1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
I’m a moderately small but feral human who enjoys painting awkward looking pictures! I hail from a quiet little town by Cleveland, Ohio. But I haven’t lived there in some years, don’t know if I even see myself staying in the States. I’m not really sure where I’d like to live next, which is part of the reason I’ve been changing locations every few weeks or so. I get too antsy.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
It often just looks like a rainbow vomited all over the paper, really. But I would probably plop it under the pop surrealism category? New contemporary? I’m generally very drawn to creating organic imagery with flora and fauna motifs, and detail is very important to me. My imagery tends to be dreamlike, very psychedelic.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Ooh, it’s split between oil and gouache. I miss being able to paint with oil on wood panels, but because of my travels, I can only paint with gouache and watercolor on paper since it’s all I can fit into my carry on. I just like the amount of detail both mediums allow me to carry out. But I feel gouache takes me longer because I’m still actually experimenting with it, despite it being my primary medium these past two years.
4. What is your artistic process like?
It usually starts with a scribble, and then I’ll keep refining it until it looks somewhat coherent. I’m very indecisive with my art, which is why it takes me much longer to make something, much more than the average person who generally knows what they’re doing.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
My travels certainly play a primary role for inspiration, but it’s also the people I meet and the relationships I form along the way that do most of the heavy lifting. A lot of my paintings are usually based on specific people in my life, if it isn’t already about myself. And of course, other artists I look up to heavily inspire my work. Some of my favorites include Femke Hiemstra, Joao Ruas, and James Jean.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
I only really care about the creative process of my work, not so much the end result. It’s my meditative, self-reflecting time of the day, something to calm my mind. As far as world view opinions go, I could say it really helps me to seize the opportunity to sit down and just enjoy my own company and further explore my personality. And because of that, I can’t help but feel that everyone should have some craft or hobby that they can pursue in their own time in order to form a better relationship with themselves. Traveling is a wonderful way to explore the world, but sometimes we need to take the time to also explore within ourselves.
7. Where did you study?
I studied Illustration at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. I really thought my work would take a more digital, graphic design-oriented path. But I was wrong, as usual!
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully still traveling at this same consistency and still making a ton of art. And not married. Please, don’t let me get married.
9. What about in ten?
Perhaps more slowed down, perhaps fall in love with a place enough to call it home for a while, by then. I wouldn’t say I’m very goal-oriented with my art anymore. I just want to be comfortable and happy.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Lately, I’ve been focusing too much on traveling and time poured into my personal relationships, and less so on my art. Those things are very important, of course, but after so long it’s been making me very sad and feeling unbalanced to not be as consistent with art as I used to, so my current desire is to change that. As for long-term achievement, I just hope to continue to maintain this comfort level I’ve been feeling with my art lately. Some time ago I was constantly overburdened with this anxious need to improve myself and make better work to wow the masses, just constantly racing against myself. But recently I’ve learned to let go of that ridiculous desire and just enjoy myself and only focus on what my art does for me on a personal level. I hope to maintain this feeling of ease and satisfaction I now have with my work.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
It’s a tie between any kind of Thai coconut curry, tacos, Vietnamese food, falafel, and Nepali food. And fried halloumi cheese has just recently been introduced to me.
12. Favourite book?
I’m actually not the biggest reader! My eyeballs tend to not have the time for it, needing to focus on the painting and all that. But I’ve recently discovered audiobooks so I’m trying to catch up now. As for current favorites.. is it too trendy now to say that I really love Haruki Murakami’s Kafka On the Shore?
13. Favourite genre of music?
The bulk of it tends to be a lot of lo-fi psychedelic rock and folk, but I go through phases like funk, bluegrass, freak folk to even Ethiopian jazz, for example.
14. What are your hobbies?
Traveling, hiking, camping, cooking, touching wild animals that don’t want to be touched, whiskey slaps, trying to wrestle people who are much larger than me, blanket forts, frying halloumi cheese.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Either a grimy musician in a Balkan folk band, wildlife/nature conversationalist, or a snobby travel blogger.