Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaitlyn Fusco.
Kaitlyn, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born and raised in San Diego. Originally from the Mira Mesa area, before I moved south to the El Cajon area. I am the fourth child of my family, and I always admired my oldest sister for her art when she lived at home. I very much wanted to emulate her, but being ten years younger I don’t believe I ever caught up.
My obsession with art didn’t fully settle in until middle school, when I was first introduced to different media (chalk, paint, etc..), where before all I had had was crayons or colored pencils. From there I steadily expanded. In high school I manned the art club, and joined classes under the artist Billy Martinez. While at classes, I met so many other artists of varying ages and skills, and I was always inspired to do more. I was gifted an art award from my high school, and I knew I wanted to be an artist.
I went to Cuyamaca Community College for an AA in Art. It was there that I met fellow artist Charlene Mosley. We took oil painting and figure drawing classes under Debra Babylon. After Cuyamaca, I transferred to San Diego State University. While at SDSU, I took a year to study abroad in Japan, a country I chose because of the language and art—and I do believe that the stay had a lasting visual impact on my art. In 2016, I graduated from SDSU with a BA in Studio Art, a BA in Psychology, and a minor in Japanese.
In the years since then, I like to believe I have focused on expanding my sense of self. There is safety when still going to University. A sense that one is not ‘fully grown up’ that I feel keenly, even two years later. In the two years since graduating, I’ve learned prioritization, the weight of working on what I enjoy in life, and supporting myself as a living human being. For the past two years I have been very focused in Psychology, and have worked as an Applied Behavior Analysis technician in a company that helps teach life skills, play skills, self-help skills, and more, to children with Autism. So that they have an easier time communicating with family and friends. Doing this work has inspired me in not only my theme, but in bringing art to the children that I work with, so that they have another avenue to express themselves.
While my ripples in the art world have so far been small, I am planning on expressing myself in bigger and better ways now that I have settled myself and have gotten an art studio in Art on 30th with Charlene Mosley and Tiffanie Mang. With myself as I am now, I am proud of the person that I want to share.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
What is something that one should know about my artwork? Well, within my recent art, everything is a deliberate choice. Be it subject, composition, theme, color; all of it is a choice that I have made.
As I have grown as a person over the years, so has my conception of theme. As of now, I am making art about Perception. I want to connect with those that view my art, and link the viewer’s perception with my own. Humans cannot step in to the mind, nor eyes, of other human beings. Cameras can take pictures and express the views and viewpoints from which we see the world. As a person opinion, I don’t believe cameras can express the full extent that the world has on the viewer. I believe that artists represent the response that one gets from an image, rather than just the image itself.
After all, two people can look at a glass half filled with water, and come away with two completely different thoughts about it. The classic debate—is the cup half full or half empty? With my art, I entreat all to view the world with my perception. To find beauty where I find beauty and meaning where I find meaning.
What do I use? I experiment. I use oil paint. I use acrylic paint. I use watercolor. Sometimes I combine most, if not all mediums to get the effect that I want. I don’t limit myself, and instead use the medium that best fits the idea and feeling that I am trying to express.
As of this moment, Flower Language is perhaps my biggest obsession paired with perception. I’ve researched much in to the history and meaning of flower language, and have done some comparisons between the meanings assigned to flowers between Eastern and Western cultures. I’ve pulled much of the information that I use from “Flora’s Lexicon: an interpretation of the language and sentiment of flowers with an outline of Botanany, and a poetical introduction,” by Catherine H. Waterman, it’s a book that was published in 1840, when I was able to find in the SDSU library.
One of my favorite flowers is Fennel. It has a meaning of ‘strength’. From this book I learned a fun history fact. That Gladiators would mix Fennel in to their meal before the ‘games’, and the winner was crowned with a wreath of fennel.
It is history and symbolism like this that inspired me to make art. That inspires me to share what I know, and help my audience perceive what I have. I want my audience to understand the depth of what I show, and then I want them to form their own opinion, their own perception, of what they have seen. And from there, I hope that they carry with them this new knowledge, and bring it with them always.
What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
The idea of success is as subjective as art. Some people define success as being filthy rich, and some define success as contentment.
I like to think of success as satisfaction. I want to finish a piece of art and think, ‘this is the best possible result’. Perhaps it isn’t the idea that I started out with, but being satisfied with the end product is something I attribute to being successful. To me, Art isn’t just about selling, it is about sharing myself and my perception with the world. This is how I see the subject, and being able to be satisfied with the result means so much to me.
But once again, success, like art, is subject to the opinions (and perceptions!) of each individual. And while it would be nice to be a very popular, much anticipated artist—if I can find no satisfaction with what I make, I don’t believe I am successful.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
At this moment, I am an artist of Art on 30th, on 30th street. If you google ‘Art on 30th’, it’ll take you to the right place. Art on 30th is a gallery, and above it is artist studios. Once a month there are ‘open studios’, where the gallery is open for a show, and the studios are open for the curious to come and chat with an artist. I’ll be in the back in Studio 15.
FB Page: Studio 15
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Studio (Art on 30th, 4434 30th street, North Park, SD, California)
A website is in progress. When it is up and running, I’ll post a message on my Instagram. (This November 24th is an Open Studio Saturday, from 6 to 8pm. It’s an amazing experience. Free admission. Come see the art.)
- Address: Art on 30th, 4434 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92116
- Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: knf2016
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/artinstudio15/?ref=bookmarks
Photo of artist by Nancy Levinson