A dialogue between Chanell Stone & Carolina I
Carolina: The first question was ‘Why did you pursue photography and how does it speak to you?
Chanell: Okay so I pursued photography because it felt like the most organic medium for me, like I feel like I can convey my thoughts. I just fell in love with it, I really really felt called to it, as a kid I’ve always been artistically inclined. The first medium I picked up was drawing I was really good at drawing and in highschool took a lot of advanced drawing classes but than one year I had an elective where I could take photos and it was analog working with darkrooms, etc. and I just fell in love with it and I did year book that year and this was my senior year I finally had room in my schedule for electives before that there was no room. So I took photo, the photo class and yearbook which are both photography focused and I just fell in love with it, I was inseparable from the camera and it was so cool to me especially analog, the delay like you shoot it, you hope you did it right, let’s see what you got. So you're really learning um for real-for real like I learned on digital but analog kinda took me to this new level with it and I guess it speaks to me because you're kinda taking from the real world where with drawing it’s all in your mind, imagination, or unless you’re drawing like a scene but it's different with photos. I guess I should compare it to like, drawing or painting it's just coming from your imagination just straight verses taking something from real life and photographing it but like putting a spin on it, it’s very subjective it isn’t so literal always and that’s why I liked it, it’s like working with what’s literally in front of me but kind of transforming it and I just really enjoy that.
Carolina: Wow, that's great I have never heard a photographer or any of the photographers I know explain it in that way. That was really cool, that was really cool. Okay I looked through your website and I couldn’t find out why you have any of your pictures in black and white. And I thought that was so interesting because I felt like that is so specific to what I was looking through just like what it was and to see that it was black and white, and I was really asking myself “Why would she have this in black and white?” So please explain.
Chanell: So I photograph in black and white because I’m kind of situating my work in the traditional history and Canon photography which started in black and white before color that’s what it was and it’s very traditional and by making my work I’m trying to keep it in conversation with a traditional kind of subverting breaking away from it at the same time like in black and white but I’m not photographing the same thing that you know like people like Ansel Adams people for instance, the founding fathers of photography if you want to call them that. It isn’t that, i’m kinda showing you different things like for one using myself as a balck women like that’s just totally different from traditional photography, we weren't even subjects in that way back then so that's why I’m doing that and also I learned in black and white when I first took my first film class. It was black and white, I loved color everything digital and than I liked color film but something about black and white called me to it learned on it, departed from it, and came back to it and I haven’t left it since and I still shoot color but I prefer black and white, that’s my favorite.
Carolina: Wow I love that. Ok is there a specific meaning behind the photo where you have turned around from the plants and you're like sitting down. I want to know what that one was about.
Chanell: Let me see if I can find it. You said I’m turned away from the plant, sitting down. Am I looking at the camera or am I not looking at the camera? Oh I know what you’re talking about it’s like when my back is turned to the plant.
Chanell: Yeah I know which one you are talking about now. So the specific meaning behind that was that I was trying to show how the physical form is kinda melding together in the plant like the name of that piece is called melding and it’s kinda like blending like you see a body and you don’t and you can see hair or something human like. It’s just mixing together in nature, almost hidden in it. That appealed to me in that sense like a bond or a sinergy with that. And let’s see, is there a follow up to that one.
Carolina: No I just really wanted to see what you get to like, what every artes like, whatever it might be album or whatever since they may have. I feel like their may always be one I want to know about more than others because I am closer to it. But you know I thought that was interesting because I feel like in art you can always relate to it everything if it's not what the actual intention of their thinking is or what comes to mind. But I really like that because I feel like specifically to quarantine, that’s how I felt, I felt naked and trying to hide so I thought that was really cool getting to look at it and I was like “wow” I can, I don't know if that was the intention but I just really related to it in that way so I just wanted to ask.
