Crystal O’Rourke, formerly of Indie Huntress fame, is a Michigan-based artist. She sees art, hope, and joy in the world around her and works hard to bring it to others. She dabbles in ink, watercolor, photography, and cheese. For more information about Crystal’s art, you can visit CrystalVisionArt.
How long have you been creating artistic pieces?
On and off my whole life. I used to draw a lot as a kid and throughout school. Photography didn’t come until my adult life.
Tell me about the piece you’ve contributed to this collection. I love to hear about the process.
This photo pairs with one of Leah’s stories, “Silent House.” This story is about a mother. I don’t have children myself, so I relied on Leah to help me figure out what a mother might have near her. I was picturing a woman in bed, reading perhaps. Baby monitor nearby, books stacked up, a bottle from a recent feeding, and a neglected glass of wine. Though you don’t see her in the photo, you see the items there and you know a tired mother is nearby–tired but content. Happy. It’s her first child, one she loves fiercely and you get that sense while reading the story. But if you look closer there is more there. The way the shadows play, how the bed is empty. The blur and you know something is amiss, but what? When you read the story you will know, and the pieces will come together.
What’s your favorite medium and why?
I love photography the most. It gives you an opportunity to capture things no one else sees. For me that is the things in between people miss. Empty halls in particular that just beg the question of what is waiting on the other side. My #creepyhalls collections on Instagram and Facebook are me chasing weird places that just make me stop and wonder.
Do you have any rituals or quirks when you’re creating?
I need to be alone. Those moments in those halls are mine, and mine alone. But- I would love to hear how other people interpret them. When I am painting I need headphones on. I love listening to Cigarettes After Sex. They’re kind of a mellow noir sound that just lets me drown out the world and be in my own mind.
Who is your favorite artist, or the artist who has most influenced you?
So many. I couldn’t list them all. Lydia from Beetlejuice (or hell just Winona Ryder in general. Her photography and love for the strange and unusual has always spoken to me. The women of this book, particularly Michelle Gallagher, Leah McNaughton-Lederman, and Corinne Roberts have been HUGE influences on my life and desire to do more. But I like to think everyone I meet that is involved in the arts or writing has touched me in some way. I only hope I do the same for them.
What advice would you give to new artists?
Don’t listen to that nasty voice that tells you not to do something just because you’re afraid of screwing it up. You will screw up, and it will be miserable. But it gets better. It always gets better. Just do it. Doesn’t matter if it is bad or good, just do it and keep doing it and never, ever stop.