Can you describe yourself as an artist to me the best you can?
I’d say that as an artist, and aside from being one, I just want to find ways to show what I’ve repressed and internalized as a child. Growing up the only child, I never really had anyone or anything to run to besides my mother who worked frequently. Not having an immediate childhood significant other gave me more time to think than to play—forcing me to reflect on my own emotion, physical language and thoughts, which was at often times burdening; I really just wanted to play. Instead, I grew more attentive to sounds, colors, smells, textures, tastes, etc… that of my own and whatever surrounded me. This ‘aloneness’ moulded me into being an artist, observant and reserved.
That is definitely reflected in your artwork. So what’s your creative process like? How do you go about starting a new piece?
I think it depends on what period/style/transition I’m in or if I’ve “successfully” gotten across an idea— months ago I’d say that things were a lot more automatic and inspired by people at bars and the children I work with.
But as of late, I’ve penciled in on being more of a draughtsman. I’ve been finding it more helpful to produce study drawings or blue prints— whatever you feel more comfortable using— before painting. Much more strategic yet still abstracted. But mostly I’d attribute my process to studying artists; what colors did they use to contrast others? Brush strokes? What’d they do to build up texture?
While painting, I like to do multiple things at once like singing, dancing, touching things in my living room, treating such things almost like “breaks” to keep things fresh.
Often after a creative hiatus – which is very necessary – I force myself to discard drawings I make to test the strength of new ideas. I try to recall the images from my childhood— the farms and plantations of my mother’s hometown, the animals, flowers, and smells that came with. And most of all I try to have fun [laughs].
What artists and artistic periods inspire your work?
Definitely 1940’s-70’s Abstract Expressionism with my favorites being Arshile Gorky & de Kooning.
What has social media done for you as an artist?
Exactly what it should do— connect you to people who aren’t physically present. It’s allowed me to connect with some really genuine people, it’s allowed for discussions about everyday life and art obviously. It’s been super intimate so far and hopefully it continues to do so.
I see you have a solo show coming up next month – is this your first solo show? What do you hope to accomplish there? And what body of work are you presenting?
Correct! ‘At the Turn of a Promise’. This is my first solo which is super exciting. I really just want to see and hear reactions from the viewers; both negative and positive [or nothing at all]. To trigger and move the person viewing the work is important to me, even if they absolutely hate what they see. I think me showing these works shows absolute vulnerability; something that goes against my reserved nature. This show is a lens peaking into the layers of who I’ve grown to become.
I’ll be showcasing a painting that I’ve been working on for about 3 months and the study drawings that lead up to it. It’s a current work-in-progress and it’ll be showcased as such!
What do you hope to accomplish as an artist? What’s your biggest goal?
I’d like to see how it all transforms. I have ideas about designing cars, playgrounds, furniture, buildings, galleries, clothing… dreams of developing a platform for the inner city kids of my hometown— there aren’t enough creative safe spaces or opportunities to have their works shown. I’d like to see myself and fellow artists go down in art history books and be taught about in art history classes. And, most of all, I hope to free myself and continue to be a student until I am no longer able to make things.