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Meet Sydney Park | Artist

We’re so pumped about our conversation with Sydney Park. Sydney is an Artist and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Sydney below.

Hi Sydney, so great to have you join us again. For folks who might have missed our earlier conversations, can you please take a minute to briefly introduce yourself?
Hi! My name is Sydney, otherwise known as Squid Ink. I am a drawer (and sometimes painter) of ‘goddesses’ and all things colorful. I love to let my imagination and inner child run free, and sometimes that results in fun artwork! I’ve been doodling pretty much my whole life, but in the last few years I have really found my own style that I am passionate about.

What inspiration do you take from the real world and channel into your work?
I would say there are three main themes of inspiration that are present in my work – nature, femininity and innocence. My nature themed work tends to stem from how the selfishness of humanity destroys Mother Nature – something that is immensely beautiful and quite literally gives us life/is our life. I think we take it for granted all too often!

On a similar note, my feminine themed pieces are usually inspired by the societal treatment and grooming of women/the female body, which is also something that is life providing and beautiful. Like so many others, I have dealt with insecurities and frustrations being a woman, but some of my work is a reminder to myself (and I hope others!) that being a woman is magical. We are powerful beings and need to give ourselves more credit!

Some of my more random, colorful work comes from the realization that the adult world lacks a certain level of imagination and innocence. One of my top priorities in life is to never lose my inner child, and I wish more of the “mature” world would do the same. I think we can all benefit from retaining some innocence, playfulness and whimsy!

When I create a lot of my drawings, I am usually thinking about these topics to some extent and channeling them into my work. My pieces may not always directly indicate that, but that’s usually where the ideas sprout from. My art serves as a means for me to focus on these topics in a more positive and freeing way.

What are some feelings or takeaways that you would like people to have when experiencing your work?
Mainly, I wish for my work to provide a feeling of joy. There are SO many words/emotions that I could hope people feel when they see my pieces, but if they invoke any level of positive emotion, and perhaps curiosity, that is a win in my book! I hope that when people view my work, their imaginations are fueled and they have a moment of whimsy in their day.

Can you explain the inspiration behind your “goddesses”?
Of course! To be honest, I have struggled with a chronic and intense pain issue related to female anatomy since my early high school days. It has had a profound impact on my life in a not-so positive way. Some days I think, “man (no pun intended), life would just be easier as a guy”, which, if we’re being honest, is true in a lot of ways! I have definitely disliked being in my body at times, but how sad is that? There came a point where I shifted away from that negative mindset. Though I still have my struggles, I now thank my body more than criticize it. My ‘goddesses’ are definitely inspired by that notion. I know that I am not the only person who has dealt with internal frustration, judgement, comparison, etc., but I found that the more I thank my body for all that is does, it becomes harder for those negative thoughts to have a seat at the table. I think the female body is magical and powerful, and I think the symbolism used in my goddess drawings allows that message to resonate with other women.

If you could use only three words to describe your style, what would they be?
Bold, colorful and whimsical!

What are some challenges you experience when trying to share your work with the world?
I mainly share my work on Instagram, which is the best way I know how to at this point. I also have an Etsy shop where I sell prints and stickers, but I haven’t had it all that long and still consider it to be a baby shop.

I feel like there are a couple issues with Instagram (and I suppose other social media platforms), one being that people are experiencing burnout and deleting their platforms, taking extended breaks and/or not using the app as frequently, which just means less eyes on your work. Additionally, I feel like “shadow bans” and the way algorithms work are exhausting elements to keep up with, or even understand to begin with. It is rather obvious, for me, to notice the waves of engagement – it goes up and down. Why exactly that is and what Instagram determines to favor at a given point, I am not sure. I also know that Instagram favors those who are able to post/share fairly frequently. My art does not pay the bills (I have a separate full-time job), so I don’t have time to create and share content as frequently as others – that might affect engagement to an extent.

Since social media is one of the best ways to reach people, these issues have become minor obstacles. Regardless, though, I will continue to share as I can!

What is the next goal/milestone you’d like to achieve?
Once this pandemic situation is behind us (hopefully for good!), I want to see if I can get some of my prints and/or stickers into some local shops in San Diego. Outside of that, I have always had a dream to participate in painting a mural. I’ve never done one before, and I am not sure how I could make that happen, but it’s certainly on my goals list!

Thank you so much again for sharing all of this with us. Before we go, can you share with our readers how they can connect with you, learn more or show support?
Both my Instagram and Etsy shop (links below) are the best ways to see my work and/or get in touch. For those that are on Instagram, ‘liking’ my content is always helpful, but ‘sharing’ and ‘saving’ posts is even better!

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