Crystal Smith is a 22 year old artist based in South Carolina who focuses on the mediums of graphite, charcoal, and oil paint. From a young age she has seen different worlds in patterns and shapes, trying to recreate them on the walls of her childhood home out of pure curiosity. As she grew older, she began to realize the people around her do not outwardly express their emotions or who they are which created the notion that you have to over analyze someone and their actions in order to understand them. This caused her to believe she didn't know herself and tried to apply this process to herself, which became increasingly more complex. Not only was she affected by expectations and assumptions placed on her, she was affected by the harsh self criticism that came with overanalyzing her every emotion and expression. It quickly became obvious that with taking all of these things into account, existing in the world as a black woman is quite surreal. There are countless contradictions in how black women are perceived and expected to be. For example, underlying hatred for them is combined with expectations to be nurtured by them. This surreal nature became the inspiration for her artwork because she resonated with lines and patterns that don't exist rather than hyper realistic objects and representations. Her preferred medium of graphite and charcoal proved to be the best way to create her visions, providing control and a wide range of possibilities. As an adult, the process of creating this work has become the most important aspect for her as she leans more into abstract work. Every line, curve, and piece of pigment is valued and comes together to create a piece that feels like it moves. This is a new and exciting challenge for her as she continues to pursue a bachelors degree in Studio Art.
Crystal Smith is a South Carolinian artist who focuses on the mediums of graphite, charcoal, and oil paint. From a young age she has seen different worlds in patterns and designs, trying to recreate them on the walls of her childhood home out of pure curiosity. Today she recreates those patterns in sketchbooks and canvases, using them to create worlds where she understands herself with self portraits displaying designs that help her untangle confusing emotions that come with existing and maturing as a black woman. Not only would dissecting these emotions and perceptions help her understand herself, they helped her grasp the concept of deep empathy for others and navigate throughout the world with self-awareness. The soft, airy lines interrupted by sharp rigid points in her work portray clearer visions of themes such as fear of stagnancy, the passage of time, and grasping a sense of reality while feeling like the epitome of a living breathing contradiction.