Chanell: Well, I can go into more detail now that I know what your curiosity was, so in that picture I’m shirtless and it’s my back and it kind of is this idea of being in nature and you're very exposed like in a natural state one would not have any clothes technically like you know within nature. I just wanted to show like a naturalness in comfortability with being you vulnerable self within nature because that’s just not taught, for like black people in particular its just like the media portrays us like black people don’t like nature, they don’t do it this and that, don’t feel comfortable in it, we don't swim, we don’t like bugs, it’s just like all these stereotypes I just completely I kind of just revealed myself in that space and felt comfortable in it. That was the whole point, like the body feeling natural, comfortable, belonging to that scene and in a sense safety because if you reveal yourself in that way you must feel safe in that environment you know, because it’s so vulnerable and this was actually photographed in a backyard. This was in Brooklyn when I went to New York in 2018 for study abroad I stayed for about a month to do this class and it was my first time there so I was in love with all the different plants, it looked very different from California just different greenery and this was at the Air BNB I was staying at and they had this backyard that had all these weeds and stuff and the tree branches were long and I found beauty in it, those are little weeds technically but they were just so green and vibrant and taking over this space, I just decided to situate myself in the middle there, that's one of the earlier photos in the series and like I said that was in 2018. I’ve been working on it for two years now so that’s the beginning phase just kinda exploring, I didn’t really know the why but I know what I felt drawn to like you were talking about to your interest in that. Similar to what I’m shooting, it just kind of calls me and I rationalize it later, I don’t always know the why I just do it first.
Carolina: That's the I think really cool part about art, there's no thinking or there doesn’t have to be thinking. Your Instagram talks a lot about the importance of black lives I noticed, and I think this was such like a great time for quarantine to happen at least for me in my opinion, so much has been exposed to me just learning about everything that’s been going on and I saw that your posts “Black Lives Matter” has gone back to like the past few years and I think it so cool to like meet someone who is of you, you're black, and I think it’s so cool that you have just been speaking on it for so long and I was wondering if you were going to create a piece based on you being black and going through this pandemic, with the Black Lives Matter movement for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, I wanted to know what that is for you.
Chanell: Yeah so I’m 28 and the first time Black Lives Matter happened was in 2013, what you're witnessing now is the third wave. There’s been like three major protests: 2013, 2015, and now 2020 with the last two, this one and the one in 2015 they were during election year. You know they always seem to happen in the Summer and we vote in the Fall, that’s kind of been a pattern I noticed with the exception of the first wave in 2013 with Trayvon Martin, I think that happened earlier in the year. So this is my third wave going through it and basically throughout my whole 20’s it's been these protests and I can’t remember how old I was in 2013 I think I was like 21, 22, somewhere in there. So it’s just been my whole 20’s can you imagine that, like what you're being exposed to now at such a young age like realizing racism, so vivid, in my 20’s I knew it was there, I dealt with microaggressions my whole life but I didn't know it was as bad as it was until the Trayvon Martin story, going through it again and again so it’s just like my whole early adulthood has been shaped by these protests so like yeah it's been very deeply meaningful for me but also very emotional like you said I've been talking about it for a while but that post on my social media i think is from like 2015 when I first was posting about it.It wasn’t as popular, I feel like when you think about it then no one really defended you, you were just kinda like on your own. Other black people were of course posting about it but like everyone else not so much, it was just like people really couldn't do it or they felt like it was exclusionary like, why are you leaving out all these other people? But it wasn't meant to do that, it was just that Balck Lives was so invaluable or expendable in this country, it’s a statement to call attention to that like why?. Also what I posted in 2015 I felt jaded from social media in that time, no one else was really talking about it at the level you're seeing now in 2020, so it kinda just made me stop posting on my instagram for awhile, I just felt turned off, it just felt like I was talking into this void and no one was responding and it was really weird. You can imagine that the saem type of viral videos were going on then with Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, but no one was saying anything so you can imagine how surreal that feels, does anyone even care. So put it into context now no one could escape it we were all at home. There are no sports, no concerts, it’s just your phone, the internet is essential and now everyone is on the same page, we can’t ignore it like this is very real. And now you’re going to witness the domino effects about what is going to be done after this like instatushinal changes. I guess in my work to answer your question about the art work, I think it’s kinda like intervaly is in my work without it deliberately being about black lives matter art, that's why I use it myself, this is why I chose photography primarily, almost exclusively black bodies or black individuals because it’s a statement it’s like an active resistance, when I grew up photos and fashion magazines and T.V. ect. I was learning about photography and there were never black people in there and you just kind of get used to it because you are not represented. In a way we were there but enough maybe one or two representatives to gather information and that there was so much media with black people in it, it was just great and very refreshing to do it so I continued to do it with in my own work by just photographing like the many focus of my work is black people because that's me taking my stances, that's why I do it. You just don’t see it enough and you disregard it and I can have it in my work for a reason.
