I only do this on occasion nowadays, but I used to frequently make mix-CDs for people I was close to. Thinking back, I believe I was using them as a way of communicating. I would labor over them, too—like I would spend days thinking about what songs in what order sounded right and had lyrics that would get across what I was hoping to express.

I decided that I would try to paint the emotions and thoughts that would go into these compilations onto actual CDs. So I set out to do this, listening to the past compilations that I made for people for inspiration as I went along. It was kind of a bizarre experience; it felt like the playlists really transported me back to the time (in particular) that I was making a lot of them. At this point, I decided to expand upon my original idea and paint memories onto the CDs, while still retaining some of the original concept. It’s a bit of a cheesy approach, but it’s a literal approach of how music can hold memories and emotions.

I was a bit hesitant with this project at first, because sometimes when people make art that is too personal, it won’t mean anything to regular viewers. I generally try my best to make my work unspecific enough that it is accessible, but I feel like this piece is definitely pushing beyond that boundary a bit. I’ve been trying to overthink everything less this semester, though, so I decided to just do it anyway.

I really enjoy how the paintings look coming out from the odd CD sheen, but that’s about it. I struggled with these paintings quite a bit. I think I thought they’d be easier because they are small, but I quickly realized I have a lot harder of a time working small, and it was confusing and irritating going back to acrylic paint. In my memory I liked acrylic better, but I decided that’s not true. I kind of can’t wait to throw these in a closet so that I don’t have to see the worst shoe ever painted anymore, but I still flip through them like I’m looking at old photos.

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