Michaela is one of the most genuine people I have had the joy of encountering. She's passionate about making and exploring new ways to create --I've seen her make paper with her photos pressed between layers of pulp that, once dried, are then gently peeled away to reveal unique vignettes of the original picture. She's very intentional with her creative spark and takes great care to make sure it's well fed. Every time I talk to her about her personal work, she seems to have a new interest or project, or have discovered a different way of creating --dance, video, photography, music; Her curiosity and love of making are what led me to ask her to participate.
The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Michaela Patrick: Michaela (ma-ky-la) Patrick, 24, Photographer - Chihuly Garden and Glass, Community Outreach Coordinator - Ballard Academy of Music and Dance
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
MP: Journaling keeps me looking inward and helps me better observe and understand my experiences and my role in them. Dancing as an abstract form of physical expression energizes me and helps me return to my body when I'm feeling like my mind has wandered off somewhere. I love exploring. Even places I've been to dozens of times. I think it's because wandering around, for me, has become about thoroughly exploring the moment rather than just the physical space. Photography is my favorite tool to explore with. I try to stay curious by indulging in experimentation, and I remain open and receptive to the emotional influence of art by allowing myself to be moved. Those feelings keep me inspired. I'm reminded of why I want to make art.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
MP: I am, mostly, a documentarian of my own experience; and I have worked on nurturing the belief that wherever I am and whatever I am doing, it is an experience worth being present for. Working within a professional artistic community has helped me gain skill and confidence and it brings me out into the world in a very interactive way. Work, professional and personal, takes time and energy. Most things, in the end, boil down to a need for balance.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
MP: It helps that when I first wake up in the morning, I am returning from someplace deep in my own mind. As the day does on, I tend to become too involved in/distracted by my external world and the lovely folks I share it with to sit down and get to work.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
MP: I still hesitate so much when it comes to trusting that I might actually know what I'm doing, or what I'm trying to do. I just keep going and making because I've never shied away from what I find beautiful. I wear it, cover my walls with it, I try my best to appreciate the experience of viewing it and then feel compelled to try to recreate that experience for others by sharing whichever way I've captured it. At this time in my life, my goal is to gain artistic momentum through experiences that push me towards a calmer confidence in myself. Or. Actually. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that I hope to become more proficient at navigating through my own self-doubt as an artist (because really, that's just part of being one) so that I can more freely enjoy the process of viewing, making, and sharing :)
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
MP: Technically speaking, I experiment a lot. With my digital camera I enjoy finding different objects for the light from the flash to pass through. It's just a quick and satisfying way to blanket an image with the chance to surprise me. With my plastic film camera, there are even more opportunities for me to be surprised. The batteries tend to dislodge, casting geometric shapes across images; light tends to leak, softening and brightening the edges. Conceptually speaking, I'm playing with overlapping imagery to indulge in the atmosphere of the experience being captured.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
MP: What it all comes down to is the empowerment that comes from being able to curate your life so that the driving forces behind what you enjoy doing and how you express yourself are nurtured and tended to.
If you'd like to see more of Michaela's amazing compositions, you can find her work at www.cargocollective.com/michaelapatrick