Revive - A Quarterly Fly Fishing Journal - Page 112

Although my four year college career was a time of artistic growth and maturity, I definitely experienced continuous creative turmoil over what I wanted to say with my artwork as well as what direction I wanted to take it in. I lived in constant fear of “selling out” by doing something that could be perceived as commercial art. At the time, I considered myself apart of the contemporary art scene in California. I was showing my work in galleries as consistently as possible, and in my mind, there was absolutely no balance between the commercial and conceptual art-worlds. Above all, I was hesitant to bring my greatest life passion, fly fishing, into my work. I felt as though to involve fly fishing as a subject matter would be too predictable for me to pursue, too easily achievable of an idea and ultimately, deem my artwork illegitimate in the eyes of others. What I didn't realize at the time was that I was simply overthinking everything and applying unnecessary pressure on myself through an inaccurate understanding of what it meant to be a legitimate artist. Towards the end of my time at Westmont, I couldn't exclude it any longer and I began to involve aspects of fly fishing into my work. It was a humbling experience to realize how wrong I had been all along. I was both proud of the work I was creating and was also starting to comprehend the expansive depth to which I could explore my passion for fly fishing within my creative expression.

Fly fishing and art making share similarities in the sense that they are both extremely process oriented practices. As someone who enjoys a purpose driven process, I delight in acknowledging this overlap whenever recognize it. Fly fishing contains almost endless attributes, which is exactly what makes it such a figurative ocean to delve into creatively. Everything that makes fly fishing possible is saturated in poetic and scientific content; from the short, complex life cycles of aquatic insects and the natural forces that drive watersheds, to the repurposing of feathers and animal hair to fool a trout. It is simply endless material for an artist looking at it all from the right perspective.