What role does research play in your work?

Learning about the ways other artists think and approach making presents me with worlds of definitions which I can draw from, recognize myself in, disagree with (and therefore find my own reply to), and be surprised by (and therefore be freed by).

It's like a form of triangulation or echolocation—figuring out what's inside by seeing if anything from the outside creates resonance.

A professor had me write a personal glossary for the things I was thinking about at the time in relation to the concepts and philosophies I was developing and my understanding of making art. At first I wasn't sure how to go about this but I wrote down words that kept surfacing in my vocabulary when attempting to describe my thoughts, looking up their dictionary definitions, and then making alterations to fit my philosophies. First, figuring out what they're about to the best of my understanding, then if they have anything that deeply affirms things I'd been suspecting, to use their work to expand my boundaries and serve as mentor suggestions.

Seeing the progression of an artist's practice and shifts within their body of work gives me a little insight into how they got to where they are and even frees me to understand how early I am in my practice.