KAYLA EDMONSTON

ARTISTIC VALUES

As an artist, I value finding my true self in my artwork. 

The tangible interpretation of someone’s mind. My core values were often reflected in my work because they delivered a piece of myself I was trying to find. Subconsciously, I was searching for confidence in myself as an artist. I masked my lack of confidence by claiming I was searching for my identity. In reality, I was too scared to acknowledge the artist I am.

I figured if I was able to “identify” myself, I would be satisfied. I figured the key to my success would be declaring myself the prestigious title of an artist. Reflecting, the vague generalization was a default mechanism for actually getting to know Kayla. The overaching theme seemed sufficient enough. I associated the persona of myself with simply being an artist. 

What I realize now that in order to be an artist, I need to know who I am. The artwork I create is a direct reflection of the way in which I percieve the world. There is no measure, no defintion, no textbook ideal of what declare someone an artist. Yet, I continued to believe that there was some standard I had to reach. I was fooled by the idea of creating artwork for the audience, when I was supposed to be creating artwork for myself.

I get know that being an artist isn’t something that you study for or crash course in a couple hours. I guess in some ways you can learn traditional training by going to class, but Pollack did not take a class that taught him to revolutionize the modern art industry through a new form of painting. Dadism didn’t come from copying existing pieces. The conceptual art movement was created by making works that upended bourgeois sensibilities but instead generated works that questioned the conventional society, that challenged the norm. 

In a lot of ways, I guess you could say I was stalling. I didn’t want to acknowledge the qualities of my art that reflected me. I wanted to avoid the possibility of being known, of being seen, of being exposed. I wanted to remain the anonymous artist. But what good is creating art that doesn’t make you think? 

To me, art has become the constant battle between pleasing yourself and pleasing your audience. The true artist will please themself, yet who I am to say true. Artists live to reach satisfaction, however, I do think confidence is the most essential quality of being an artist. 

In my art, I’ve always been drawn to faces. Pretty ironic, coming from the artist that doesn’t want to be knonw. I figured the more faces I drew, the better I would be able to find out who I was. I was searching for a definition of myself in my artwork. My lack of self-identity would influence my artwork because I value the unknown.

Though the unknown is undoubtedly frightening for me, it allowed me to fall deeper into my fears. I was able to restore the lack of satisfaction I had in myself. Rather than thriving off of the satisfaction of pleasing my audience. My fear gave me this identity that I tried to cast myself away from. It gave me the piece of myself, I wasn’t ready to show. I now realize, my identity, my true self is in progress. And that is all I could ever hope for. It is my resolving satisfation. 

And this to me, is what art is. Satisfying yourself rather than the customer of your art. The contrasting ideas between what the artist delivers and how the customer perceives what is allows for the flow of conversation and ingenuity. It is tthe friction between contrary and conflcting ideas coming together as one.