Carolina: Wow that was really touching I am and I do have white privilege and it's been hard for me well not hard it’s just it's been really overwhelming for me to realize like yeah this is happening,I do consider myself Hispanic my mom is Mexican and my dad is Cuban-Puretican but I don't look like either of my parents I have white privilege I've always seen that growing up in the world in the face right now especially in this pandemic just incredible to see people shutting up, like you have to shut up now, you have to listen, you can’t do anything else and it's so cool just to see how looking back at your artwork you were talking about this way before a majority of the people who are speaking on it now, were. I think that’s really just incredible, you were/are really taking a stance as a woman who is black and an artist and I think that's so important and it's inspirational. I just wanted to thank you. I feel like you guys who make the move to really see what it is that we need to realize and to think that, that is easy.
Chanell: Thank you for saying that and with your generation, like youre the next up and are you 17?
Chanell: Yeah you're the next up, so it's good that you're seeing this now so that you can continue to as you get older to push for the things even now, just now is the time, no discrimination against age but I'm so glad that you know what you’re seeing is influencing you and that my artwork could also touch you in that way see you in my social media and what I stand for, that means a lot so I’m glad thats a mutual exchange there, so I'm glad that's all that this is about that we can all get on the same page of denying it or its natural to fell shame it's a natural emotion we sometimes have to feel shame to be there for other people. You have to realize that wow that's not right that happened but here's what I'm going to do to make this a better situation.
Carolina: Last question, what does photography do for you: well-being, how you talk through what you may be going through, etc.
Chanell: It's therapeutic, because as it stands right now most of the work is self-portraits so with me photographing by myself usually use like a tripod, timer, and like it's just me in that environment, in this place I take the photo. It's just therapeutic, I'm working through my art on my own understanding of myself like lot of it is my like of being a black individual but than another part of it is personal narrative I'm telling which is reconciling my own inner feelings or like my own family history it's both so, it self work but than also collective representation of myself as a black individual in the world so that's a lot right?, but it brings me peace like I dont always shoot every single day but when I do it's so necessary it's like medicine essentially and that's what I like about photo and I think eventually I would like to try is moving image, like short video work because that's like the natural progression for photography you kind if get into video, maybe, they're cousins they're related to do to learn how to do but as of right now photography is the main one. I really, really enjoy it.
Carolina: Wow that's so interesting I would have never, I feel like I'm just learning this Summer through the internship obviously that there are just so many mediums you can focus on anything on and I think that's so cool which is why I'm exploring so many mediums because I think that is really awesome to hear what every single thing can do.
Chanell: Yeah definitely! Do you have any other questions you can ask me that came to mind, through these, before I ask you some?
Carolina: Yeah actually, I wanted to ask about if you plan on being in the future if you ever plan on exposing your art to the point of being a mentor for a younger kid or getting involved in one of those types of, in that field of art.
Chanell: Definitely, that's why I'm so excited to be a teaching artist this Summer to kind of get my feet wet with that, I have some experience with that I was a tutor for a long time when I was in Community College and that's one of the things about my story that to an art school. So I graduated from California school of the Arts before that I went to community college in LA and I was a tutor for Judy Prep working with people as young as 18 and those as old as 40. I was tutoring basic math and English to them and than I also had a background being a reck leader and getting involved at CCA in student clubs, different ones there being involved in that capacity but moving forward I would live to be a mentor, that really appeals to me because I know how it is being a black artist let alone an artist if color in general navigating the art world. Or like even considering this as a viable career, there's so much that goes in your head that tries to steer you away from it but it's very possible, we just don't see enough representation or like we don't even have the ability to talk to someone who is doing it to learn how to do it like how they got it. So I would love to give back in that way because I had a mentor around me that motivated me to go for it and then also some of my journey was really instilled in the sense that I didn't have the full confidence to go study art because I was worried how am I going to survive. So now that I've gone through that part of my journey and am still working through some things I want to influence others because it's possible you just have to believe in yourself and not in that cliche sort of way there's a lot of work you have to do but it is very much so possible. Now in this point where we are politically more than ever it's even more possible now, so.
