Artist Statement

Traci Bunkers self-portraitMy raw, layered confessions, that combine writing with intuitive art-making in a book, are what I am known for in my niche. These visual journal pages create an optical portal into a moment in my life. The natural evolution of my work and growth has pushed me to go beyond the book form, not only because of its size, but because once the book is closed, the work is not seen. It lead me to start working with capturing and visually translating the same experience onto canvas as I have been creating in my visual journals. This reignited my passion for my work, filling me with excitement but also the pangs of vulnerability from exploring new boundaries and visibility.

Inspired by color, textures, and dilapidated things, I like to build layers in my artwork with photographs, paint, mark-making and collage to create depth and a visual layering of reality. I’m drawn to photographs that are double-exposures, or give that appearance, because the otherworldly feel they create gives a sense of peering into an alternate reality. While creating, I continue to work the layers in my artwork, adding and taking away from them to give a feeling that things have been unearthed, matching the physical exposure with the emotional expression. Creating from an emotional place, the openness and vulnerability of my work, which often incorporates self-portraits, helps people to connect with it. They are able to see the world through my eyes, whether the piece is a photograph, a mixed-media painting, or a visual journal page.

With a background in visual communication, my work has an underlying structure combined with organic, spontaneous energy. I work intuitively and freely without preconceived ideas of the finished piece. This leaves me open to explore new ways of combining different media and imagery, and allows me to follow the piece in a different direction. The process of creating is my focus rather than the outcome, which gives my finished pieces a fresh and spontaneous feel.

An urge to express myself with my hands, whether it’s painting, taking a photograph, or working in my art journal is what pushes me to create, and it helps keep me balanced. Often I get new ideas while walking my dog, with a camera in hand, as a form of walking meditation. I like to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, often over-looked items that I can use as the subject for a photograph, or repurpose into an alternative printing tool to use in my work. That carries over into my love of experimentation and finding new uses for items and materials.

Traci Bunkers • Bonkers Handmade Originals
P.O.Box 442099, Lawrence, KS 66044 • • 785.727.1787