I have been immersed in the arts since I was very young, starting with drawing and painting as my emphasis at the green age of eight. From middle school and on, I pursued that discipline at the Orange County High School of Arts, where I was exposed to the many facets of fine art. I laugh now, but I always proclaimed how much I hated three-dimensional work, for I struggled to make the transition from sketch to sculpture, and I secretly envied the students that could achieve that result. Thinking three dimensionally is a language on its own, and I thought I could never build a familiarity for it. It was not until the last semester of my senior year, where I decided to enroll in an jewelry class, and that's where I immediately fell in love.
Being raised within a matriarch, being self-sufficient was a highly valued trait in the household. My mother was the kind of woman who would never ask for help unless she tried the task first, always preaching that "nobody can do the job better than yourself". My grandmother, the jack of all trades, exposed me to so many skill sets and ultimately taught me that I am a limitless woman. Their wisdom, tenacity, and resilience are what drive my work, but the strength of our bond, and all human connections for that matter are what inspire my art. The conversations we have as individuals, the moments we share, good or bad, create this symphony of angular and organic forms that echo throughout my metalwork. Overall, my work serves as an exploration of relationships that I hold dear in my life and reflecting on the conversations that were shared amongst one another, something that continues to nourish me as a maker and as an individual.
In its beginning stages, designing a piece can be tricky and even when every facet is calculated, there is always the possibility of error. Leland Means, a professor that I had at my community college, would remind me of my moments of struggle to improvise: so that nothing can go wrong. Something so simple, yet, it made me learn to let go of the frustrations and just let the material speak for itself. In my experience, I have remade some works thinking that doing it the second, third, and fourth time around would result perfectly, I am learning to not always stay in my head with designing, as I have found that experimenting hammering can be enough to get the creative gears going.
I do not currently sell my work, but I do plan to implement that as I continue to refine my website (www.kgrmetalcraft.com). Additionally, I would like to get involved with craft shows and see what opportunities that may bring as I expand my brand. When it comes to selling work, my advice to other metal artists: make sure every part of your works display is intentional, use "perceived value" to your advantage, and always consider implementing other mediums in metalwork.