This piece is a reflection of my experiences within numerous academic structures and my relationship with them as somebody with a learning disability. It has been a strangely cathartic, yet substantially difficult process to produce this piece, especially in a way which I feel gives justice to the original ethos of the project. However, I believe that, given the circumstances, this is an accurate reflection of what I would have wanted the piece to consist of in a gallery setting.
ARTIST STATEMENT: As a child, I started making what I would consider to be art—initially as a process of exploration, and ultimately self-discovery. I would draw most days at school, but writing was always incredibly difficult for me. In adolescence I found deep meaning through music after a bacterial injury left me relatively immobilized for most of 2011. It was a genuine escape from the reality I currently occupied, and that’s something I still often desire, even in this moment.
In college I realized the potential of moving image, and found myself acting, writing, and editing numerous student films. I don’t have a background in acting, but for some reason it feels incredibly liberating for me to exist as an entirely different entity than myself, even if that’s all the only manifestation of me that the viewer recognizes.
I’ve struggled with writing for the majority of my life. As a child I would almost always succumb to the anxieties placed upon me to write something in class, because it would never feel like the words on the page matched the images in my mind—and this would feel that the work I was creating was false—and not truly what I wanted to exist. So I could never pull all of the thoughts out because they would get stuck partway, and I would give up. This was essentially my relationship with writing until around senior year of high school when I took a creative writing class. I realized that I could visualize memories, images or sensations, and pull them from my brain and solidify them on my page with a surreal fluidity if I was in a certain mindset. It was always incredibly difficult to reach that point, and still is often the case. But when I was there, I was where I needed to be. I could scoop out all the thoughts I ever conceived and place them on the page, where I could reform them into images. I had discovered some strange word alchemy that worked for me, and this is essentially the process I use to write to this very day.
PROFESSIONAL DIRECTION/CAREER ASPIRATION: After most likely receiving my Creative Media degree within a semester or two, I plan on getting my teaching certificate and hope to work in education to help prepare humanity for their inevitably bumpy future. I will continue creating art throughout all this, and will ideally guide others to find their own outlets, hopefully using them to improve the lives of others in some way.
CAPSTONE MEDIA: Illustration with permanent marker, sculpture, written narrative. Video component to document remotely.
SAMPLE OF PAST WORKS:
WEB PRESENCE: https://michaelgrill8.wixsite.com/mikethegrill