Abbey Aichinger, an artist who is uncompromising in finding herself in her work...
Updated: Jan 1, 2022
'I’ve always been uncomfortable with artist’s statements. When I read someone else’s I think, “Wow, they must really know what they’re talking about.” That used to make me feel insecure. Why don’t I have such a clear vision and important manifesto on what it is that makes my artistic voice unique? I don’t know, I just don’t. I just know that I need to make art. I need to throw myself into something to feel alive and useful. I want people to enjoy what I make, but if they don’t, then that’s alright too. I like trying different mediums and experimenting. Every project I start is a new challenge and an opportunity to learn something about myself. Whether I am drawing, painting, designing, collaging, making videos or stitching… it doesn’t matter. I just keep going, I just keep trying, I just keep working until I am happy with what I’ve done. Every project is like an intense math equation that only I can find the answer to. I love taking commissions and bringing other people’s ideas to life while implementing my own style and sensibilities. Making money from art is wonderful, but the sense of fulfillment has less to do with selling a piece and everything to do with the act of making. Art is something I do for myself. It’s what makes me feel whole.'
'Ginger's Song', digital painting, 'Am I Blue?', embroidery, 'Boils', watercolor on paper.
'Billy Bobphomet', embroidery
'I was born and raised in the suburbs of Indianapolis. At 17, I moved to Minnesota where I attended The Minneapolis College of Art & Design. In 2007 I received a BFA in Illustration. In the years after college I went through a really dark period where I gave up on myself. I stopped making things and I told people I wasn’t an artist anymore. I had no direction and I flailed. I drank too much, I made poor decisions and I did risky things all because I had this hole inside me. Deep down I knew the answer was in art, but I was stubborn and afraid. Ultimately, I think it came down to low self esteem and a fear of failure.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2014 I started to find my purpose again. I got a handful of freelance jobs doing art for film and television projects. I participated in several shows. Little by little, I started to forgive myself for my years of inactivity. I stopped comparing myself to others who were more successful or had the life I’d thought I wanted. I decided to accept myself, accept my failures and embrace them. I fell back in love with the thing that always made me ME. I was making things again.'
'International Food Series', gouache on paper
'Little White Dog', gouache on paper, 'Eduard in the Garden', gouache on masonite, 'Georgia Straight Cover', digital painting.
'I’ve recently come back home to Indiana, which is something I never thought I would want to do. I look at who I am today and think, “why didn’t I ever think this was good enough?” I like who I am, I lead a small life and its full. I’m not rich and famous, but I am the most content I’ve ever been. I know now that I don’t make art because I have something profound to say. I make art because I need to. Because it keeps me sane. It’s not about a message I’m trying to convey. It’s about losing myself in the activity of creation. Every day I sit down to make something I am a different person than I was the last time. A better person.'
'I Call to Jesus', gouache on masonite.
'Fire and Swallow', digital painting.
'Dear Diary', digital painting, 'Red Ribbon', digital painting, 'Paper Crowns', graphite and digital painting.
'Love Conquers The Demon', Posca on masonite, commission piece.
'Queen of the Road', gouache and watercolor, 'Jemaine & Bret', India ink & digital, 'Ancient Secret Recipe', digital painting.
'The Quarantine Files', video collaboration with Jason Arnot.
Link to YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/humanhanddeerburger
Abbey Aichinger, in her studio.