A while back, I was talking to someone about my work. I went on and on about the different projects and pieces and where they each had their roots and what I thought it was all about. He listened, took it all in, analyzed by babbling and responded with, “so, your work is about empathy.” It wasn’t even a question, it was almost as if I had asked and he had given me the answer :). For years I’ve been trying to vocalize that very simple idea through extensive artist statements and other writings. It just never occurred to me to phrase it that way, to keep it that simple. And yet it is. Everything I do is about empathy, it’s about being able to understand and to connect. It was so great to hear this coming from someone who had just met me and who had just seen my work for the first time. I have to thank him for taking all my endless babble and condensing it so beautifully and simply.
This video made me think back to this moment. The amazing short video features Dr. Brené Brown and animation by Katy Davis. The video discusses the difference between empathy and sympathy, here’s one of my favorite quotes: “Empathy is a choice, and it’s a vulnerable choice, because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling.”