By CAITLIN MONDAY
ATLANTA – “Our work is a reflection of and comment on society, and that sometimes is a way for other people to understand and develop their own views on society as well,” said young artist Kendyll Romine.
Through various mediums, young artists are finding their unique voices in the art world. Whether digitally or through traditional mediums such as paint or installations, each work aims to reflect the world around them. Two local artists are finding success from social media while creating their own opportunities. Romine and Melanie Paulos use distinctive mediums to reflect their commentary on social issues and day-to-day life while working hard to be noticed in the art world at such a young age.
Paulos and Romine are both from the Metro Atlanta area. Paulos attended Georgia State University briefly but found she was choosing between class and her installation pieces. She chose to pursue the professional realm of the arts. The pair both worked with the Cirque Nouveau show, Tarocco, as a circus performer, Paulos dove heavily into painting and illustration art.
Romine is a multi-disciplinary artist with a background in theater, illustration, animation and design. While Paulos chose the professional route right away, Romine is preparing to graduate from Savannah College Art and Design with a BFA in Motion Media Design. Romine’s passion for art developed at a young age.
“I made my first drawing when I was two years old, and I’ve been drawing ever since, dabbling in a mix of illustration and eventually animation,” said Romine.
For these young artists, inspiration comes from everything around them. While Paulos finds inspiration in the day-to-day, Romine looks to her favorite artists, designers and directors.
To create opportunities, Paulos creates and curates her own installations. She reaches out to those in the art community and together they curate a show of artwork for viewers to experience. Romine brings her own style to developing her career. For every job, she brings her own perspective and aims to find out of the box solutions to creative problems.
“I telegraph my strength and find folks who are doing similar things or who have creative problems I have solutions to,” said Romine. “It leads to doing really neat things!”
In the current political and social climate, both artists aim for their work to take a stand on specific subjects. Paulos created a piece, Beware of Bearing Gifts, based on sexual harassment in the workplace. She has another piece in the works that centers on the labor of poor, struggling artists.
“All my work reflects my worldview, and my desire for a kinder, more empathetic world,” said Romine.
Both artists share a love for different mediums of art. Stemming from a love of theatre and performing, they have been inspired to create stories through all forms of media. Paulos views art as an important form of communication.
“Art at its core is a mode of communication, whether it be with yourself or the audience,” said Paulos.
For their voices to be heard, Paulos and Romine promote their work on social media platforms. Instagram generates success for both of them. As a freelance artist, Paulos gets the majority of her inquiries through social media rather than email. She feels people are moving past traditional websites as well. Romine helped to increase her following on Instagram by posting a drawing every day in 2016. Using specific hashtags has allowed her work to be seen by a larger audience and put her in connection with artists whose work she has admired for years.
“Most folks won’t click websites anymore unless they are already invested in you as an artist,” said Paulos. “We are drowned in information, we have to stand out.”
Their role in society as artists is not one they take lightly. They hope when others view their work, they walk away with a new perspective while sparking dialogue.
“I think we help each other understand and absorb the world around us,” said Romine.