Drawn to Art

Up and coming visual artist Maggie Gosselar finds inspiration in the personal connections forged by the act of creation

Maggie Gosselar is an activist, a roller derby player, a visual artist, and an aspiring tattooist.

When she’s not skating, she is drawing. Gosselar draws “all the time” and shares her art as widely as possible. In a world in which creating art is increasingly explained by terms like “economic impact,” “job creation,” and “quality of life,” Maggie’s motivation stands out as a bit of an anomaly. In fact, one might say she cares more about making friends than money, about building community than building a career.

She creates her illustrative renderings for friends, community, and the joy of it. Gosselar studied Studio Art and Museum Studies at Beloit College but does not seek the label of fine artist, instead making art because of how it makes her feel.

“There is pressure to have a big goal,” she answered in response to a question about her long-term objectives and dreams. She went on to explain that selling, exhibiting—all the trappings necessary for the business of art—are not her thing. She makes art because it “deeply interests” her. She is more compelled by the “ripple effect,” the way her work makes people happy and the way it impacts their lives.

She likens her art to that of a good home-cooked meal. It is an honest way to express love for someone and, honestly, for life itself. “It’s like taking the time to buy the ingredients, prepare them, and then share a meal in an intimate setting. I take a lot of time and share the affection with somebody. It shows in a real, tangible way that you care.” Maggie values making something personal for someone else by hand. “It is more flawed, but more human.”

Recently she has been training as an apprentice tattooist at Colt’s Timeless Tattoos, and she hopes to begin tattooing by the end of 2014 or early 2015. “This is the only ‘professional artist’ career that has really made sense to me. Public perception of tattooing as a socially acceptable art form has been changing over the last decade, and I am so excited to help fuel that change. How much more meaningful can my art be to someone if they are letting me mark their bodies with it forever? Tattooing completely fulfills the ‘handmade, personalized’ manifesto by which I try to live. It is a gift and experience that I can share with a close friend or complete stranger, and that will leave us changed. It has always been my aim to improve the lives of the humans I meet, and it cannot be overstated how humbling and inspiring it is that people are excited to let me literally, physically change them in a way that makes my art a part of their daily life.”

“Being Authentic” is part of her philosophy, and one she feels is generational. “Our generation believes authenticity and sincerity make the world a better place.” Between her art and her activism, Maggie Gosselar is definitely living up to that goal.