Team Practice was one of the first personal pieces I made after transitioning to full-time freelance. I had just started swimming again as a way to relieve stress and get off my butt a couple of times a week. Because I could make my own schedule and swim in the afternoon I sometimes had the pool to myself. I felt inspired by that still moment before you enter the water, the sunlight reflecting off its surface and the strong smell of chlorine.
I’m generally drawn towards making quiet images, with one or two characters in an environment, but I wanted to infuse this one with a bit more life. So I drew from my own experience as a swimmer in high school and tried to capture that spirit of camaraderie at the beginning of practice (or rest time) when the team is stretching, and hanging out. I was never very athletic and our practice lasted for an hour and a half (barf), so I remember these in-between times quite fondly.
Ironically for one of my more personal pieces, it’s probably the one people connect to the most. Personally speaking, the pool has been a sort of haven for me – the smell of chlorine and feel of being in the water is now deeply associated with feeling calm. I think this feeling of lightness and happiness made its way into the art.