By Danaé Reid
Social media has created a large platform for artists that may not have otherwise had a means to share their work with the masses. There’s an indescribable amount of talent that’s circulating the inter-webs in ways that are hard to ignore. Innovation, creativity, and inspiration is what I’m met with every day when I log onto my social media platforms, which is what led me to interview Madison Bryan. Bryan is a multi-hyphenate hailing from Maryland and has been creating ever since she was a little girl. Her use of several forms of media in her work paired with vivid color and expressive features creates palpable emotion and is a refreshing treat for all consumers alike.
DR: Artist, model… It seems you have your hands pretty full! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your art.
MB: Firstly, I would like to say thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. Giving artists a platform, especially Black women, to use their voice is important and I am honored! I am 22 years old and a senior at Savannah College of Art and Design. I am originally from Maryland. so that is my first home. Art has always been my passion. When I was younger, I first pursued visual art, and modeling came after. It all started as a hobby, but I soon learned that I enjoyed both enough to pursue them full-time. So yes, my hands are full, but I love it!
DR: You create mixed media art, which leads me to assume that you like having options and creating art out of the things that you are most inspired by, rather than just one thing. If I am correct in my assumption, how does that translate to your real life? If I am wrong, explain why.
MB: This is true — I love exploring different mediums and materials. It keeps things interesting and flowing. I like to use certain artistic tools to help me communicate my ideas, so it is helpful to have more than one material. It’s also just super fun.
DR: Whether repressed or expressed, creation is directly rooted to the creator’s psyche. I noticed that your work is extremely expressive and vivid. Does your work portray who you are, who you wish you were, the person you used to be, or is it maybe a mixture?
MB: It is a mixture. A lot of my personal work is an expression of where I am currently at and who I am becoming. The complexities of emotions and growth can often be overwhelming, and I find through the use of vivid colors I can best communicate those complexities. For example, a couple of my pieces were inspired by the anxiety and fear I sometimes feel about my future, but I use bright colors and expressions to communicate that. So, it portrays a more hopeful and positive reflection of those negative feelings.
DR: With the understanding that art is expression, what does it feel like for you to excavate so many of your emotions and transform it to something as physical as a piece of work? Furthermore, what does it feel like to know that people and strangers see so much of your vulnerability in the work you create?
MB: To turn my emotions into physical pieces is very therapeutic, it is the best form of communication between me and myself. I find it to be exciting, grounding and peaceful all at once. For people to see what I create makes me happy. I can’t control how my audience receives my artwork or interprets it, but the possibility that someone relates to it, inspires them, makes them think or makes them feel anything is amazing.
DR: The idea of what it means to be an artist and to create has expanded so much, so I have to ask… what are your views of NFTs, and how do you think they are changing or will change the art world?
MB: Like many things I believe there are pros and cons to them. They allow artists to take control of their path in a way that hasn’t been available in the past few years. I know there are environmental concerns and their impact, which is very valid. However, just like most issues, I believe placing such heavy responsibility on individuals is not how change is inspired. That mostly creates division and begins the “blame game.” Hopefully in the future, as NFTs grow, they can become more environmentally friendly. As for myself, I am interested in exploring them and using it as another avenue for my artwork. I just hope it proves to be a genuine one for artists.
DR: What advice would you give an artist that is scared to create or put their work out there?
MB: Create artwork for yourself first. It isn’t necessary to put it out there if you don’t want to, but there is no harm in it. Start small, art doesn’t have to be huge, it can just be a doodle. And lastly, seek inspiration but not with the intent to compare. Comparing yourself to others can be a useful tool, but if it isn’t used right it can create more fear and anxiety than inspiration.
DR: Lastly, I know you do commissions. Where can people find your work?
MB: If you’d like to learn more about me and see my portfolio, my website is: https://synclairstudiosllc.squarespace.com/.
You can also find me and artwork on Instagram and Twitter @maraschinochrry.
Also, I have affordable prints available to everybody on https://artistsourced.com/collections/maraschino-cherry. Thank you so much!