Finding Your Artistic Voice

Ashley Barron, Artist in Residence at the Toronto Public Library, recently discussed her artistic evolution, at her workshop on finding your voice.

As a pony-tailed child, Barron’s art included drawings and paintings of unicorns and rabbits.

While she’s still enchanted by animals, Barron has stretched to create beautiful, bold and precise, multi-layered, vividly colored, paper-cut collages of children and adults for picture books.

Her artistic growth has been inspired by:

Blex Bolex;

Charley Harper;

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp.

I’ve taught voice in creative writing classes. And I’ve come to realize that  voice is intertwined with life purpose. Both voice and purpose are about awareness and the need to express individuality in a creative way.

I became a writer because I’m curious about people, language and ideas.

Often, when writing creatively, it’s because a moment in time has sparked my imagination. I might explore an idea further to try to understand it or to answer a question.

We’re all artists. Art can be created in admiration. Art can also be an act of rebellion. With dissatisfaction there is the desire to create something better.

The artist picks up the paintbrush; the camera; the writing implement;  the gardening tool; the pastry brush or the laptop. The artist uses the available tools and responds by creating.

Artists compel the audience to pause for a moment; to take another look; to think; to feel and to respond in their own way with their own creative expression.

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