Carolina: Very cool. But that was all the questions that I had.
Chanell: Okay thank you. So I have some for you Carolina. So you have a love for many mediums, and I would consider you a multia artist, that is a legit thing. So that being said, what is your dream project to create.
Carolina: My dream project to create is a piece of artwork that obviously has multiple mediums and that is what I enjoy most. Just something that represents kids' minds. So I think I should give you a little bit of background because my answers won’t make sense to your questions if I don’t tell you this. So I was raised in a abusive home and art was the way I got help for myself and that was how I told my mentor who was my art teacher at the time and I told him what was going on at home and I couldn’t say certain things out loud because they would have gotten my siblings and I in trouble. Art was the life line, that was how I got help for myself and I really want to create a piece that can represent how innocent kids can be and how they can not be. I feel like at a young age I had to grow up fast, I was essentially the mother to my siblings and that was really hard for me to come to terms with during the pandemic and actually I wanted to do a piece commemorating the mental health of kids and I feel that is not talked enough about and when people find out about my story that I was abused and what my siblings and I had to go through people don't want to talk about it because they're uncomfortable and it upsets them but I see that it is something that need to be talked about and because I have been through it I want to be a leader in that to help other kids see that they can get help and that it is possible. So that's what I want to do.
Chanell: Yeah that's powerful, and I’m glad with your art you're willing to talk about that make people feel uncomfortable and that's the problem with society in general, they are not willing to hear the truth like these things aren't happening and nobody is willing to see that is it’s happening and I'm not acknowledging it and like you said sometimes you can't say it in words or you're word about saying it in words or you're worried about saying it in words so you find other ways to say it. That they are the same message and that’s extremely powerful, and I would encourage you to keep on going with that and your story isn’t exclusive other people are dealing with that. And something I learned talking about topics like this, like you feel alone in a sense but you aren’t and you have that cruge to be that voice and that makes it better for other people to talk about what they are going through and at the moment nobody wants to talk about what is going on for various reasons but once someone does it give the people the courage to talk about what's going on for them. And how do you want the project coming to you? Do you want it to be pictures or paintings like what do you see?
Carolina: In everything I want to take it to like different pieces of artwork, different mediums can speak to other people in different ways. So that's why I want to take one idea and see what I can do with it like ceramics and drawing and painting. I want to see what I can do in each section of it because I feel like that's how I reach people in the best way. When I have multiple versions of everything with different perspectives.
Chanell: Yeah it kind of goes back to what you were saying about the child's mind because you do various things as kids and you're not stuck in one thing because of your curiosity that you take in various forms. That makes a lot of sense. I'm excited to see where that one goes.
Carolina: Thank you.
Chanell: Yeah and lets see, I said that I enjoyed your use of color. So what does color mean in your artwork.
Carolina: So for me color is how I express what I'm feeling. It's like emotion in the art to an artist. It’s how you can set the mood for what you are looking at. And growing up most of my work had to do with my childhood with what I went through and it was my mom who was the abuser and she was the one that tried to make life look black and white and what I think is how I explain it in art. So she tried to make people think that this is how you see things how this is right and this is wrong. And I think that growing up was hard for me like just being a kid was a lot and you're a kid and things don't make sense. And I think for me being told things from different perspectives and different colors was the way I understood things. So that's how I see things in the artworld, I use color to explain my emotions and think just how it wants to be seen which shows my emotions.
Chanell: Yeah interesting, I like that we are talking about color because I work primarily in black and white and you work in color. Yeah and it's like I guess it's like I used to be a very colorful person at one point like at your age but as I got older I started to like things that were neutral colors because it felt calm to me. But what I wanted to point out was that black and white to me is calmer and helps me focus. So everything is focused in, but I like that everything is focused in color. Like you said you just have to open it up so you can express more and maybe different colors remind you of different emotions and different things like sadness. I just find it interesting like one can be doing the same thing with their work but with two different forms. Black and white does that for me but for you color means that. It's just so cool to see that.
