"I don't know if being an artist is ever a choice. I don't know if it equates to deciding one day you'll start doing yoga or establishing a new routine in the morning. Personally, even if I had a choice I probably would still choose this life. It was never a choice I had to make. It was like choosing to breathe everyday. I was born to do this, it had nothing to do with choice. I believe that I was destined to be an artist for the sake of living this life the best way that I can. I'm supposed to be one. I have a duty to myself and to the world to be one, because I have a voice and I have a soul that I need to share with everyone, a voice and soul that needs to leave my body somehow. I'm lucky that I was able to harness my abilities. I've been an artist since I could hold a pencil and draw a line. I've been drawing women exclusively, since I could arrange a legible image. I get so emotional when I draw or paint, and I think you can see it in my art. I have a very deep connection with my girls and with selling every painting I sell a part of myself, but not in a sad way. When I sell my art, the little that I do sell, I'm not selling that one piece of paper or canvas with pigment on it. I'm selling them this creation that took 16+ year to become what it is, all the crumbled sketches and doodles on my math homework, all the disappointment that I got for deciding to be an art major, all the probably thousands of dollars I've put into teaching myself at least a dozen mediums. With my art comes me. It was never a choice, it has always been my life.
I have a hard time thinking about what inspires me because I'm a very individual artist. I don't ever really talk to other artists, I don't have my personal work criticized, it has gotten very little exposure due to insecurities and lack of networking on my end. I'm just inspired by women, all women. I'm VERY inspired by artists that I follow on instagram like @rosellenswenson, @nomi_chi, @lucasbavid, @eilyjenkins, and a whole lot more I couldn't imagine I'd remember. A huge inspiration also for me is ball-jointed dolls like posted by @emilie.steele or @popovysisters because they are just otherworldly and to DIE for. There is a lot of oil painters that inspire me but one of the biggest inspirations while I was first learning was my friend Michael Gross (@shrapnel_grade_glitter). It wasn't just his technique, while I absolutely hate him for and admire so much, but he was my first artist friend that took it just as seriously as me, the first friend I ever had that was an art major like me, and he made me feel so welcomed into the community and I will never forget him as my favorite painting bud. Other oil painters are ones like @meda.alice, @seancheetham, and my favorite professor Glen Knowles who has made me an even better artist than I thought I could ever be by pushing me to limits I didn't know I had and helping me overcome them. The list goes on, but I am greatly influenced by myu fellow art community and widely support art, not just my own. My biggest inspiration will always be myself, and to aim to be better with every brushstroke and watercolor wash." -Candace Odendaal
Checkout more of Candace's work on Instagram @screamingbabies.