A large amount of my inspiration comes from nature. Everything from the staggering depth of the oceans, and the vastness of space, to the shapes of crystals, and patterns in leaves. Growing up I was always watching documentaries about the wonders found around us, and spent a lot of summers camping, hiking, and spending time outdoors. The large range of ecosystems on our planet - and imagined possible ecosystems on undiscovered worlds - provide endless possible settings, which in turn are likely to host wonderful and terrifying species of creatures and plant life. Fantasy aside, I do my best to keep in mind the realities on our own planet in my daily life and habits as well, and I believe it's key for us as a species to respect the things that our planet gives us, and respect the other life we share it with. Beyond saving the Earth, as it will heal and go on without us, taking care of our little blue planet is imperative for our own survival as well. Many of my works contain natural elements (bone, shells, etc.) and all of them are obtained and collected ethically from animals who lived out their natural lives.
While I hate being cliché, I do believe there is beauty all around us. I try to capture the beauty in the natural, and the beauty that can be found in unexpected places, including in things that otherwise may seem strange or even terrifying. Beauty does not necessarily mean something is "pretty", but also can include things that are striking, unique, or complex. The concept of beauty is one of the most subjective things, and I feel as though its definition is different for everyone. Imperfections do not negate beauty in my mind, rather they can enhance it. Flaws and unique marks in my artwork are a human touch that I treasure, not regret.
I don't know everything and neither do you. The world, the universe, everything around us has things that we don't understand. Existential and moral questions that have no set answers can be the most fun to think about and debate. There are always more things to learn and discover, and to me, that is one of the most exciting parts of being alive.
Black and white thinking can be dangerous, and while I respect sticking to your beliefs, considering and understanding other viewpoints is key to maintaining a balanced mindset. Even if at the end of the day you still disagree, understanding the motivations and reasoning behind someone else's thoughts is something that I think is vital to our survival in a global world. If you truly understand where someone else is coming from and still wholeheartedly believe in your original argument, I feel as though there is more strength in that than there is in blindly following your own opinion without allowing yourself to hear other sides. If everyone walked more in the shoes of others, the world could be a warmer place.
In the busy world we live in now, with full schedules and large screens, it can be hard to find time to think and breathe. It is very very easy to become overwhelmed and anxious. Take quiet time to yourself without distractions where you can to work through problems, find your goals, and even just daydream. Numerous studies show the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Art is my form of meditation. Mandalas in particular are extremely calming and meditative to draw, and sharing them with others is my way of sharing my time, and a piece of myself.