Our Featured Creative this week is our dear friend Holly Morphet!
Holly is an inspiring artist who uses her recovery from self-harm as a catalyst. Holly became serious at age 15. The life-changing question she asked herself was, “What would happen if I gave my absolute best to my artwork?” She says, “Seeing the results of 100% effort is why I committed to being an artist.” In college, she started using rubber stamps to create portraits. She carves her own rubber stamps at the advice of her classmates, and in doing so, creates something beautiful and inspiring in the stead of using the same tools for self-harm.
Her favorite subject is portraiture. Holly says, “When I see people being their best selves, I feel I should do the same. I try to get a little better each day.”
Holly credits Ogden for providing all of the resources that led her to where she is today. Everything from her start at age 15 at North Ogden Junior High, to working at Ogden Blue when it was on 25th Street, to painting one of the downtown horses, to graduating from WSU in fine arts, to collaborating with Nurture the Creative Mind to create a Beatles piano which now has its home at The City Club, has pushed and inspired her to reach deeper potential.
Holly has been a huge contributor to the O1 Arts community. Last year, O1 Arts asked Holly to create a mural for Ogden first TEDx event. She also had a section of the burlap tapestry at PLATFORMS. She says, “I didn’t fully understand that the project involved sewing, so I signed up for the largest twenty-foot section and was the only person who didn’t know how to sew. But that caused me to innovate and that’s part of why I love the arts community. I painted a portrait free hand directly on the burlap. That was very tricky as the wind was blowing the burlap back and forth! And the last day I forgot my brushes, so I actually picked up a small stick from the ground and used that. I also bought a bunch of white ribbon, the color for lung cancer, and pinned the ribbons to the burlap, and used my stamps with a piece of foam core behind it to create the America First Credit Union logo. I embroidered on the burlap that anyone can go into America First Credit Union and donate to the charitable account I set up for Terry Gentry Morphet, my mother. She has stage-four lung cancer and I wanted to make a piece honoring her fight and showing people a way to help.”
Like she did with the TEDx -themed “X-hibition’, Holly wants to continue to scale up to large murals. She has a goal to cover fifty feet in the next few years. For her bachelor’s thesis show, she made portraits of people who overcame self-harm. She plans to continue that series, and publish a book about her art and her own recovery. She says, “Art allows people to have vulnerable conversations, because the beauty and power of imagery breaks down barriers.”