Kalen Smith

Thesis 2020

Class of 2020
Psychology and Art+Design Majors

Moody Girl

This is a stylized self-portrait series meant to illustrate my personal changes in both mood and thought as we all abide by the COVID-19 “stay at home” order. I thought working through this confusing time could inspire some pretty different states of mind, and I wanted to document my personal experience, as this is definitely a time that will go down in history. My mood was as variable as I predicted, and I eventually narrowed the main themes to exhaustion, anxiety, depression, boredom, and eventually, freedom. The style is experimental, with a couple of surreal elements added for specific symbolism I felt was important to the theme. The themes of the paintings themselves might be heavy, but overall, I wanted the graphic look and the color of these works to give off a more light-hearted tone.

Since my beginnings as a student at Butler, I struggled with allowing personal emotions to show through my art- mostly out of embarrassment. I think this project has given me the freedom to overcome what I might find to be personally embarrassing, and out of that, I think I made some pretty interesting work.