I initially began to experiment with collaging and photography in my early teens. I found it to be a productive creative outlet where I could express what I wanted to, without there being any regulations or guidelines. I began my first self-started project while being in treatment at an inpatient rehabilitation facility. Collaging was a fun way to pass the time and keep myself occupied. It quickly transformed into an important part of my recovery from substance abuse. I had found a way to turn the fleeting ideas and emotions in my head into actual, concrete images using photography and collage techniques. My artwork continues to aid me in my everyday life. It’s a huge gift to be able to turn thoughts and emotions that used to produce negativity into something that produces happiness in not only myself, but others as well. Each piece I make has a different meaning to me, but I’m more interested in how the viewer perceives it. Everyone interprets things differently, and that’s the beautiful thing about art-everyone can have their own opinion, and no one is wrong. Through my work, my goal is to express my own ideas, but if your perception is different from mine, who’s to say you’re wrong?

I have had many struggles in my personal life stemming from substance abuse and my sexuality, and I had a hard time expressing my emotions pertaining to these areas. Through my art, I am hoping to send the message of self-love, self-appreciation, and self-acceptance. Everyone has obstacles in life that they need to overcome to achieve happiness, and you can come out on the other side of those experiences a stronger, more positive person. Life has so many amazing gifts to give, and you can only acquire them if you’re open and accepting. In my near future, I hope to graduate college with a bachelor’s in photography. As for my profession, I would love any career in which I could help others realize their talent and abilities in the arts and help them achieve their goals, whatever they might be. I want to pass on the happiness that I have acquired through creating art and help people realize the things that they are capable of.