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Art & Life with Katie Jernigan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Jernigan.

Katie, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was so young when I started drawing that I can’t really remember a point in time I hadn’t been drawing… I also can’t think of a point in my life where I won’t be drawing. In comparison to the things that come and go, art was always there. Finding that my elementary school self had a really poor attention span, my parents were pretty diligent in understanding the activities that triggered my focus.

By second grade my after school hours were spent in art class. Having used it as a little something to stimulate and occupy my childhood brain it’s hard to say if anyone would have imagined I continue it past my youth. Let alone into an education and now a career objective. The simplest story in it is that I colored and painted like most kids but as the birthdays went by I never really stopped. My relationship with art matured alongside me becoming an overall extension of my being.

Some of the details to accompany the simpler story would be that as I grew up my mom really had a heart for artwork. I’ve now seen how that guided her steps in sharing the entire idea of “art” with me. She had stuffed a portfolio full of drawings she managed to make in the minutes she allowed for her genuine interests to get the best of her. That portfolio was passively tucked between items of her bedroom closet for passing time.

The years I was the youngest version of myself I used to sneak into that portfolio over and over again to look through the drawings my mom had made. I wanted to make art like my Mom, and thanks to her, my Dad, my Grandma, influential teachers, my faith, and other contributing support units, I am able to.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
A large percentage of my drawings and paintings are made to preserve the internal storylines of my observations. These observations specifically refer to my accounts as a girl growing up alongside the present day culture of beauty that has hovered over my personal experiences.

The twenty-first century represents social media’s very own coming of age story. This entity has come of age, but for a price. Like almost anything, social media has a purpose of good to match its purpose of harm. However, the price of it we pay is felt in the moments of internal impact based upon the external content that filters through our feeds and through our lives. I came across a quote that read “Constantly exposing yourself to popular culture and the mass media will ultimately shape your reality tunnel in ways that are not necessarily conducive to achieving your Soul Purpose and Life Calling.

Modern society has generally lost the plot”. I consider the plot of our lives to be the in-motion events and surroundings that shape the specific outcome of our character and it’s priorities. The superficial surface of social media and its filtered lessons has a way of sinking into the deeper parts of our lives. Executions of beautiful externals can shift the complexion of our internals. The demands of idealistic physical beauty drown many categories of our personal heart and being. This takes place as beauty culture can keep us distracted and separated from the path of human priorities that fulfill us where it counts.

My personal works get personal as I hold myself accountable to the parts of my life that payed tribute to striving for empty and unrealistic physical expectations while I endeavored through a 90-pound weight loss in 2014. In my pieces, I acknowledge the beauty standards that falsely drive the lives of many including myself and the people I care for. My pieces are attempts at questioning why we are driven by appearances in order to understand what the honest result of that drive may be.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
The role of artists has taken on different cosmetic appearances throughout time, but I think the fundamental heart of it hasn’t changed at all. The consistency that the soul of Art has presented from its beginning is even more incredible thinking about the different faces it has worn over time. The production of art is an action that acknowledges and pays reference to the past. Just the same it preserves and proclaims the culture of the present. Simultaneously it will also predict the needs of the world to come. I see it as a human action that connects people to life before themselves, to those around them, and to the people that have not yet existed.

There’s a documentation responsibility I feel in art. People usually maintain journals or diaries to note the fact that they have experiences specific to a unique reality not only built by the environment they reside in, but built by the way they perceive that environment. My environment is affected by my location and earth’s way of spinning at this exact time in its existence. My personal utilization of those effects can be routed in the production of artwork as a “documentary” on the life that surrounds me and the messages that life can push into my thoughts. I’ve always really fallen for the idea that artists could pursue the same intentions to then always conjure up different results of artwork.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
At the moment a piece of mine titled “Kalos” is on display at the LCAD Gallery through the month of August. If anyone might find themselves in the Laguna Beach area they would be able to locate the gallery on Ocean Ave.

At all moments of my daily art-related endeavors and works can be accessed through my Instagram profile.

Exhibitions come and go while my Instagram profile remains updated with art of my past, present, as well as in-progress works of my future. The social platform has created a useful home for sharing my work instantly while also getting to directly communicate with viewers as they interact with my page.

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