Young Voices - Franny O'Byrne

Young Voices - Franny O'Byrne

My third and sadly, last blog post is with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Franny O’Byrne. Franny is a senior at Desert Academy, and recently went through a horrible head injury, which resulted from getting too many concussions from playing soccer.

Although this unfortunate experience has prohibited Franny to play contact sports in the future, she has used this incident to try to make positive understandings of her brain as a way of expression for her senior art project. Franny has always been a very talented artist and passionate artist throughout her life. Below is my interview with her. Hope you enjoy!

Do you consider yourself an artist?

“Yes I do because art is something that is prominent in my life and is something that I not only do, but also find in my world.”

What inspired you to become an artist?

“Since I was little my mom has always done art with me and made it something that I really understood and something that spoke to me as a foreign language.”

What is your favorite piece of work that you have done and why?

“My favorite piece of art that I have done would probably be a portrait that I did of a janitor at my school because it really captures the essence of hard work.”

How did you use your head injury as inspiration for your senior art project?

“Well it first started out to be therapeutic. I would go outside a lot and do art in a park and it was first observational and then I realized that a lot of my emotion was being expressed through the art. I decided to run with that idea and let it show through my technique first and then I developed it into statement pieces. Many of my pieces in my senior art show for example are based on my concussion.

Do you think you would want to live in Santa Fe as a young artist?

“I think I already am a young artist living in Santa Fe. I think Santa Fe is a great place to make art and be creative as a young adult. I think the town is developing more, which is attracting a younger audience.”

Would you want to make your living being an artist?

“No absolutely not. I believe in balance in your life and I think that for me personally, art is something that keeps me balanced. I love pursuing art as its own thing but there are many other things that interest me and in some ways are more important to me. Art will always be something that I do and really appreciate in my life, but not something that I want to be my life.”

What does Santa Fe provide for artists that other places don’t?

“For one we have gorgeous landscapes, which on their own have a range of colors in them. There’s definitely a lot of culture around art in Santa Fe and as a young artist, I think that the multiple cultures and styles we have available to us on a daily basis motivate artists.”

What is your favorite thing about Santa Fe?

“I love how laid back Santa Fe is. I know people talk about how little there is to do in Santa Fe, but honestly that’s what is great about it. You have to be creative with what you go do because there is actually a lot of great activities nature wise.”

Do you like going to school here?

“Yes I love going to school here because again I feel like the laid back atmosphere transfers into school. It makes everything less stressful and also makes more room for creative thinking.”

Do you like living here?

“Yes, personally I live in Galisteo New Mexico, which is thirty miles south of Santa Fe. I love living there because you can get away from everything, but also can go into town if you want. I like how Santa Fe is unique and not overpopulated.”

If you could add something to the art community in Santa Fe, what would it be?

“Personally, I love going to SITE Santa Fe on the free Fridays. They usually have shows that stay for a couple months, which I have no problem with but more galleries like SITE with different incoming shows that change month to month would be really cool. Also having more shows from the youth in Santa Fe would be great. I think having more availability to see art more than what we see on Canyon Road would be also be beneficial because I think SITE Santa Fe is the only other option for seeing art that is coming from outside of Santa Fe.”

What is your favorite medium to work with?

“I really love working with pen and water color. I do a lot of sculpture and painting with acrylics but I think pen and water color is my favorite just because of the technique and texture that comes from those two mediums.”

What type of art do you like the most? If you were to buy a piece of art, would you rather buy a sculpture or a painting?

“That’s a really hard question. I can’t really answer that because it’s what the art is about not what is it made of. You can’t put art into categories."

Do you have a specific style of art?

“I guess I do a lot of realistic work but also incorporate it with abstract techniques.”

How has your mom being a talented artist affected you?

“Well she has definitely taught me how to look at art and appreciate it. We have very very different tastes but we are still able to respect and value each others art. I don't think I’d be an artist or be grateful for art if it wasn’t for my mom."

What do you like most about art?

“Art is universal and it can really express anything that anyone is trying to say. Art speaks and connects with people in different ways because anything can be communicated through art.”

Do you have an artist that you look up to?

“I mean it would sound cliche but I really admire Van Gogh’s drawings and Picasso’s paintings. I love the technique and colors both of the artists use throughout their work.”

What is your perception of the market place? Do you think it is hard for artists to sell their work?

“I definitely think it’s hard just from my experience, growing up in a town of artists and being around many artists who are trying to make a living, like my mother for example. I mean I’m not a professional artist so I don't really understand how art is sold in the market place.”

Listening to Franny talk about art made me realize that having more people like Franny to stay in Santa Fe would not only benefit Santa Fe as a city, but would also add to the talented youth that is apparent here. I think Franny’s comment on Santa Fe having a laid back vibe is true and agree that it transfers into the schools here. Like Franny, I can honestly say that I enjoy Santa Fe.

Although there are things that I would change about the city that I have lived in for my whole life, Santa Fe is so unique and will always hold a special place in my heart. I will also say that while I am very excited to get out of New Mexico for college, there will be many details about Santa Fe that I will miss, like the small streets and stunning sunsets. Like most people who have grown up in Santa Fe, I will always return in the future to get my green chile fix at Tia’s Sophia’s and spend Christmas eve on Canyon Road with the farolitos. I believe that Santa Fe has so much to offer and is only becoming a better version of itself as the city develops. I hope that Santa Fe will only progress in attracting more young people to stay and pursue their life here, but I have no doubt that it will as Creative Santa Fe, along with many other people and organizations have put so much work and dedication into helping the city.

As this being my last blog post, I would like to look back on my experience as an intern at Creative Santa Fe. Through my very quick four weeks that I have spent here, I have met some wonderful people. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship, and was amazed at how kind and welcoming everyone was. I know that many business and organizations are not always friendly, but I’m happy to say that I was lucky enough to be a part of one that was. I learned so much about the inner workings of a non­profit organization and the teamwork that goes into events, plans, and ideas. At Creative Santa Fe, everyone works as a unit, which I found not only impressive, but admirable. I loved working and spending time with the team here, and am fortunate to say that I will be spending even more time at Creative Santa Fe doing another internship with Shawn Patrick with the Startup Santa Fe Initiative I hope anyone who read these interviews and blog posts enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed doing them!

Myla and the Creative Santa Fe team

Share this post

Contact Us

Follow Us