Audrey Helen Weber has been making art for her entire life, using it as a way to communicate, to share, and to collaborate. We are always so honored when her illustrations grace our journal, and we are in very good company - her work has also been featured in The New Yorker and The New York Times. Her illustrations feel both whimsical and genuine, powerful and feminist, and truly connected with Mother Earth. We were grateful to spend a few moments with her in her studio, where the inspiration is so freely flowing.
Where are you from and where do you live currently?
I’m from Southbridge, a small town in central Massachusetts. I grew up with my parents and sister in a house that’s been in my family for almost 100 years. It’s a big old farmhouse that was always full of grandparents, great-aunts, uncles and cousins. Now I live in Greenfield, a small town in western Massachusetts, in a tiny apartment by myself that’s always full of stuff.
How has art influenced how you see the world?
Art reminds me to look at the world through my own eyes, to seek out the way I experience beauty and share it with others. Art making is alchemy, images and ideas processed through the artist’s perceptions, experiences, and preferences. The perceptions, experiences and preferences of the audience, when looking at the art, create a collaboration of interpretation, and I find that coming together of looking and showing, interpretation and sharing, to be very thrilling.
What do you most want people to feel when they experience your art?
I would like to show something of myself, a bit of how I see things, how I feel the world around me. At the same time, if I can spark that collaboration, if I can remind someone of a memory or emotion that’s their own that they can add to their experience of the piece, that would make me happy. I think this is why I love illustration. It’s quite accessible while still containing the capacity for great depth and meaning. Even an image of a very simple thing can have many stories within it.
I consider it almost a spiritual practice, a way to engage with this huge, strange, powerful and delicate organism we are a part of.
How do you Honor Mother Earth?
Drawing plants and flowers has taken on a new importance to me recently. Flowers are so impossibly perfect in form, but each one is strange and wobbly and a little ragged in its own way, and I find that combination to be fascinating. I consider it almost a spiritual practice, a way to engage with this huge, strange, powerful and delicate organism we are a part of. It reminds me of my own improbable and precious existence and I think this makes me a more responsible and engaged person.
We’ve been lucky enough to have Audrey’s illustrations grace the Christy Dawn Journal, most recently in our Farm-to-Closet Initiative, Month Four. Our cotton plants are in full blossom now, and cotton is being hand-picked from our regenerative farm in India. Audrey’s illustrations center around the life of a cotton plant, from blossom to cotton boll.