Carolina: I was thinking that as well as your photography in black and white. And I was thinking about my own answer and like wow that's amazing that everybody has a different set in that perspective.
Chanell: So I was going to say I see your work takes many forms via paper or on a wall. How does that futility influence your art and which form do you enjoy the most?
Carolina: So going back to each medium being a different point of perspective, I think for me it's just thinking what a kinaesthetic learner is. And it’s how some people learn. And I am one of those people who learns through the lens of art or in any medium it’s what I have to look at. And doing that for me is flowing and I don't know if that makes sense and I don't know how to explain it or how it sounds, like what i'm thinking. It just kinda flows like I try so many different mediums because it’s a different perspective from each way and I don't know but yeah.
Chanell: So explain the one on the wall from your own wall.
Carolina: So yeah that was a project, and we each had to come up with a picture and transcribe it, I can't remember what I drew but we all had to decide on one at the end of the day like the whole thing is going to come together. And I helped come up with the part to the very left, oh wait are you talking about the meral with the dragon or with the tree?
Chanell: The one with the dragon.
Carolina: I just want to make sure that I know which one you are talking about. In the left bottom corner there is like this little hill. I was the one who came up with that part. The original intention was that painting whatever it was like a whole community painting together. Like everyone is like passing each other but it all still fits like a puzzle piece like a puzzle set. And that is what I was thinking, what a community was in my mind but it was like the hills it was always rolling that's what I was thinking. Then I remember talking about how the dragon is so fierce and a community all coming together is like a dragon they are so fierce and I think that it was so cool when we were painting it just really felt like we were a community. And at that point in the internship I mean mentureship we didn’t really know each other so when we were able to paint that the outcome and the process was fierce about it so I thought that was cool.
Chanell: That’s cool learning, like you guys made the piece and you got to exercise and have that experience is cool. I really really like that when you find citations like that you don't really realise until the end and you're like I see what you did there. I really like that one. It was nice.
Carolina: Thank you.
Chanell: And you’re a very busy teen you are working and interning and going to school. So what does it mean in your life? And how do you make time for it? You do a lot and I'm impressed by it.
Carolina: Yeah so it’s never been a problem for me to do artwork because it just feels like a small staple for me. I never had to push myself and I feel like there had been times where I have been days or weeks without doing or telling myself to do some drawing or like let's paint a picture. It just comes to me and I feel like that is the time when I can go ahead and just do it. And usually when I'm in that inbetween and I'm physically doing the art I'm thinking I want to paint or that I want to draw to get it out of my head. It’s always like that, even when I’m at school or at work I always have a pen and a pad of paper in my pocket to write down ideas or of anything I want to try later or tell another artist because I feel like physically doing the artwork is part of the process and it’s like having the idea. Like sitting there and pondering on it it’s like I always want to make sure what I’m painting is not just a painting it like a picture of you and what I want someone to be told or to be listened to.
Chanell: Wow, that is very profonde you are already thinking deeply about art. That's like what they would teach you in art school, you know what I mean that is a really good thing. And it’s so good that you write it down because sometimes I have to remind myself to do it, to write down some kind of note because you will forget at some times. Or sometimes it’s not even writing it’s more like a sketch like a loose sketch because sometimes that helps or sometimes as a photographer you forget something so I would get my phone and take a note or something that reminds me to take the picture. And that’s awesome that you already have that in your purpose and it’s a big part and a lot of people struggle with that so that’s awesome. And I was going to ask next how has your art shifted throughout quarantine and I know you were telling me what quarantine has done to you and did it change your perspective on art and what did it do to you?
