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Charlotte Mukahirn

Nominated by DePaul University

My work explores the creativity of the subconscious mind. I draw my inspiration from my dreams, daydreams, nightmares, and doodles, as well as other media such as graphic novels, film, and cartoons. The works of artists Masashi Kishimoto, Junji Ito, and René Magritte and films such as A Tale of Two Sisters and Spirited Away inform much of my narrative and compositional techniques in my artwork, which has been described as “cinematic.” Not to mention, growing up with a wide variety of cartoons like Courage the Cowardly Dog, Teen Titans, and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends lead to my creation of countless characters and storylines that I would draw over and over again. Even today, I keep a large log of characters that I redesign or simply sketch for inspiration. It is very important to me to reconnect to the creativity of childhood, as my old tendencies inform my modern creative impulses.

My fascination with dreams lies in my belief that they reflect a kind of personal truth. I see dreams as a distillation and reinvention of my own experiences or current state of mind. Of course, another person’s dreams will be unique to them with its own inherent connotations and context. I dissect my own dreams often to understand the language that my mind speaks, often noticing recurring themes or tones. While the events and characters range from abstract to literal, I believe that my reactions and feelings regarding the situations reflect who I am and how I perceive the world. My artwork is a vehicle to deliver my personal interpretation of reality.

Image: Nightmare Cabin, 2015

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