GURLS was conceived in sketchbooks while I was recovering in bed from multiple surgeries, and oil painting was not an option for quite some time. They weren't meant to be good drawings, so much as they were meant to make friends laugh.
At first I started to do quotes I had actually heard, but realized they needed further context to be funny. I wondered, what is something a woman is saying, somewhere, right at this very moment? I must have tapped into the Zeitgeist, as friends told me they felt like I was hitting way to close to home, but in a funny way that they knew to be true. I started calling them "Gurls" and away I went!
Sarcastic, silly, and in a loose style that deviates from the rather serious painting I am known for, I suppose my GURLS comment on the current state of technology, relationships, and first world problems. I never tell, but there are a few drawings that I am very much guilty of, even if the quote isn't exact.
One day I was shocked to get an invite to have a solo show of my drawings in Germany, at FB69 Galeries in Münster and in Cologne. It appears the "Basic Gurl" and all her glory is an international phenomenon. I thought people wouldn't get it. Not only did drawings sell at an art fair, but I traveled from Cleveland, Ohio for the opening reception at this amazing art gallery in Münster and sold many on the preview night. Six months later, another solo show was held in Cologne.
Since the gallery shows, my GURLS have been featured in newspapers and magazines both in the US and Germany.
After doing over 50 drawings, I finally made two books. GURLS Volumes 1 and 2. Small shops around the US began to carry them and I got a zine distributor (which was a total throwback to the 90s for me).
The thing that makes this all so strange is that I've been a working artist for over a decade and I never thought the silly drawings I did would amount to anything but laughs on Instagram. My oil paintings, which I've shown in galleries around the world, take a long time to complete and on the whole are very exhausting. I didn't really start putting effort into GURLS until I got a new box of brush pens and thought I'd give hand lettering a go! The events and experiences that have come about from these drawings has been amazing; it goes to show that sometimes you can step out of your creative comfort zone and hit on something that people really relate to, even if it isn't oh-so serious.
Now people email me with things they hear that, "should totally be a GURL" or catch themselves, "sounding like one of your drawings". I like to think that maybe we are all a little "Basic" in our hearts.
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