I see a lot of art in my line of work. I'm around a lot of artists and I even used to be one myself, so in a way I've become immune to it's effects. Mostly because I've seen it all before and I've heard all the 'meanings' behind each and every piece before. So for me, art is something I take or leave, usually leave more than take. When I do find art that appeals to me it's not the chin stroking variety, the black dot on a white canvas representing the ruination of the human soul by mass consumerism yadda yadda yadda (I can do that myself), it's going to be something that's simply visually striking to me. Something that makes me feel happy. Something that makes my jaw drop and takes me to magical places. I want to go on a journey. A happy journey, a place where I wonder what's next, what's around the corner.
I wholeheartedly admit that for me, art is all about aesthetics, because I cannot see inside the artists head, I cannot feel what they felt when they created the piece. All the emotion that goes into making art, is the artist business and not mine and I have no desire to probe inside anyone's head. But I want to have an emotional response of my own. So when I saw the wonderful, wonderful work of Melissa A. Contreras, AKA Axel Honey, I was taken to magical places I hadn't been to since I was a child.
The amazingly endearingly characters she creates reminds me of more innocent times, childlike times which we often forget as the weight of adult life sometimes sits heavy on our shoulders. If you look closely though you will see glimpses of the artists emotion and humour in each piece (no probing necessary!), which elevates it from the story book style which at first glance it appears.
Whilst Queen Marie is all about the fairies and the child in her is still very much present, my life has been such that I have not been able to maintain those elements of my childhood. So to see art that makes my eyes wide with excitement as I would if I saw something that was amazing to me as a child, then the artist has been successful and with the added nods to emotion and humour she, for me, has created something akin to magic.
I am in awe at this girls ability to take her talent and use it across many mediums, as she has done - ceramics, t-shirts, badges, jewellery. She is truly an omnitalented young lady and if these works don't melt your heart then I don't know what will! Oh and no chin stroking required...