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by Erica Lyn Schmidt

I’ve long been fascinated by the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which lovingly mends broken pottery with golden seams. The history of a damaged piece is celebrated and makes it more beautiful than it was originally.

Here I’ve brought this concept within the realm of self-perception. Many of us view our own imperfections with judgement, while regarding the faults of our loved ones with more love and patience. If we turn this gaze upon ourselves we can see that the emotional scars we carry are not weak or ugly, but a mark of our resilience.

In this interpretation of Kintsugi, emotional trauma has been mended with golden threads and patches. The phases of the moon represent the shifting stages of life that test and strengthen us. The rabbit was inspired by two of my favorite stories since childhood: Watership Down and the Velveteen Rabbit. Their themes of resourcefulness, tenacity and transformation have guided me from an early age on my own journey of self-acceptance.

* * * * *

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

― Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit

Medium: Acrylics over Polymer Clay
Panel Width: 6 inches
Panel Height: 8 inches
Rabbit Length: 8 inches
Depth: 2.5 inches

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Erica Lyn Schmidt is a fine artist living in Wisconsin, USA. Her primary media includes polymer clay, acrylic, and oils. After spending many years in scientific and children’s illustration, she found her true love of fine art in the genre of imaginative realism.

Blurring the lines between traditional painting and sculpture, her work explores the deeper meaning of life’s experiences through whimsical animals, metaphor, and prose. She loves creating characters that didn’t exist before, like conjuring new friends out of thin air. Sometimes a project takes on a life of its own—in these moments it feels like there’s magic in the room.

Erica has been a staple on the roster of Every Day Original, in several volumes of Infected by Art, and on the Chesley Suggestion List twice in the category of Three Dimensional Art. Beyond her own work, she strives to empower other artists as Community Manager of the artist coaching program Unleash Creativity with Marc Scheff. Her past clients include Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 78 Tarot, Royal Tyrrell Museum, Burpee Museum of Natural History, private scientists and collectors.