Carolina: It has, this quarantine triggered a lot of emotions for me going back to my childhood it was really hard for me to be alone in a space when I lived with my grandparents at the time with my dad but there was so much happening they were out of the house a lot of the time and I wasn't aloud to be around them because I was going out a lot also and that was dangerous, they're more prone to it so I just had to keep my distance which meant I had to spend a lot of my time in our garage which I have made into a desk space. So it was really hard, I spent almost 24/7 in there just hanging out by myself and it was really weird. For the first couple of weeks of quarantine I was working and for the last couple of weeks I was working but that inbetween was really hard for me because I didn't really have anyone to talk to. All of my friends, I was going to an independent so I was doing all of my own school work on my own time, everyone of my friends had sports or played instruments so they all had scheduled time to do homework and I remember everyone of my best friends had sports or played instruments and stuff. They had scheduled Zoom meetings with their coaches, teachers so I didn't have somebody I could talk to in my freetime. I feel like even more so everyone who I knew was having more time to get away from them and that was really hard for me to just like take, I was like okay I just have to sit here and just find something to like do, find something to occupy my time until I can talk to someone and that time that I spent by myself just brought up a lot of memories that I have found I didn’t deal with and I’ve been going to therapy for a long period of time but during that time I wasn’t talking to my therapist with quarantine, you know and it just made me realize that art has always been the lifeline for me like when I can’t talk it's always been drawing or painting or ceramics that I've just taken my anger out on, cried over, had like just a moment with. It’s like art’s my best friend, art was my best friend during quarantine and I think I was really just more so like yeah I don’t understand why people don’t look at art like this, you know what I mean? A lot of people who I know look down upon my choices of taking classes and doing a mentorship of, about art because they don’t think that art is a thing that can take you anywhere but I always tried to tell them. You know it’s, it's like I don’t think I’d be where I am today, I think I’d probably be just with choices I could've chosen. I’d be in juvie or even worse I’d probably be dead and art has really saved my life and I’m a Christian, I believe that, I believe in God and that time in quarantine just really made me think that I would have not been in the situation I am in. Having a job be, doing a mentorship, going to school, if it wasn’t for having a teacher to tell me that I could do something with my life, with art and that was really just the moment where it hit me like okay I’m going to be an artist I'm going to be when I grow up. When I get out of here that's going to be the thing and I want to help other kids experience that, that’s like the motive for me.
Chanell: That’s beautiful, like seriously that’s literally like, I think that's how a lot of people are drawn to art. I mean people who take it seriously and keep going with it especially it is a safe haven. I remember originally when I was your age and being at home and stuff you know difficulties with parents etc and I’d be in my room a lot and like just art was it, you know what I mean? I took pride in it and it’s your way of escaping you know what I mean, it’s at the same time learning about yourself more. Especially when you hold onto those when you get older you look back on the work you are creating. It’s wild how you can kind of see your mental state. What you are going through, just different things at the same time. It’s just it can be life saving. Art can be very healing and it is a shame that they do teach it enuff in school. And I think that's why people are all like why do you want to do that, cause there aren’t art classes like there used to be. And when I was your age they barley had it and it was kind of its own thing and inspected as much for its own reasons but it doesn’t matter. What is it doing for you and it comes around and maybe like nay-sayers can’t understand it and they will be the first ones supporting you when you go for it etc. So it's funny how voices dealing with quarantine art keep having the same feelings. Like literally it's like that's the way and that is what truly matters and i’m glad that you came to thoughts realisations and you already knew like the proof was in the puding during quarantine, like wow this is real and it did and like what it did I'm glad that you maintained and held on during this last few months. I can only imagine what it might have been financially and mentaly and you say you take care of your siblings and stuff, that's a lot to deal with at such a young age but that shows your maturity you know what I mean? And it’s so good that you even have time for yourself, your own self. Some people don’t even have time for themselves, which is crazy right, like irony cause you have so many responsibilities but I’m glad you had that moment even if you did unearth some bad memories, like that’s natural when we’re with ourselves you kinda can’t like hide from certain things, it's still like yeah I thought I was past this but its coming out again but at least you are acknowledging that and like working through it actively and art may be like a sense of therapy for you, you know what I mean since you weren't able to talk to your actual therapist and art therapy is actually a thing, like did you know about art therapy?
Carolina: Yeah that’s actually what I’m looking into being, with everything I want to do for kids I thought that art therapy would be the way to go for me.
