Mary Elizabeth Ford

“Whatever someone thinks is out of my control, and I like it that way”

When did you start drawing and creating?

More intentionally, about 4 years ago.

How do you find the balance between the vision you have and the mediums you are using?

The vision I have is always so rough. I’m a moody person and because of that, I make things on a very emotional basis. I don’t quite set out with a vision of what I’m going to make. It just sort of happens. The mediums honestly differ by whats in front of me, or how much money I have to make something. When I started doing wire faces I was just too broke to buy paint and I had a lot of dry cleaner hangers, so I started furiously bending them. Most of my paintings on paper, are on really crappy paper because I don’t plan ahead and that’s usually whats lying around. So, it changes frequently and there is no method.

What inspired your style of work?

I don’t know if I can really control the style I have. I don’t even know what style it is, but every time I try to do something that doesn’t feel like me it really bleeds through and I have to scrap whatever I was trying to be.

Where do you get inspiration from? Are there any particular artists, photographers, painters drawers you look up to their works? 

The environment that I’m surrounded by plays a huge part in what inspires me. What I’m feeling, specific colors, where I live, structures, and personalities all play. Without thinking about it too much, Basquiat, Helen Frankenthaler, Vivian Maier, Kindah Khalidy, are what come to mind immediately. It really varies. I really lean towards following and getting inspired by people that have very different styles or approaches to me.

How long does it take to create a piece? What is the process being it?

Time varies. The process differs too. I tend to have an idea of what I’m feeling drawn too, go with it, hate it, rework it, like it, again and again, until it feels good, lots of layers. I’m a goddamn onion.

Would you say that there is a main thread connecting all your artworks and if so, which is it? 

I don’t know. I definitely get emotional with all my pieces. Maybe that bleeds through or maybe it doesn’t. But, I guess the main thread is I don’t hold back from all the things I want to make or how into it I get, so they are very honest to who I am and I guess I really hope that translates to all mediums and works of art that I do.

What kind of talks would you like to hear around your artworks? What kind of conversations would you like your artworks to spark?

You can not control what people say. If you make a thing and it’s out in the world, you cant get mad if someone feels differently about a piece than whatever idea or intention you had. I definitely put language to a piece after it’s done, not the other way around. Which is for context, not the only way it’s to be thought about. I don’t want to manipulate anyone’s thought process when viewing my work. I guess all I could hope is that someone felt something and wanted to talk about what that feeling is or lack of feeling they have about it. Providing a thing that encourages conversation is really what I want to happen. Whatever someone thinks is out of my control, and I like it that way.

Subscribe to our