The autobiographical nature of my work might give the impression that I do not get involved in other people's stories. But once in a while I get approached by someone who would like me to use my skills (emotional literacy/drawing sunlight on buildings) to capture something that is important to them.
These types of commissions are strange undertakings. On top of the usual considerations of creating a piece of art (format, colour, tone of voice, deadline) a slight erosion of boundaries between the artist and the subject is not an unwelcome side effect but indeed necessary.
This is not just glancing at somebody's life and painting a pretty picture. It's more like excavating and then editorialising someboy else's thoughts by studying emails sent from different time zones and poring over old photographs in order to piece together a story. It can feel difficult and uncomfortable to engage with other humans like this, but it also feels like an honour. To be vulnerable is hard work. It is practical problem solving and finding meaning. In short, it is exactly what I love doing!