My name is Claire Frederick. I’m an incoming senior in Painting at Maine College of Art (MECA) in Portland, ME. I live in the city with my cat, Glitter, who is my therapy kitty. I have clinical and seasonal depression, an anxiety disorder, sleep issues, and am a recovered self harmer and anorexic.
I have always been someone that tries to handle my mental health on my own; even at my lowest lows I have refused outside help. It wasn’t until I was outside the United States (Italy and Greece) in my worst manic depressive and anxious episode that I realized I needed support from professionals and medication. It was more than situational; it was chemical. It took multiple tries to find the pills that worked for me, but I found them.
Presently, I still have my days, but I am the strongest and happiest I have ever been. As an artist with mental illness and queer identity, it is my mission to spread awareness through visual art by both personal and relatable imagery. To me, it is important for people to understand the vast diversity that mental illness takes form, and that most times it’s not “standard.” Even with all of its idiosyncratic identities, there are others out there that feel like you.
Talking to friends, family, strangers, and or professionals can be so beneficial to find peace of mind. Literally. There are people that want to help and support you, as well as, well as ways to find personal positivity and release the negative. For me, finding an outlet and profession in visual art has saved my life. I am also forever grateful for my support system: my family, girlfriend, friends, and professionals. We all have a reason to believe, to keep moving forward; it’s always out there.
“Disphoria” Artist Statement: The use of line in the exploration of the female figure formally investigates the structure and planar shifts of the body. These lines are formulated in an almost topographical way, and are treated with translucent waves of desaturated color. The earthy, yet bruise-like palette alludes to nature in the same way the body becomes geography. By using wet-on-wet techniques, the paint creates its own forms; the pen is then used to take back control, separating the values and hues. Steering away from the composure of traditional portraiture, I repeat, deconstruct, and reinvent the female figure to achieve an emotional and psychological experience, mimicking feelings of dysphoria associated with my mental illness.
Tired Girls Club
Watercolor on 300lb paper