Chanell: Yes! It’s super super cool, I’ll send you something in email. There's a school that I remember researching way back when where it’s an actual accredited schooling where you get a degree in it etc. It’s pretty cool like one of my art teachers in college, she had a background in that. She gave us certain exercises to draw things and she could read us based on how we drew it. It was really really crazy, her assignment was to draw a tree, literally just draw a tree and she could tell us what it meant based on how we drew it. Like what it meant and how you see your family. It literally could reveal what your relationship was like with your family and I was like that’s crazy. I kinda remember how she read mine, maybe I can find it online like what it means or something, I don’t know but I'm curious to see how you would draw a tree and see if I can figure out what does it mean. But uh it’s super interesting, there’s just so many things like that, that come out of art. You're revealing your subconscious all the time but I personally believe like the more you do it the freer you feel mentally and hearing you speak of this is reminding me of like why art is like, why we should do it more regularly, like literally. And yeah like you're literally so young, you have so much time what is your artistic dream?
Carolina: My artistic dream has to do with creating a non-profit for underprivileged kids in the community to find out about art just to learn about it, the psychology of it and the history of art and how it came to be just everything that has to do with like having the experience of Art like that, I want to make a space for that. And that would be it, that would be the move for me. I think that’s what I’ve been dreaming of doing for like the last few years of my life and I think that my mentorship that I had during the school year with Southern Exposures was really like the eye opener for me and than Simon, my mentor when he found this out he was like oh my gosh you need to do this internship and i just can’t believe the way everything is working out and I feel like that’s the way I know that I’m supposed to do that. I don’t think everything would have worked out the way it has if it wasn’t meant to be, I think I’m just called to do that.
Chanell: Of course and one thing I'll say, when you notice things aligning like this that’s how you know you're on the right path when everything seems to be, sometimes things on your path won't seem like they're going right and then they lead you to something else. It’s like quarantine for example, for us going through what came out of quarantine, like now youre doing this internship etc. It seems bad at first but than it like works itself out, as long as you stay active and on the focus right, we don’t do anything we just sit and like just sit in it nothings going to change but the simple fact that all these things are gearing up for you that means you're on your right path and those are like moments of confirmation you know, you know what I mean? Like I’m going to keep going so that’s awesome like you're doing this in highschool, that’s something they teach you to do like I don't know when you're in college. Internships, internships, it’s good you're doing this now, it's even more impressive that you're seeking internships that are what you want to do. You know what I mean?, verses doing like a whole bunch of random volunteering, just to say I did it. No like you're finding things that literally are going to help you later on, this knowledge is going to help you in your future and I would encourage you to keep doing that, like be led by growth you know what I mean?, verses like hastily ah! Panicking and being reactionary, just follow things that lead to your own personal growth. Like you're literally already doing it, I can’t say that enough, like you're already doing it so I'm just here to like champion you. Keep doing that you already got it, I don’t have to tell you to do it, you're doing it.
Carolina: Thank you! It’s so nice to talk to like just any artist in general. I feel like watching my best friends, half of my best friends are artists and those are the people I always get along with, easy to talk with, I feel like it's so easy for me to talk to you because I feel like our understanding of art is so fluid we don’t really have to explain much because we just get it, so that's really nice.
Chanell: Exactly, I'm so glad you're surrounding yourself with positive mentors like Simon etc, seeing how Southern Exposure does it because that’s beautiful to have a non-profit. That’s something that also interests me too. I see a lot of myself in you, things you are aspiring to do so yeah I’m encouraging that. I’m your cheerleader but this was awesome! I really enjoyed hearing about you as well and hopefully you learned a little bit more about me as well and my art.
Carolina: Yes I am like so intrigued, this was such a good opportunity for me to branch out in this aspect of art to reach out to another artist. I've never done this before and just getting to participate has been such an incredible experience and I’ve only been doing this for like a week. This is just like eye opening for me like things I didn't know I thought I could know, I am just now starting to understand which is so fun, this is what I need to know.
Chanell: Yeah and I encourage you to keep doing this, if there’s an artist you admire just email them, reach out, explain who you are. A lot of people are willing to help, that's something I had to learn eventually because I was so shy, a little bit or I don't want to bother people, like they’re busy, no, like a lot of people want to help others like figure out how to do it or like give some advice more than what you would think so. But yeah this was awesome!
Carolina: It was thank you! Thank you for participating, this was so great.