The Struggle of Life & Art with LUNA/C

Throughout a period of time when she felt at her lowest, LUNA/C was just starting to create work that would prove to lift her higher. This 21-year-old artist from Chino Hills, California tells us of her personal and artistic struggles that led to the creation of the beautiful work shown below. Although making art has undoubtedly improved her situation, LUNA/C admits that even painting cannot fully distract her from reality. Thankfully, her art has attracted a supportive online audience that makes her feel more appreciated – and by the end of this interview, LUNA/C is giving fellow artists some words of encouragement in finding their own self through art.

Click any of the above images to open the gallery.

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In a large number of paintings, you depict a nude woman with her face hidden or replaced – either by brushstrokes or an oversized fruit. How did this style of yours form?

It definitely was a process to get there, none of this was intentional in the least. Almost everything I do is, what I like to believe is, the embodiment of myself. In the beginning, it was a bit of a struggle trying to find a way to express how I felt just existing. My go-to reference for this would be both “Kiwi Solitude” and “Orange Isolation” which I believe to be the first paintings that fully encompass the forlorn feelings that reside within me. Both of these were done while I was going through the process of trying to get off of my antidepressants because I had been misdiagnosed and begin taking mood stabilizers. There were various times when I would know something was wrong with me, but I didn’t know what – besides that, no one ever considered any of my actions alarming. In this [period of time] I would constantly isolate myself for a matter of time that could extend to months, but nobody noticed. I find that these two paintings capture that perfectly – they’re beautiful, but awfully sad. As time progressed, my art began to not only reflect myself, but started to reflect the beauty of women as a whole. I found that the lack of a face allows for the viewer to place themselves into, and connect more with, the painting.

When you completed those first two paintings that truly represented your feelings, was it almost like a breakthrough? It had to have felt relieving to have been able to properly express yourself in that way.

I wouldn’t doubt it, but due to my awful memory it’s hard to recall almost anything. What I can say is that from that point on it definitely was a lot easier to get to where I wanted to go.

Do you see yourself moving away from your current style any time soon?

I would hope so, I played around with expressionism a few times and I really enjoyed it but I’m not sure it’s me yet.

And for how long have you been making art? Is it something that you’ve been interested in since you were a kid?

I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t creating something. I want to say I was about 4 or 5 years old when I got my first easel and maybe 6 or 7 when my family put me in art classes, which I quit after about a year. But art definitely wasn’t something I ever thought I would pursue seriously, there was a good extended amount of time when I didn’t paint at all.

Well it’s great that you decided to pursue it seriously – what changed that made you want to take it more seriously? And do you plan on making art as a career?

Once I began painting again, whatever time I didn’t spend painting was dreadful. Art easily became something that I can’t live without, the moment I stop I feel like I’m dying. Although to add, I feel like I’m dying even when I do paint. It’s just the dying sensation I feel when I’m not is unbearable. Before I had wanted to become an art professor of some sort, and this still holds [true], but now I’m a lot more unsure of what career path in art I might take.

So it seems to be therapeutic for you. And I’m sure once you started sharing it online that brought an even more positive aspect to it once you gained an audience, right? How would you say the internet has affected you as an artist?

I wouldn’t call it therapeutic, my process as an artist is stressful and usually ends with me in tears due to the frustration of it. Showing my artwork is something relatively new to me, for most of my life my art has been kept to myself to be seen only by me. It’s been about four or so months since I’ve decided to actually put my art out there and see what happens and so far it’s been nothing but pleasant. It’s thanks to the audience my art has attracted that I feel so comfortable showing the deepest parts of me that, frankly, I could have gone my entire life just keeping to myself. And for that, my gratitude towards [my audience] is exponential.

I know you said earlier that you’re unsure of what career path you might take in art, but do you have a dream job? Like if nothing mattered, what would you want to do in life as an artist?

In my dream world I would live in a small little house in Italy and paint on the patio overlooking a garden— supporting myself on whatever it is that I create and doing art classes in my spare time

What advice would you give to a fellow artist who is struggling to find a style of their own?

I would say that it definitely isn’t easy—it’s a frustrating and exhausting process that may lead you to wanting to give up. Don’t. It’s going to take some time, how much I’m not sure. But in all, it will be a process— not everything you do will be a masterpiece, but instead a physical record of your growth as both an artist and a person. Hopefully over time you will find your artistic voice within that. Though may I add, at all costs please try to stray away from the inevitable comparison of yourself to fellow artists. Admire? Yes. Seek inspiration from? YES. But to bring yourself down because your art doesn’t look like theirs, NO. It is one of the most discouraging things you could do to yourself. You are not Picasso, DaVinci, Dali – you are yourself. And as cliché as it sounds, embracing that is what may lead you to creating art that encompasses you, that leads you to your voice, your “style”.

FOLLOW LUNA/C ON TWITTER & INSTAGRAM.

Most of the artwork shown in this article is available for purchase as prints on LUNA/C’s website. Shop here.

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