Which subject is your favorite to paint and why?
This is a hard question to answer because my work changes so often. Currently, I’m in love with painting faces and fanciful outfits inspired by Renaissance court fashion. All of the richly colored fabrics and elaborate patterns are so much fun to draw. When I sit down to create a character, I like to think about the emotional response and meaning behind the colors and shapes I include in the painting.
This past year, my work has evolved to include portraiture, which is something I didn’t think I would ever have any interest in, but I found that I love putting personality down in paint. There is an almost tangible magic in being able to breathe life onto a blank canvas. Adding deep reds to lips or brilliant greens to emerald eyes to create a person to tell the viewer a story is so entrancing. Usually, I paint using people from my own life, combining their personality with that of an archetypal figure from folklore or mythology. Everything in these portraits has a meaning, even the things I forget to consciously choose seem to affect the overall impression of the fairytale-influenced characters that I paint.
We can see that you also enjoy crafting ceramic sculptures, in addition to painting and pen sketching. Which artistic medium do you feel is the most challenging and why?
The level of difficulty when it comes to painting, versus sculpting, depends on what I am trying to achieve when I have a project in mind. In general, I think sculpting comes more naturally to me. I haven’t taken much time to study color theory yet, so, when I sit down to create realistic skin tones or dimensionality on a flat surface, I struggle more than if I were to sculpt something out of clay. That being said, I really enjoy being challenged and actually love it when I make mistakes during the creative process because I learn so much from just taking risks and messing up. Being an artist is about playing and having fun whilst creating, not about worrying about the appearance of the piece at the end.
What has been the most challenging part of your artistic journey?
For me making something for myself is something that I struggle with. I’m getting better but, for a long time, I would put so much energy into commissioned work or pieces that I thought other people would appreciate. Although these can be valid motivating factors behind the creation of work, I’ve found that creating for the sake of creating and not worrying too much about a deeper meaning or significance behind a chosen design is the essence of what being an artist means for me. I’m happiest when I don’t overthink my work. For me, art is an escape; art is a realm where I can explore ideas with wonder and enthusiasm.
Understanding and accepting that creativity isn’t infinite is also important. Sometimes I have absolutely no drive to make anything and this is so frustrating for me. I’m learning to use these moments of artist’s block recharge and be more at peace with just sitting and absorbing the work of other people versus constantly outputting work. Taking breaks and just living in the moment is something that I’ve learned to do more often this past year and it’s helped me create from a more meaningful space.