Updated: Apr 20
Featuring Mathea Madsen
The term “new beginnings” has the positive connotation of change, like graduating from high school and going to college, or moving into a new apartment. But there is a whole other feeling to that phrase when new beginnings force themselves upon us, unexpected and unwanted. We reject it and try our hardest to ignore the fact our lives might not be exactly how you imagined them to be, but at least we artists have the outlet of art to communicate to others and ourselves to better understand and cope with big changes in our lives. I spoke with my good friend and classmate, Mathea Madsen (@mathea.jpeg) about this topic and asked for her opinion on dealing with new beginnings:
“With every new beginning comes the fear of change, but the best way to process that fear is to create. When I don't create anything for too long it feels like all the stresses build up and making art is a release for that. This summer was really brutal and I thought I was too busy to make anything or spend time on art, which ultimately made everything worse. Art is how I process and by not making anything and putting up obstacles to create, I ended up making myself even sadder and just settled for being stressed out and apathetic to my whole situation. The moment I did create, though which was just sketches and me messing around with a new medium, everything slipped away again. I think new beginnings allow for you to turn a new page, find new inspirations, and turn what you are learning and processing into works of art which carry emotional baggage for you. Art lifts a weight off your shoulders, and gives you closure for the things of the past. You can always flip to a new page in your sketchbook and move on, much like in life.”
Expanding on what Mathea says about turning a new page in your sketchbook and life, you can also close a chapter of an art style and start a new, evolved one. I feel that each style of my art is like a different era in my life, when that era is finished in real life, it should be finished in my art, too. Art should always be evolving and creative expression should be a fluid, dynamic entity that dances around in your chest, always moving and open to change. New beginnings offer new perspectives, and we all know that perspective is everything in art. Instead of struggling against your new beginning, embrace it excitedly, because the creativity inside of you is ready for this chance to communicate using a different perspective and different energies and take you on this different path. However alien it feels to start anew, you are a creator. We should learn to find comfort in a blank canvas, a clean workbench, an empty dance studio, a fresh slab of clay. We know exactly what to do. We are creators.
Thank you Mathea for sharing your thoughts and experiences with this topic of new beginnings. Mathea is a rising junior in the Fine Arts major and a talented close friend of mine. You can find her on her art instagram where she shares charcoal sketches, photography, printmaking, and sculpture: mathea_madsen