When did you ﬁrst want to become an artist?
I’ve been making art my whole life. I can’t remember a speciﬁc moment when I decided that I had to be an artist, but I’ve always been drawn to art and I can’t imagine ever not doing it. When I was in college at Oberlin, I was studying politics and also taking art classes, but artmaking became increasingly important to me and I ended up with a double major in studio art and art history. I think of my senior thesis show in college as the ﬁrst time I made a real body of work. Preparing for that exhibit continues to inﬂuence how I make art, because it was the ﬁrst time I really starting drawing from the personal as subject matter in my work.
Where do you ﬁnd your inspirations?
I ﬁnd inspiration from a lot of things — sometimes I read books that are just about iconography and symbolism. Other times I will think of an action, song, or event from my childhood, or I will ﬁnd an object at a thrift store or antique store that will be a catalyst for a new piece. I recently started keeping a blog on my website that acts as an archive of what I have been thinking about, looking at, and trying out. Sometimes these are images of other artist works, and sometimes I include images of in-progress work from my studio. I also keep a physical sketchbook, but the blog has been helpful as another way to organize my ideas and resources.
To read the rest of the interview with Hope Esser conducted by Special Topics student Emily Hitchcock click HERE!