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Why I Make Art

Art gives me a space to express myself sometimes there is just so much I want to say but there isn’t a space or time to talk about it. I love the sense of accomplishment when a piece turns out way better than I expected. The joy I get from flipping through a finished sketchbook I have made is like wow this is a visual reminder of where I have been and what my thoughts were. I make art because it helps me solidify ideas and helps to bring others to approach me and talk about theirs. I make it because I have a lot of curiosity and wonder what if this happened so I want to see how that unfolds. Inspiration is very contagious. I make art to shut down the self doubt that I can’t do something. Judgement is often what stops people from creating. I make art to cultivate courage, openness and a sense of wonder. I make art because it offers a space for reflection and dialogue. It makes me feel alive. Inspiration is so energizing. How can we merge ideas together and how can we solve problems in a way that is beautiful.

Ysabelle setting up paints on a table by an easel

In the Studio

Artist Statement

My process often begins by taking pictures. I am continually collecting images for reference material, and I like to let some time go by so the ideas marinate. I have an art journal where I collect ideas of themes and patterns. I use it as a kind of therapy where I transform negative beliefs into art affirmations. I am interested in art as a tool for mental health as it helps us feel heard and find our voice. I am particularly interested in the ideas that we haven’t yet expressed, and I want to help bring that out. I am inspired by art therapy and the disability rights movement.
I don’t always paint with reference. Sometimes I just do work intuitively; this is often when I am trying to capture something’s energy. Poetry informs my process. I love to listen to slam poetry. I love how to describe experiences in images, and I am interested in painting that, the heart of an issue that raw truth just uttered, there is a freshness to that.
My visual impairment affects the way I see the light and colours. I am very light sensitive and how it affects me in what mood it can cast. Because I can’t see colours, I don’t bother painting skin tones in a realistic way for the viewer. I am interested in a person’s true colours, so to speak, their vibrancy and what lies inside them that yarns to be expressed.
I have always been fascinated by faces and what feelings they convey and how I am feeling while I am painting them. It’s like a dialogue as one little stroke can change the expression on someone’s face completely. I paint intuitively, allowing space for what is about to surface. I often feel like it’s my job as an artist to be an active listener to what’s going on at this moment.

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