This interview took place in the fabulous Rose Establishment in fashionable downtown Salt Lake City.
How did this project get started?
I had all of these paper figures from other projects, paper dolls in bins. I wanted to do something with them. So I made cards. And then I thought, what if I posted the cards as daily affirmations? Posting a drawing a day is a thing some artists do. But I thought it would be more interesting as a project if there was a theme.
What was the theme inspired by?
I had seen these affirmations--the text I used for each daily art piece--in a book. And they seemed to be connected to my work, which has always been about the evolving spirituality of middle-class white Americans, and how spirituality inserts itself into mainstream American culture.
How did you start it logistically?
I started off the first da with a surplus of about 30 figures. And then once I ran out, I had to churn them out, often several days ahead of schedule. It felt good to have art be a grind, sometimes. I needed to just produce. It was beneficial for the project to really feel like work. It took the anxiety and preciousness out of art making.
Tell me more about where the text for each day came from?
I gathered some from affirmations from Pinterest actually. I tried to use text already in circulation. Then I started making up my own.
What kind of feedback did you get?
People told me how much they looked forward to them. My friend said she had a really hard year and these affirmations really helped her. I felt like if I was putting this out there, I wanted to take it seriously myself.
I really want to do some paintings. Some of the ideas I generated over the past year, I'd like to make a lot larger. I feel like I have a big sketchbook now.
To see her affirmations (as I wasn't able to download any for this post), find Shelley on Instagram @turleyshelley and scroll back!