The language of art started quickly for me; I work with clay, acrylic paint, oil, ink, watercolors, collages, and mixed mediums. Sometimes the images come fast and float in my head until I translate them onto paper, clay or canvas. Other times, I just go for it to see what happens.
I paint for two reasons. One is to practice and to relax. I experiment with ink and watercolors and paint stillives of flowers, hands, figures, and objects.
I also paint to process things that avoid articulation.
I’ve suffered from debilitating migraines all my life. One day, when I was in my early twenties, I felt the shadow of the pain and nausea coming for me. I sat down on the floor in my home in Fontana, grabbed a big pad, and started to sketch—I drew earthquakes, jagged lines, broken glass. By the time I finished drawing, I was no longer in pain. This was the first time I accessed the powerful connection between my brain and my heart; I realized that my art had the capacity to heal me.
So, art is more than something that I do— it is something I am; art is a conversation with myself. Making art therefore becomes an act in which I respect who I am—it heals me.
By day, I’m an architect. I operate from the belief that buildings and cities should enhance people’s lives. Science and general human behavior show that people feel happier and healthier when interacting with nature. As we consider what is more sustainable – a walking commute; amenities and services close by; access to transit – all signs point to a city lifestyle with limited access to the natural world. What is environmentally conscious is not always completely aligned with wellness. Mindful design and innovative construction can balance the two.
Sara Pacelko is the Design Director of RAD Urban.