ARTIST STATEMENT

Stories are important. People everywhere have told stories since the dawn of time, and we still rely on them on a daily basis. They define our identities and provide context for the world we see around us. From an early age, I was drawn to encyclopedias, graphic novels, and illustrated faerietale volumes, enthralled by the interplay between textual narrative and visual art, all rich with symbolism. My work today is heavily influenced by themes both universal and distinct found in mythologies from around the world, with a focus on the ways we view our relationship to the flora and fauna of nature. Living in the woodlands of Montana, the wilderness is at my doorstep in all its terror and glory, and the rhythms of seasonal changes are ever in my awareness.


    The style I have grown into is the intentional evolution of skills I picked up early in life: folding paper into creative shapes, drawing imaginative creatures and intricate details, and illustrating my stories, my school notes, and my friends’ bodies daily. As I learn and explore, I am rapidly branching out into forms that incorporate three-dimensional aspects, moving pieces, and found objects. Whether the work is on paper or skin, I enjoy the tactile intimacy of low-impact tools that allow me to work closely on the precise details. My mixed media pieces typically make use of Copic inking pens and sketch markers, bristol board cutouts, handmade and recycled papers, acrylic paint, metallic foils, and very sharp utility knives. When I work on skin, I use high-grade pure henna mixed with black tea and essential oils for temporary mehndi designs, or sterile single-use professional needles with disposable bamboo handles and top-quality ink to create lifelong machine-free art tattoos. Wherever possible when sourcing materials, I like to seek out options that allow me to support other skilled people working in a creative trade, and who take into account the impact of their processes on the environment while working toward responsible and sustainable practices.


    When we are curious and vulnerable enough to trust others with our stories and learn theirs in turn, we forge necessary connections of empathy with other people, illumination in the dark. Each one-of-a-kind piece I create is meant to work as a coded mnemonic for the story embedded within its tiniest details: if a picture is worth a thousand words, then narrative art is layering each of those thousand words into the details of a single image. If something speaks to your curiosity, please listen, and take another look.

©2019 by Anjuli Keller-King - Fox Spirit Design