Eden Williams from Utah State University in Utah was the Third Place Winner of the $300 Scholarship Award in the 2009 Fine Art Finals West/Southwest Regional Scholarship Competition with her 8"x10" traditional photograph Man in Straw Hat pictured above. Eden was kind to take part in a brief interview. Here is what she said:
Fine Art Finals: Why do you create art?
Eden Williams: I create simply to have a voice. It feels like I cannot be heard any other way. I cry out with my art. I want people to open their eyes to the world around them. I hope that I can expose people to my ideas and view of the world. Making a statement with art is a gentler mode of communication than outright telling a person, because people tend to reject an idea if someone is telling them what to think. As a successful artist, I believe one can make the viewer FEEL emotion directed to a particular subject. Hopefully the viewer will gain much insight and understanding.
Fine Art Finals: What are you trying to say with your art?
Eden Williams: I want people to wake up from this world of delusion that we are all living in and have been accustomed to enjoy. I strongly feel as if there is not much real human interaction anymore. It’s like we’ve all been trained on the proper ways in which to behave. We’ve learned our lifestyles and interactions from television and other’s before us. From my experience, if someone is brave enough (and coherent, not under the influence of substances) to try to behave like a real human- to be creative- we immediately shut them down and usually falsely label them as crazy. There is no understanding in this situation. I believe that many people are incapable (or unwilling) of understanding creativity.
Fine Art Finals: How long have you been creating art?
Eden Williams: Ever since I can remember. I would call myself an artist if I didn’t despise the term so much. I feel like too many people steal that title and call it their own. The title of artist seems hardly defined and so lucid that the term can be thrown around without too much thought. Admire the modest ones.
Fine Art Finals: Are your family and friends supportive in your decision to pursue art?
Eden Williams: My family is so full of love for me. They have been nothing but supportive, loving, and positive towards me. If I ever wanted to make a bad choice, they loved me so much that they allowed me to make it (with words of caution of course), and were always there for me.
Fine Art Finals: What is your area of concentration in art (commercial art, fine art, art history, etc) and why?
Eden Williams: Undecided, I find enjoyment in many mediums.
Fine Art Finals: What was the deciding factor in choosing the school you are attending?
Eden Williams: Half-off tuition, in addition to a fabulous ceramics program.
Fine Art Finals: What is your major?
Eden Williams: Art right now, but I am involved in a very serious internal debate with myself to switch to holistic nutrition.
Fine Art Finals: What is your favorite medium(s) to work in and why?
Eden Williams: I love to draw. I love that a piece of paper can become something so much more. Maybe this sounds kind of weird, but sometimes I just space out while staring at a blank page. An image will just appear, so then I trace it. This technique kinda makes me feel like I’m cheating…
Fine Art Finals: What is your philosophy and work ethic in creating your art?
Eden Williams: Make a statement, and don’t show off anything you are not proud of… That kind of publicity comes only after your death.
Fine Art Finals: Who is your favorite artist(s) and why?
Eden Williams: Clay Custer. His works have an infinite and timeless feeling to them. Upon viewing his paintings, not only do you get to admire and develop a taste for this beauty, but one derives a genuine experience, hopefully feeling more at peace with themselves, and the beautiful, natural world around them. Marcy Skinner. She is a children’s book author. Canvas is not her medium. Instead, she paints eqsquistly with the flow of words. Positive and kind, full of learning love and laughter: I guarantee that you will encapture that genuine wonderment that faded as you grew older by walking down a beaten path with the words of Marcy, a friend to everyone. Sky Sunlight Saxon. I admire this musician for dedicating his life to a cause. This man saw the light, and rallied for a change in the world. My favorite songs are “world of Dreams” and “Down the Nile” from the album: Down the Nile.
Fine Art Finals: What artist most influences your work and why?
Eden Williams: Sky Sunlight Saxon. He saw truth, and tried to share his version of it with the world. I admire that quality in anyone.
Fine Art Finals: Do you have any other interests beyond art; what are they and do these interests influence your art?
Eden Williams: I love animals and don’t want them to suffer anymore. Guess why I think? As a society we have become so poisoned. Poisoned by the media and poisoned by our food. Food; mainly animal products are filled with pesticides and hormones. These toxic substances definitely affect human functioning-- Turning light- filled people into shallow sheeple. They will slow you down and cloud up your mind, disturbing your inner peace and rendering you incapable of reaching a higher state of mind and reduce your ability to vibrate on a higher level. Please don’t contribute to animal suffering, it’s wrong. The Vegan Diet is the original diet that god himself choose for us (in the garden of Eden) because he loves us and knows that eating plant foods (as opposed to animals and chemicals) will make us happy. Please help make the world a better place, enlighten yourselves and be happy. I am currently working on a series with mixed mediums to embellish that standpoint.
Fine Art Finals: Is there a specific career path you wish to follow utilizing your artistic talents, and if so, what is your plan for utilizing your artistic skills in the future?
Eden Williams: I would like to finagle a way to make life my art; I want to make a beautiful change in the world, not only by creating a piece of 2-d or 3-d piece of art. I will strive to direct and compose the life around me to create something truly beautiful. Truth, love, understanding and compassion.
Fine Art Finals: How do (did) you support yourself financially while attending college?
Eden Williams: Financial aid, greenhouse work, and scholarships.
Fine Art Finals: How did you hear about Fine Art Finals Scholarship Competitions?
Eden Williams: My amazing mother directed me to it.
Fine Art Finals: How has winning or placing in Fine Art Finals Scholarship Competitions helped you?
Eden Williams: I was reminded that I do have a talent. This experience has encouraged me to continue to pursue my love in life- which is art.
Fine Art Finals: What advice would you give other student artists?
Eden Williams: Get yourself out there. Change the world with your talent.
Fine Art Finals: Thank you Eden. Congratulations again, and we wish you continued success!