While riding on a brilliant butterfly across the sky, I hop on a rainbow and slide down to a pastel-colored cloud filled with flowers. Landing in the middle of a soft sunflower, I feel the warm sun on my cheeks and cuddle up next to a lion lying nearby, running my fingers through his fur. We’re the same size.
Some may assume this is a bad acid trip, but for me, it’s simply savasana at the end of a long – and totally sober – yoga sesh. Several years ago, an instructor encouraged the class to relax as we lie there in corpse pose – to imagine ourselves somewhere serene like walking on a beach. “Beach? I can do better than beach, beetch,” I thought as I let my mind wander to whimsical places that would only exist on my yoga mat.
Until I saw Caroline’s work.
Caroline and I were in the same sorority at Arizona State. I remembered her as a cute blonde who was friends with my younger brother. We probably once bonded over bottles of hairspray and booze. While some exited college and graduated from date parties to changing diapers, some chose paths a little less expected.
That was Caroline. As with most other sorority sisters post-college, unfortunately, the only ties that remained were Facebook and Instagram. But the more that she popped up in my feeds, the more I wondered who is this girl? What are these intriguing, semi-trippy photographs? And her collage art… how was she able to capture scenes from my imagination? I had to have them.
My most recent piece by her is a butterfly-themed original. She created it at the beginning of 2015 which I had – secretly and coincidentally – dubbed my Butterfly Year. She gifted it to me, and her email regarding it was every bit as much a gift.
This is a gift to you from me because I always appreciate your support and support you and your aspirations. Your candid writing is inspiring and relatable to anybody that reads your blog, thank you for finding the courage to use your voice honestly.
Little did she know that my girl crush on her stems from the courage she has to express herself creatively whether people get it or not. Before I could hang the piece, I had to know what inspires the artist who inspires me.
Interview with Caroline
Where do you live now?
San Francisco! The cool grey city of love and magic. It’s incredible here.
What is your typical day like?
Oh man, I haven’t had consistency for about three years, I work a couple different jobs and life in SF is anything but typical.
On my days off I wake up at 6 am to make art, mornings are my favorite. At noon I’ll take a break to get out of my pajamas and take a walk on the beach or sit in the sun on my fire escape. I’ll work until late night, get high or drunk and pass out when I’ve had too much of one or the other. Outside of this schedule my days are all over the place.
How did you get into collage art? What drew you to it?
I began making collages for people as a ‘thank you’ gift for inspiring me. Recycling materials is something I’ve done since a kid, anything from broken hair combs to old sunglasses. After a while it was too crafty for me so I transitioned to paper collage, it’s my grown up version.
I love your photography. How would you best describe it?
Thank you! It’s been tough to find a label for my photography but I’ve resorted to “narratives evolving from heartache and imaginative worlds intertwined with elements of humor, sexuality and surrealism.” Not complicated at all.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everything I make is a direct reflection of my life at that moment or my perspective on life around me.
What is your motivation to keep doing it?[quote]I can’t imagine living any other way. It’s how I make sense of the world.[/quote]
If you have a motto for life what is it? And why?
Have fun and be kind because there doesn’t seem to be any point to life without either of those things.
I’m also interested in your Paris trip if that’s something you want to talk about. Why did you go? How long were you there? What did you do? (Who was that boy?)
Haha I went to France for a little over a month to carry out a love story with a Frenchman. We lived the life of a Parisian, stayed up till early morning eating dinner at 11 PM and waking up just in time to catch the bread man, attending the cinema on many lazy afternoons, having conversations exploring our different cultures, only eating/drinking the best of everything, attending dinner parties with French friends, sitting by the Canal for late night drinks and snacks. Basically just experiencing life together in Paris.
We went on a road trip through the South of France sleeping on the side of the road in our car and camping a bit, it was incredible. We also went to a garden wedding in Normandie where all the guests camped in a pasture with fruit trees, a creek, and weeping willows. There was a huge feast with dancing. This night is one of my favorite memories.