what is art if it doesn't communicate anything? it is design: a study in beauty, color, form and light, serving as an aesthetic embellishment to a room to make its inhabitants happy, or as an exercise in technique for the artist to better their skill. i see this aesthetic art is typically the kind that sells. that's all fine and good. i've done that, i can do that, i'm good at that, and i understand the need for that. but what i really love about art is the potential it has to tickle your synaptic mind, to challenge the cultural paradigms we all live within and to make the viewer really think. every artist has their own personal journey. they must ask themselves, before they pick up their brush: what function shall my art serve? what shall my art say? lately i've been asking myself just that.

since i was young, my mind has been a jumbled ball of yarn. imagine me, a girl of ten, falling in love with the beauty of the natural world and then watching it be systematically destroyed by its people. i saw too much. i was too aware. and it hurt. i started a save the earth club, enlisted members, and we walked around picking up garbage. it was the least i could do, and ironically, the most i could do. in a little autobiography i recently dug up from elementary school, entitled "jessica bonin, the story of my life", i aspire to "join greenpeace or become an artist". torn at the seams, between creating new forms of beauty and trying to save the remains of true natural beauty left. and today, reflecting back as a girl of thirty, it seems that little has changed. i've been working as an illustrator,doing the drawings that help children and adults across the world learn about water quality and how they can feel empowered, how they can make a difference. yet today, when my painting started to speak to me of the ocean, and the oil, and the plastic and garbage and gmo's and pharmaceuticals swimming around in there, i thought about this mighty mess we've gotten ourselves in and i started to cry. helpless, helpless, helpless all over again: this is my story.

I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own. Andy Warhol

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