Everyone faces emotional hurdles throughout their lives. It is how we deal with these hurdles that lays the foundation for the next chapter of our existence. For artists, trauma and emotional upheaval can bankrupt motivation, stifle creativity, and end careers. But viewed under another lens, it can be the spark that incites a creative revolution.
For Cincinnati based creator, Orphans Inc, from a young age there was an immediate gravitation to art.
"They used to pull me off the easel in grade school so other kids could use it; I was completely obsessed."
This gravitation developed into a passion that continued to follow her as she grew up. From doodling portraits of her classmates, to sketching studies of herself in the mirror, to drawing strangers in public, she voraciously pursued art in whatever medium she could find.
As years passed, Orphans Inc. grew into her role as an artist. With her creative footprint featured in murals around Cincinnati and her personal pieces highlighted in local shows and galleries, things were moving quite well for the burgeoning creative. However, tragedy reared its head and threw her life into chaos.
"Both of my parents died. They had a complicated thing they were going through. After it happened, I couldn't make art for a while. It ended up completely changing my art style. I came up with my artist name a year ago. I think it's kind of darkly hilarious, like: support your local orphan."
Through a time of anguish, then acceptance, she began to rediscover herself. She went back to painting with a rejuvenated sense of purpose. The final piece to complete her artistic renaissance? A new name—Orphans Inc. Rather than suppress or ignore her pain, Orphans Inc. allowed it to become the fuel of her creative fire. With a new sense of clarity, she forged ahead.
"It started with me looking at two pictures. One was a modern everyday girl, the other was a greek statue. They had such similar hair styles and features; it made me question what separates the past from the present? I figured out how to show both images at the same time. It started with greek statues and modern women, then it evolved into the paintings I do now."
Little did she know, her unique style and fresh perspective would resonate with so many people. Orphans Inc. has amassed millions of views across several social media platforms, with a loyal, quickly growing fan base of over 60,000 followers on TikTok and 30,000 followers on Instagram.
Currently the artist finds inspiration in contrasting French Academy paintings with modern figures. Within her work she revisits a time period where women were excluded from every role in the art scene beyond ‘muse.’
An artistic rebellion is created in each one of her works, fusing the forbidden with the permitted. Orphans Inc. has found a way to take hardship and repackage it into passion. And we can’t wait for what she’s going to come up with next.