I was too young to understand the idea of a movie star, or cartoon character, but through repetition I was able to grasp that baby Jesus and the biblical characters that surrounded him were significant in some way. There is no way that I could have understood the symbolism of what I was making, but it eased its way into my subconscious anyway.
Years later in college I would again find myself drawn to the idea of religious iconography and of symbolism as I studied art history. I could write a whole post on just that, but I’ll save you the art history lesson for now. I now happily seek out the symbolism in things, though not in an overtly religious way, and it delights me when I spot something in my work.
Funny that a silly little sketch my mom saved for over 2 decades now holds so much meaning. I suppose that’s equally symbolic. - b.