By Sterling Giles (Social Media Representative and Writer for Rich City)
Ever since Caroline Clark was a child, she was never one to assimilate to her surroundings. A weird kid that was into dark fairly tales and art, made her a black sheep in her hometown of Chattanooga, TN. However, when it’s all said and done, Clark wants to be remembered as a person who wasn’t afraid to live and to invoke change through her art and philanthropy.
When did you get your start in art?
For as long as I can remember. If it involves visual art, I’m going to do it. I remember I always had a paintbrush as a toddler—it was just something I was born with. I mainly started painting on my own. It was really informal—it took me doing things over and over again to get better. I remember at one point I was on the floor weeping because I couldn’t draw a horse. But, I kept doing it over and over again until I got it. As I got older, I was able to create art with my other passion in public health. Both art and public health are about expressing something and to make people care more about clients. I lived in India for a month for study abroad and I remember that a community of over 5,000 people was going to be displaced by corporate factories. I took that opportunity to express what was going on. Most people would have took photos--but, I decided to draw what was going on because it was more interactive.
Who were your inspirations growing up?
I did a lot of reading growing up and I liked children’s books with wonky illustrations. I really liked “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” I also like Goya and Neil Gaiman. Writers in general and music also inspire me.
How are you able to express yourself different through art?
Through art I’m able to immortalize moments. In life, we let moments pass but, art for that moment is immortal. I can persuade and show people my feelings and experiences rather than with words. I like to think of art as “figure eight” thinking rather than a straight line.
What is your creative process?
I always have a sketchbook with me. If I want to capture something, I stop what I’m doing and sketch in pen quickly and then with fill it in with watercolor later. The sketching process takes ten minutes tops. However, working at a studio is emotionally intensive. I feel that I’m much more intuitive when I work in my sketchbook rather than in the studio.
What legacy do you want to leave as a person and with your art?
I want people to come to my funeral and say I lived more than any person they knew. I want to experience as much as I can and to create change. If I can see the inequality in the world as a privileged white woman—that’s ridiculous. I also want to continue to influence people and other artists. I want people to look at my art and say, “I want to know that story.”