How did you get into debt?
During my undergraduate career, it showed my parents made too much to qualify for federal loan assistance, so I had to take out and have them co-sign on multiple private loans for over 100,000 in debt. We cried every year but I still didn't understand the gravity of the debt until much later. Then I went back for my masters, and personally accrued another 100,000 in debt, this time federal, knowing the gravity, but also thinking I was managing, and also not knowing what else to do. I am a first generation college student. My parents worked in manufacturing and for the postal service. All they wanted was for me to go to college, because it was supposed to be a better way. This dream is not the reality.
How does your economic reality effect your art?
It is a constant reminder of a broken system, an ideology of capitalism that no longer works. As an interdisciplinary artist and independent publisher, I am constantly questioning what it means to produce in a society where you work with no real end in sight, no resolution. I am tied to academia but not supported by it, but without existing in it, I would not be able to support myself in the slightest, and definitely would not have the means to create. In many cases the expectations of my art are hampered by the economic limitations I face. Where/when is the next contract? How do I produce in a fractured future?
Would your work look different if you weren't in debt?:
Possibly. It's hard to say since I've been in debt the entire duration. I imagine I'd feel less restrained in many cases.