Youth Sparks Joy
Cathryn Schwegel's senior exhibition is titled Youth Sparks Joy. This is a collection of work that was inspired by her personal childhood and her love of youth.
Since my childhood, I felt most myself when I was delving into a world crafted by my imagination. I grew up with the notion that to have fun, all you needed to do was get creative. I found joy in dollhouses, fairy gardens, glitter, crayons, and picture books especially. This was all I ever needed to enjoy my youth. I am the type of person who will hold onto memory as long as I can. Why I create the art that I do is in direct relation to the magic of childhood.
My alphabet coloring book, “Critter Color Me A to Z” came together as a collection of destinations in which each animal may like to take a trip to in my imagination. Aside from these illustrations, other work I create has the fundamental essence of youth. What matters in a child’s world is that there are endless possibilities with bright colors around each corner. The sky is not the limit; there is so much more. Animals accessorize, can talk and have friends, just like us, and fairies come out when no oneis around to leave behind a trail of laughter.
I’m a firm believer that one’s innocence and bravery to dream should remain as long as it can. Growing up is an inevitable cruelty we each face in our existence. What I aim to do within my work is take the former self back to the pureness of youth; to create a world that is centered in imagination, and never perfection. Children to me are perfect, because their perceptions are imperfect. I create with this question in mind: What would a child say when they see my work? But perhaps more importantly, is there a smile on their face? I aim to create my work with the mentality of a child, because there is nothing comparable to the magic of childhood. Once it’s gone, and we grow up, we tend to enter dark places of the world, but what is often overlooked, is that it doesn’t have to be this way. We can actively and intentionally hold onto that former magic. There will always be children in this world. And for that very reason, my desire is to create pieces that encapsulate youth, while also drawing in those of us who need to be reminded of what it is like to be a kid again.