Monday, August 26, 2013

Creative Souls Featured Artist

A Touch of Wanderlust

Roxann Murray grew up in the backwoods of GrahamWA. Since she was a little girl, she has had a strong bond with the natural world. Roxann graduated from UW Tacoma in 2009 with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences. Her dreams are to travel the world and take pictures for National Geographic and Afar Magazine.

What makes you tick?
Injustices done to animals and humans, the 1%, social issues, environmental issues, and body image. Lyme disease also makes me tick (no pun intended!).

If I looked in your purse, what would I find?
Business cards, a wallet, perfume, lip gloss, small notepad, mints, lotion… the usual in a girl’s purse.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
It depends on the amount! Let’s put a number down: $10 million- I would continue my global travels including Bali, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, Europe, South Africa, Kenya, India, Central America, Peru, and many others. I would buy a house in Costa Rica, the Philippines, and build an earthship in Santa Fe or Seattle with 2 to 5 acres for each. I would buy a house for my mom. I would donate to some animal and human rights groups and also donate organizations which help Chronic Lyme patients who have no help. I would buy an electric car or a car that runs on vegetable oil. I would open my own shop- a bookstore with my art and other local art. I would have lunch with Hugh Jackman, Ashley Judd, Rebel Wilson, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Roseanne Barr. I would have the time to volunteer at animal shelters and homeless shelters. And last but not least, I would get proper treatment for my Chronic Lyme.

What is the last book you read?-
I read the Moon travel handbook “Santa FeTaos, & Albuquerque” because I am visiting that area in October, and I am currently reading the Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein (it should be an assigned reading to all first year undergraduates). 

What was the last movie you went to see?
Silver Linings Playbook in the theatre, Gasland at home.

Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see?
Ellen Page or Jennifer Lawrence as myself. Bruno Mars as Frank, my significant other (someone said he looks like the singer…I don’t really see it), Diane Keaton as my mom, and Tommy Lee Jones as my dad.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?-
I fell in the mud in high school and my mom couldn’t bring me another set of clothes so I had to spend the rest of the day with mud-caked pants.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?-
I have been struggling with Chronic Lyme. It was a medical mystery at first, I was having all these problems and since I was diagnosed, I have been hitting brick walls ever since. I have started making art about living with Lyme.

Is the artistic life lonely?
It definitely can be! A lot of artists including myself are misunderstood.

What do you dislike about the art world? –
People in the art world such as professors and curators are under the impression that there are rules to art- there are no rules (except for copyright rules).

What makes you angry?
Climate change, patriarchy, the military industrial complex, government corruption,  fracking, war, religion, injustices, politics, betrayal, having a disease that is not recognized in the medical field, the amount of money you need in order to get an education, animal abuse/neglect, child abuse/neglect, the 1% elite, and struggling to sell my art.

Name something you love, and why.
My camera- as my memory fades, I have my photographs. 

What is your dream project?
A funded travel photography project around the world.

Professionally, what’s your goal?
I want what every artist wants- to sell my art without going insane. 

Explain what you do in 100 words
            I am a 3rd generation artist and nature child. I travel and wander to stay happy. I consider myself a digital/mixed media artist seeing that I work with collage, photographs, colored pencils, ink, paint, and recycled materials. Photography is the medium that I am most dedicated to. Although I do not limit myself to the subjects I photograph, I enjoy capturing images of animals and nature the most.
I use art as a way of healing. Carrying a camera, especially around animals, is like a prescription for me. Taking photographs makes me feel safe and normal in a changing society.

What themes do you pursue?
            Travel, nature, wildlife, body image, environmental issues, human rights, politics, Mexican folk art

Which past and present artists do you admire?

Frida Kahlo, Banksy, Nikki McClure, Chandler O’Leary, Deborah faye Lawrence, Jerry Uelsmann, Guerrilla Girls, Annie Leibovitz, Andy Goldsworthy, Robert Bissell, Jose Posada, Judy Baca, Walton Ford, Teesha Moore

What are your favorite materials?
My camera, fine tip pens, found natural objects, and colored pencils
For you personally, do you feel the internet has had a postive or negative influence on your work?
Both- I say what I think and feel and many people do not like that. On the other hand, social media makes networking easy. There is so much information out there, it’s overwhelming.

What good advice can you pass along, to emerging artists?
Pace yourself and don’t take things too personally. Do what you want (as long as it’s legal and not harming anyone) and screw everyone else who tries to stop you.

Thanks for the opportunity!!

-Roxann L. Murray

"The artist transcends the immediate, the here and now, and the madness of the world." -Howard Zinn