Thursday, September 27, 2012

Talent Showoffs: Water LIlies+ Social Justice

I recently had the opportunity to have my artwork in Talent Showoffs, a local event for artists and musicians.  Here is the Artist Statement that I used for the event.

Felicia Follum, Water Lilies (Untitled), 11x15

My work combines social justice themed Fine Art with graphic design techniques and processes. I tend to use a variety of mediums. Through research and brainstorming I strive to develop a creative language to talk about current social issues as diverse as African American hair, the LGBTQ community and Christianity, and world water.


The work on display tonight is from my in-progress series dealing with human trafficking and sex slavery. Though water lilies are beautiful plants the eco system that they have adapted to survive in is not so glamorous. The root system and underground workings of the plant are extremely complex and parallel the system that supports human trafficking. The most basic, yet significant, comparison is the function of the lily pads. Each pad takes back energy to the root, which would otherwise shrivel up and die in the mud.

Since I am still in the process of creating water lilies to represent those who have been trafficked in the United States, there are many directions in which this body of work could travel.

Please check out my Facebook page or this blog to keep up with my work and learn more about the symbols and comparisons I am making.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Presidential Election 2012 Shoes

We have all heard of wearing our heart on our sleeve...how about wearing you politics on your feet?  I found these great Obama shoes on Pinterest and thought I would share.  Regardless of who you are voting for this election, why not share you views with the world in a unique way.
What are some other creative and respectful ways to support your candidate? 


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Waterlilies and Prostitution


lily pad painting (early stages)

In my current artwork I am using lily pads to talk about human trafficking and sex slavery.  For those of you who have been wondering how water lilies tie in with sex trafficking, keep reading. If you already have an idea, enjoy the pictures, look at more of my in progress lily pad art and keep reading just in case there is something new.  Be sure to like my Facebook page while you are at it.

Detail of lily pad (early stages)
For starters, I am comparing of the underground root system of the plants to networking system of human trafficking, prostitution, and sex slavery.  The intricate roots are located in dirty, slug and leech infested waters several feet below the surface. Traffickers and pimps manage to go unnoticed and stay just below the surface under the guise of a massage parlor owner or one of many other professions.  The dirty water tends to be hidden by the beauty of the flowers much like the happenings in the sex industry are disguised by the women with tough skin and fake smiles.

Waterlilies can often have up to 50 lily pads all connected to, and working for, the one root system.  In larger species such as the Amazon Waterlily these lily pads can grow up to 6 feet in diameter. The edges and underside often times have sharp spines and air pockets. The lily pads bring back chlorophyll to the roots and the beautiful flowers often bring back oxygen and allow the plant to reproduce. 

Beginning of some watercolors and upcycled shrinky dink
With their impressive size it is no surprise that this gorgeous and aggressive plant can easily take over a lake and choke out all other life in a body of water.  These plants have learned to adapt for survival even if it is at the expense of other life.  Many of the women and children in the industry have been forced to survive often times at the expense of each other.  This keeps them submissive and trustworthy allowing the viscous cycle of sex slavery to continue.

Here is another example of how I am using water lily to represent and talk about sexual addiction.

These are just the basics of my analogy for this body of artwork developed by significant research.  As I continue to research and develop the ideas further I will share more.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Brown Girls Dream Come True

Michelle Obama

"Thank you for being a brown girls dream come true, something tangible to look up to."
 ~Jasmine Mans



I love this poem.  I think it is beautiful for those of us who do not share the physical characteristics of many past American leaders to be able to relate to someone in power in a way we have never before been able to.


I am not posting this post to tell you to vote for Obama this election. I think that there can be wisdom behind any vote.  I simply wanted to honor an inspirational First Lady who has made a significant impact in the lives of many young ladies out there.  I know that the African Community (Mexican American, and Native American communities as well) all need some more strong positive and beautiful role models for our children.

Reguardless of the outcome of the 2012 election I do not want this amazing woman to be forgotten.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Creatress



Creatress
Cre`a´tress

n. 1. She who creates.
2. A person or thing that creates
3. Originator

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Waterlilies and Freedom from Sex Slavery

My current plan for my Lily Pad series is to create one Waterlily for every 100 Lily Pads (the details and numbers might change as this project progresses).  Each flower will represent one girl who has been rescued from human trafficking (sex slavery, indentured servitude or other forms of forced labor) in the US for every 100 who are not found.

Lily pad postcards
The waterlily is often used to represent hope, rebirth and new life.  Making it the perfect symbol for those who are rescued and given the chance to start a new healthy and safe life.

Update: Since this post I have changed the 100 lily pads for every 1 water lily.  My goal for total number or lily pads (and water lilies) is 1,500.  I am over 500.

I now have cards for sale and the an gallery space for early April.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Suicide Prevention Week

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day (It is always September 10 with the week, Sunday through Sunday, surrounding it as the celebrated week).  I wanted to share some statistics** as well as ways that you can help to make a difference.

- Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year.
- It is estimated that there are 8 - 25 attempts per death.
- It is estimated that there are at least 4.5 million survivors in the US.
- Many who attempt suicide never seek professional care.
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people age 15-24.
- 80% of people who seek help are treated successfully.
- The rate of depression is twice as high for Americans making less than $24,000 a year than it is for those who earn above $60,000



Some things you can do to help...
- It is up to all of us to de-stigmatize mental health issues so spread the word and encourage people to get help.
- Learn to recognize the signs of suicide and depression.
- Depression lies. do not believe these lies.
- Everything is replaceable, except you.
- You are loved and needed in the world.


Check out more of my suicide, depression, and mental health awareness posters.

**Stats are from SAVE, Depression Statistics, and CBS News.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Snake and lizard Wall


Here are some of my snakes and lizard in-progress and finshed paintings.  I have 2 more in progress and 2 completed.  My completed works are currently in the University of Wyoming's Coe Library as a part of the Student Art League Exhibition, Encounters.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Captured Justice and Incarceration

I have been waiting to announce this achievement online for awhile now... 

My poster "Incarceration" was recently used as a textbook cover for a Native American History and Public Law textbook.  I was ecstatic when I received the hard copy in the mail. It looks great!!

The idea for this poster was largely inspired by growing up in Rapid City, South Dakota and seeing the mistreatment of, and racism toward, Native Americans.  The poster was created as part of a series addressing the conditions on American Indian Reservations (specifically
pine Ridge and Rosebud) after many hours of research.  The photo is an unknown chief from a portrait photography book.

Captured Justice: Native Nations and Public Law 280″ by Duane Champagne and Carole Goldberg
You can purchase the book online at Carolina Academic Press or on Amazon.com.