Children view their future by its potential – we believe, growing up, that life will improve because people learn from the past, help others, and build on success. Human civilization is constantly moving forward, getting better with each generation. However, almost three decades into my life, I felt the need to express the conflict between that childhood ideal and the bitter realities of adulthood. Our lives are defined by survival. What do we need and how do we get it? All of those desires come with just as many opinions on how to obtain them. Suddenly, we’re much older, and the optimism of childhood becomes washed away by competition, doubt and pain. The lack of a natural landscape in my paintings is not coincidental. The figures in my paintings humbly remind me that I may be small, but I still live in a world that I help build. I want to make sure that I improve it and make it one in which I enjoy living. A person can feel insignificant, but history reveals that the human race can be both innovative and destructive.
I was continuing to shrink, to become…what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being?
Playing with toys and action figures is a way for kids to act out their desires and design their own rules and circumstances. I personally enjoyed playing with Legos, Lincoln Logs, and toy trains. I even loved rearranging the furniture in my sister’s dollhouse. But what happens to those desires later on? Well, we grow up and finally get to determine what our future will look like, except most of us submit to the established circumstances. We lose sight of the fact that we can still design everything everything around us, on a much grander scale than just playing with toys. The term sandbox is used to explain open-ended games without a “right way” of playing. That is essentially what life is. We, as designers, artists, engineers, and citizens, have to embrace the creativity we have to shape the world around us. We are all small figures just trying to survive. Despite all of the constant, and sometimes repetitive, obstacles, I genuinely still see our future by its potential.