Ironically enough, my parent’s actually forced me to study art. I was a super creative and artistic child and won all kinds of awards for my art citywide and even some pieces went statewide as early as 5 years old. But during my adolescent years I was pretty rebellious and ended up dropping out of high school. My parent’s were convinced that had I had an artistic outlet, I wouldn’t have acted out as much. So when I decided I wanted to go to college, they said they would only pay for my applications if I applied as an art major. So I did. The agreement was that I only had to try it for the first year and could then change to any major I wanted. But of course I fell head over heals in love with art within the first few months, and haven’t fallen out of love since.
2. What do you learn through your work?
As time goes on I find that my art really is just an extension of myself, so it’s hard to separate between what is me and what is my art. What I learn in life is reflected in my work and what I learn in my work is reflected in my life. They are really just one in the same.
3. What is most satisfying to you about the creative process?
Being able to be and do anything. I love that in art there are no rules, and even if there were you could break them. I can act on all my impulses and be whoever I want without having to worry about how that translates to acceptability in society. It’s extrodinarily satisfying to know that you can truly create something from nothing, and I honestly don’t know how people live their lives without some form of art.
4. If you have artistic/creative role models, who are they and how do you relate to them?
I’ve actually found that most of my artistic role models are non visual artists. I have friends and collegues that I really admire and who inspire me. These are poets, actors, musicians, directers, and writers, yet few painters. I think my inspiration comes more from the way people think, feel and how they view the world, rather than which art form they use to express their creativity.The creative process and artistic mind are similar regardless of medium. I will say that my brother is a huge role model, and I really can’t imagine being where I am without him. He is an actor and director and I couldn’t feel more proud or lucky to be his little sister.
5. Can you describe your technical processes? How do you make the images, what materials do you use, etc…?
It really depends. I don’t have one way of working, and I like that. Sometimes I work from life and do sketches that then turn into paintings, sometimes I take photos and paint directly from those withtout sketching at all, sometimes I sketch from my imagination or from photos and then paint, sometimes I make collages and paint from the collage using that as a sketch, and then sometimes I just paint, with no plan or image ahead of time. In regards to medium, I’m in love with oil paint. In Brazil and some months prior, I was forced to paint in acrylics which initially was frustrating but actually turned out for the best. I experimented with more geometric styles and linear forms that I might not have otherwise. And now I actually do a lot of my paintings with an acrylic undercoat and paint with oils on top, which I am loving.
6. You have traveled quite a bit. How does this influence your work?
Greatly! My environment influences my work regardless of where I am, traveling or not. If I am present and in the moment, then where I am, who I am with and what I am doing in my life are always going to be reflected in my work. So traveling has of course changed my work significantly. Adjusting to a different culture, language, lifestyle and country has had a huge impact on who I am, how I view the world, and therefore my art as well. I think one of the contributing factors to my “Brasil Series” being so stylistically different than my other series’ was that literally the style and way of my life was so different when living there.
7. Where do you see yourself and your art practice in say 10 years?
Honestly, I just hope I’m still painting. However that happens, whether I’m successful as an artist or not, I just hope that regardless of what job I have, family or not, that I am at least painting…even if no one sees it. That’s what matters most to me. But of course it doesn’t hurt to have some recognition along the way.
8. How do you feel about contemporary art and your contribution to it?
Gosh, “contemporary” art… I suppose I could ramble on about what that even really means, but all in all I have mixed feelings about most of what I see in regards to “contemporary” art. Not always, but at times I feel that a lot of art today is becoming overly conceptualized. I don’t think there is a better or worse between conceptual art and emotive art, but I find more and more artists becoming highly concerned with the ideas behind their works which for me often times falls flat and doesn’t move me. Something primarily conceptual can certainly cause you to feel and something primarily emotive can certainly cause you to think, and in my eyes both are equally important. I’m contributing by allowing the emotive aspect to take form and the thinking and relecting to happen afterward, by myself and my viewers. This is the most organic and honest way I have found to approaching my art.
9. What is the most important thing you want viewers to come away from your work with?
Anything a viewer takes from my work is important, whether it’s a feeling or idea, bad or good. The worst thing someone can say about my art is that they don’t remember it.