Makenzie attended Suffolk University where she majored in Women's Studies and Fine Art. Her main mediums were acrylics, oils, and colored pencils. Her concentration centered around feminism and religion; specifically the constant power struggle for women between the forces of good and evil. Much of it revolved around Adam and Eve and Christianity as a whole. Serpents appear in a lot of her earlier works that represent evil and temptation.
She gave up art for six years until she moved to San Francisco, where she took up collage work. Her later work is influenced by the surrealists and are primarily dreamscapes or fantasy lands; places where people can escape. Some still have to do with the balance between good an evil, as found in the piece titled "Dreams Progressions."
Why are you an artist?
Art is a true escape. It is the only time where I'm able to truly be honest with myself, listening to my subconscious. Art has been a form of therapy, for me to work through my demons and bring my innermost fears and desires to light. When I'm doing my art, I become lost in the process and all else that is trivial melts away.
"Bridge to Dali"
What is your inspiration?
I went to a catholic school when I was younger and became mesmerized by religion, especially the cultivation of women's oppression throughout the Bible. A lot of my earlier work has to do with the balance and fight between good and evil. This fight was mirrored in my personal life as I was trying to overcome a tumultuous relationship with my mother who was often portrayed as the serpent in my work.
"Adam & Eve Kissing"
Would you consider yourself a designer, an artist, or both?
I am an artist in every sense of the word. I don't create for others, but only paint and collage to express my innermost thoughts and feelings.
"Concrete Garden of Eden"
What is the role of the artist in our society?
Art can serve many different roles. The purpose of some arts is to make people happy and bring them joy, through a simple, yet beautiful, still life. Other art is made for people to question themselves and the society that they live in. This art often angers people, but it's an anger that brings about different perspectives, which excites me the most. Lastly, art can play a connection. It can take something that you have thought or felt and bring it to life on canvas, making you step back and say "I feel the same way and yet...I would have never thought to portray it in that way."
Where do you see yourself as an artist in 5 years? What are your ultimate goals as an artist?
Quite honestly, I don't have a five-year plan and never really have in anything I do. If I had bet five years ago that I would be where I am today, I would be straight-up broke. I think, for me, being an artist means surrendering the master plan and trying to work on your art as much as possible. Personally, I don't do my art for other people so much as I do it for myself. I may never have a show at an art gallery, but my living room walls inspire me daily.
"Chanel Number 5"
What does art mean to you?
Art is freedom. In my personal life, I bring a lot of energy and strength to those around me. I am constantly thinking of others and neglect my own needs a lot of the time. Painting and collage are the only times when I can turn off my brain, be by myself, and look inward. It's raw, beautiful, creative, spiritual, and vulnerable. It's the true me that not many people get to see.