Local artist Carson Whittaker has brought vibrancy to her hometown with her colorful murals and positive attitude. Carson uses her art mediums to portray a message on the importance of uplifting yourself, giving rise to aspirations for oneself, and finding joy within the routine of day-to-day life.
Carson was inspired to dive into the arts at an early age, which allowed for her creativity to grow with time. One of Carson’s more recent – and more captivating – pieces is a mural located on the building of The Refindery. It features a portrait of a woman that Carson had always imagined painting.
Carson’s innovative work often focuses on the images of women; her use of bold colors and outlines allows for her images to stand out.
“I love to paint images of women from the female perspective, so a lot of my art is femme centric,” Carson said. She wants to celebrate women with her work by showcasing their faces, eyes, bodies, aspirations, thoughts, and spiritual connection to their presence on Earth.
Carson provided a behind-the-scenes insight on the process of painting a mural, explaining how much work goes into a mural that people don’t see. Budgeting, acquiring supplies, and planning are important to the beginning stages of the process. Next, the artist washes, primes, and sketches their design onto the wall, which can be challenging, but the result is worth the work put into it. Radiating positivity, Carson finds joy in everything she does and has fun with the creative process of each work.
Following the mural for The Refindery, Carson painted a mural for The Community Fridge of Chattanooga, which works to provide free food to the community of the city. Carson went into the mural hoping to inspire the neighborhood and for anyone who passes by it to believe in the power of human connection. Carson portrays the message of giving and receiving and the goodness that can be found when giving back to your community. She also included messages of positivity hidden within the art, which is always important for audiences to see.
Advice that Carson wants to give to aspiring artists is to design a template that introduces who you are as an artist and what you are interested in doing with your art. Carson wants her audience to know to not give up on their dreams or their ability as an artist.
Art is a pathway for communicating themes with an audience, and Carson uses her talent to promote the uplifting of oneself. Carson also challenges the male gaze with her work by painting from the perspective of the female gaze and focusing on the dreams and powerful presence of women.