Detroit (paper) Dolls - Mixed Media Collage Series
Most people communicate with words but I do so with images. I didn't set out to be an artist nor do I really think of creating in those terms. Dreaming, thinking, sketching and creating tangible images that communicate my vision is what drives me on a day-to-day basis.
When I was a little girl my big sister gave me a camera in the shape of Mickey Mouse. I was so excited! I took pictures of things kids do: stuffed animals, my sister making faces, pets etc. I was excited because I could aim, point, click and see the results of my actions. That little camera introduced me to another way of communicating. Over the years my hobby offered a creative outlet for me to express myself within or out of my environment. Countless hours spent looking outward balances my perspective, but equally and separately the hours looking inward shapes my imagery. Making something that is in and of itself oddly beautiful is the most rewarding, humbling experience. The constant process of creating and expressing is where I find solace. It is where I'm home.
I have a true passion for all forms of photography. Every aspect of my career has been surrounded by photography and its real life usage. My first go around in college was a Bachelor Degree in Marketing & Advertising where I spent the next 20 years working in Detroit Media and Corporate America. However, there wasn't a time you would see me without my camera or working on some sort of art project. In the 90's I started photographing the ever changing landscape of Detroit when I discovered the thrill of building implosions, photographing over 20 to date. It wasn't clear until much later did I consider going back to collage to study photography which lead me to open my own photo studio to work as a freelance commercial photographer.
My life as an artist is an uncomfortable thing to acknowledge due to my perception of the word. My main focus has been fashion and portraiture photography and has dominated the course of my work until somewhat recently. In 2013, I underwent treatment for Stage 3 Breast Cancer and I was too sick to work. I started looking back through the many images I've captured of my beloved city. Some were describing Detroit as a broken city. And, at that time in many ways I felt I was the same. What came was Detroit (paper) Dolls. It is a continuing photographic collage series created out of my love for the unsung parts of Detroit twisted with the unexpected. It explores using Detroit landscape locations. Many of the locations have a personal connection or meaning to me. The series started with layering flat paper vintage fashion images and has evolved to include 2D and 3D images to add complexity. I am continuing to work on the project that got me through one of the most difficult times of my life but am excited for the next creative project. It is what gets me up everyday.