I suppose one could say that I began creating art in my early childhood but truly did not begin to make meaningful works until my first year at Indiana University South Bend. When I first began the five year journey at the university I did not know much about art or its history. However, I did know that deep inside lie a passion for photography. I had been taking photos consistently for three years previously, with little knowledge of the basics like composition, subject matter, and good tonal range. Growing up was a challenge and photography was my escape from a harsh reality. When I first started photographing objects I used a point and shoot 35mm camera generally without an objective.
Now, I primarily use a medium format camera and occasionally 35mm, or 4×5 camera. I enjoy using traditional black and white film because it strips all symbolism associated with colors, and narrows the focus on the light quality and subject. Mostly I make use of a two bath developer that gives the best tonal range in the negatives. In addition I print on silver gelatin paper which in combination with the film allows me to achieve a sharp image.
Finding art is one of the best happenings of my life. Even when I am having some of my worst days, I know that the pain will pass and I have photography to look forward to. It’s like a therapy because it takes my mind off the pain and into this alternative world. The challenges that I face are spoken through my art. Going through the process of photographing and printing I can’t help but to reflect on who inspired me the most.
During my sophomore year in high school I signed up for photography class because I was interested in learning about the darkroom process. At that time I was in the early stages of Fibromyalgia and my confidence was low. The teacher of the class, Mr. B, was energetic and passionate about photography, which helped me not only to find my calling but to know there was a place for me in life. After taking his class I was hooked and reeled into the world of art. Since that class I have been using my skill to photograph anything and everything in my path, but I hadn’t been able to fully understand how and why to make art until recently.
The best part of my career at IU South Bend has been the past couple of years, as I have begun to make work that is more personal to me and is part with a more emotional drive. These years at IU South Bend have been very crucial for me in understanding my disease and how I can translate it into my work.