Written by Tiffany Dun, Master of Science (Marine Biology)
I met Anaïs when she moved into my house. Initially, I was captivated by her cool demeanor and overall sense of calm. She was nice and (relatively) clean, so I supposed she would be a good enough housemate. Soon enough, Anaïs had stolen my heart. Not only was she a wonderful, supportive soul, cared for others and cooked me many meals, but I was soon to realise that she was harbouring quite a talent.
Today, this lovely earthling spends her free time crafting all sorts of masterpieces and exploring the great, wide outdoors. She is a budding artist, hoping to spread awareness of the ocean and its wonders through her masterpieces. Although she studies science, Anaïs believes that everybody has their own creative spirit. She has her own story to share with the whole of JCU community, and here is a glimpse into her mindset, for all of you happy souls out there who are lucky to (or perhaps one day will) know her.
Anaïs writes, “my love for art stemmed from a child, painting in my grandmas loungeroom, making a mess with all of the colours of the rainbow. I remember the art teacher in primary school always telling me to sit down, but subconsciously after 5 minutes I would be standing up again fully absorbed by the work in front of me.
I am often found with a paintbrush or pallet in my hand, scribbling down new ideas. Art for me has never been a chore or something I want to rush, it’s my outlet and my motive, a way to slow time and regroup in the crazy world around us. I have never undertaken art class or studied a degree in fine arts but believe everyone is an artist in their own way and creation should be raw and an expression of your inner thoughts.”
“Everyone is an artist in their own way.”
“I used to primarily use watercolours but recently fell in love with the texture and roughness of using a pallet knife. The inspiration for my paintings stems from a lust for the ocean and the power and energy it holds, I see nature as the world’s largest canvas. It’s the movement of water, whether it be the swash on a rocky shore, the beauty of a barrel forming, currents or the blue hues of bombies on a coral reef that I’m in awe of.” “It’s the rugged coastline of Australia; its diverse character. The west coasts contrast of desert umber and ocean teal, to the south coast cliffs and rough seas that inspires me.”
Anaïs sees the ocean and the landscape as an opportunity to create and express her work. From the beaches in Townsville, to the red sand and cliffs of WA, she typically looks at aerial drone footage of places she has been or would one day love to visit. In this way, she manifests her own interpretation of the Australian coastline and uses the earth as a means for her creative expression.
“I see nature as the world’s largest canvas.”
Although she has only just begun her first collection, Anaïs’ work is far from done. Her work is not just a hobby, but an integral part of her creative lifestyle. She writes, “I hope in the future to display my pieces in cafes, galleries, loungerooms, on park murals or community areas where people will see them and recognise the beauty of the ocean. I wish to address the future health of our seas and let my art tell a story of why we need to protect the precious and vulnerable big blue.”
While many of us are studying to become scientists or technicians of sorts, it can become easy to forget the importance of creative expression in our everyday lives. But creative living is important, and perhaps the most important thing, particularly in a society that is preoccupied with acquiring validation from others and with the consumption of material possessions. Whether it be through sport, dance, art, cooking, writing, music, or whatever you enjoy doing, be sure to incorporate some form of creativity in your everyday lifestyle. Like Anaïs, use your imagination and your art as a means to simplify your life, to reconnect with yourself and your spirit. Don’t limit yourself to the confines of your degree, humans were not meant to fit into boxes. Find out what you love doing and have the courage to do it (your soul will thank you).
Anaïs writes, “I believe art and science don’t have to be opposing fields of work. I am currently studying Marine Science and James Cook University and love learning the interactions between chemistry, physics, biology and the marine realm. I love the scientific side of it all and am very grateful to have the opportunity to be working alongside some of the leading researchers in the field. But I believe change comes when the mindset of masses comes together.”
“Change comes when the mindset of masses comes together.”
Most importantly, be sure to share your creative and imaginative ideas. It is the communication of these creative ideas and your imagination that will fuel a change in collective mindsets for a better, new earth. We can learn and glean from individuals like Anaïs, who helps to spread this message through her craft. And the ripples from one individual will emanate to reach friends, family and the wider community. So, do what you want, do it proudly and fearlessly, because it is the collective work from individuals that has the capacity to change the world. Anaïs writes, “I want to be able to reach out to children, grandparents, lawyers, florists, millionaires, the less fortunate and everyone in between and give them the opportunity to respect and protect the ocean. I want to use art as a form of communication to educate all the earthlings towards a heathier and happier ocean.”
For enquires about paintings contact Anaïs at firstname.lastname@example.org.