“Dancing is creating a sculpture that is visible only for a moment.”
- Erol Ozan
Making art and dancing to music has been a part of my personal self-care tools, especially over the last two years. When I dance, I’m allowing my mind to be free. I move to the beats of the music without caring what others think. Whether I’m creating an art piece or dancing, I had always had trouble getting to this level of confidence. The constant critiquing of whether or not I was doing something socially acceptable or adhering to certain rules hindered me from fully expressing myself. Dance and art are forms of self-expression which is ultimately a basic human need.
Below are some explorations of how art and dance merged together have become a necessary tool in exploring who I am as an artist and a dancer. I’ve found that even on days when I’m not able to attend a dance class, I can still turn to art.
For two years, I had to the pleasure of teaching weekly art classes to the residents at the Lincoln Park Community Shelter. Although these were group classes, I was able to get to know each resident on a personal level. Through projects such as painting, paper collages, hand-lettering and origami, I witnessed a level of peace as they made art alongside of me. I earned a level of trust with the residents and was fortunate to have several intimate conversations with them reflecting on their circumstances and hearing stories about their loved ones. I’ve found that working with the homeless in Chicago has molded me to become a much more open-minded, compassionate individual that aligns with my journey to becoming an art therapist.
Art Therapy, Dance/Movement/Physical Therapy, Tutoring
Working closely with The Answer Inc. teachers, I was fortunate to join the team as a part of Adler University’s social justice practicum. The Answer Inc. is an autism awareness and support agency with a mission to empower parents of children and adults on the autism spectrum
The Answer Inc. has several programs contributing to the education of autistic students. For their Spectrum University program, I tutor students in reading, writing and mathematics to our students and started the program’s first arts and crafts class. I also participate in their Music N Me co-leading dance workouts and physical therapy.
Because the students vary in their cognitive and physical functionalities, I ensure the curriculum is personalized to meet each student’s needs. The arts and crafts projects are focused on exploring creative expression, exercising fine motor skills and introduces students to work with multiple types of art materials.
Lettering, Art direction, Photography
Led art direction and production of lettering visuals, both hand-drawn and food, to enhance each brand's content pieces across their social media pages. Each piece of work was carefully curated and backed with thorough research on what types of content pieces were trending at the time.
Illustrator & Hand-lettering artist
Greeting card illustration, Lettering
An app developed to rekindle handwritten cards for friends and loved ones, PunkPost reached out to collaborate on a new greeting card collection and invited me to join their team of scriptists. In collaboration with the company owner, I developed a library of witty food puns and illustrated the 2016 collection "Grub Talk." To this day, I continue to contribute themed card designs during the fall and winter holidays.
Advertising, Video production
Tasked with creating an educational commercial for ComEd, my team at PACO Collective developed a video focusing on the ease of ComEd's smart thermostat and approached it from a humorous angle. From the development of the script and storyboard to casting our cat and dog stars, we worked closely with a video production company, The Mill, who created the animation and CGI for the spot.
As one of the art directors on this project, I ensured the content of the video stayed under the umbrella of the client's motto, "Smarter Power Made Simple." I was also directly involved with enhancing the use of supers throughout the video. Instead of placing text over the piece, we chose to have the benefits of ComEd's product integrated within the environment of the scene in a subtle way for the consumer to understand.
Art Director, Photographer & Letterer
Social media, Content creation, Lettering
Wanting to enhance the level of creativity of their social media posts, Farmers Insurance challenged my team at SOCIALDEVIANT to develop a campaign specifically for February. Staying relative to the month's theme of love, the Insure Your Love Month campaign focused on the Farmers Insurance confident planner: a customer who fully understands the value of being properly insured especially with life insurance.
Driven by lifestyle shots to depict several different family life stages of the confident planner, our photographs featured unique typography pieces within the environment to create a visually appealing content.
Event coordinator & Graphic designer/Illustrator
Illustration, Graphic design, Event production
Produced a range of events from charitable art shows to networking nights and participating as a panelist in SheSays Chicago marketing meet-ups. I've worked alongside of the AIGA-Chicago Mentor Program in producing a Chicago Design Week exhibit and ideating an interactive piece to push attendee engagement. During Chicago Ideas Week, I led the creation of SOCIALDEVIANT's experiential lab teaching attendees trending tools for content creation. I'm also heavily involved with the artist community in Chicago and have produced art shows such as one for the Communities Rally for Artistic Nourishment Project where we raised money and awareness of the Children's Heart Foundation.