This was something I posted about on my previous site in 2015 and I just had to repost it here, so here it goes:
A beautiful person named Tiffany reached out to me a while ago asking to feature me in her book project for her graphic design class. Of course I said YES! I was definitely flattered, and I felt so honored because I never would have thought anyone would want to do a project on myself and my artwork. After an insightful interview and exchange of art photos, the final product was printed and finally ready to ship.
Let me remind you that I had no idea what to expect. Yesterday, I was greeted at my doorstep with the package I’ve been waiting for, and as I opened it, my heart just exploded. It was so cool to finally be able to hold it and see it in person. Having a graphic design background, I definitely was amazed at how well it was designed and put together. Tiffany you totally rock!
Here are some pictures to give you a taste of its awesomeness!
The interview she did with me was also included in this book. I felt her questions were very insightful, so I wanted to let you guys have a read for yourselves!
TB: As a graphic designer turned painter, it is obvious that there is an affinity towards the visual arts. Did you always know that was something you wanted to do?
DS: Not at all. While taking art classes in elementary/middle school, i knew that I was pretty good at art, but it wasn’t something I ever thought of pursuing or taking seriously. I didn’t really care for it all that much. I did crafty stuff throughout middle school and high school. I painted custom shirts and made necklaces and stuff. But ever since I created my first webpage/website in fourth grade, I was attached to the digital world of web design and graphic design. I taught myself how to edit HTML and begged my dad to buy me Paint Shop Pro. I didn’t use Photoshop till my junior year in high school. But I created sweet Xanga and Myspace layouts through my younger years and became, quote, “the girl with the sweet MySpace” (people I didn’t know would say that to me in public haha). I was strongly passionate about graphic design. I had my heart set on that being my future and grabbed an internship while still in high school, freelanced a lot, and worked as a designer for my college. I was able to gain a lot of professional experience that most students my age didn’t at that time.
TB: What was the appeal that painting had for you that graphic design did not?
DS: Two words; Creative freedom. In graphic design majority of the time it’s all about the client’s wants. I absolutely hated the back and forth and plethora of edits I always had to go through. It was mentally draining. I began to really hate doing graphic design. I fell into painting by chance or fate. Long story short, a friend and I were competing for the last spot in a required class for the Graphic Design curriculum during registration and she beat me to it. If i stayed in the program, I would have had to stay in school for an extra 2 years, and I wasn’t having that. So I switched my focus to Drawing and Design which allowed me to finish in just 3 1/2 years. The change of focus required me to take more fine art classes, and when I took my first painting class, I fell in love. I discovered I could paint pretty well, and I loved the freedom that came along with it.
TB: If you had to pin point a common theme within your work, what would it be? Where does the inspiration come from?
DS: I find peace most when in a trance. I detach myself from my surroundings, as in contemplation or daydreaming. When I paint, I’m heavily influenced by emotion, specifically the emotion of being in this calming state. It’s a constant flow through the soul that occurs in the space between positive and negative energy. My subjects are mostly powerful, sensual women who are not afraid to show their vulnerability. These soulful women have mystic and spiritual auras. Their expressions and postures radiate vulnerability as well as strength. A lot of my inspirations derive from personal experiences, emotions, music, pop culture, street art, nature, space, and the abstract.
TB: Could you describe the process you go through in creating a piece? (preconceived ideas & sketches VS. spontaneity & winging it, combination of the two?) How has it progressed over time?
DS: My process always begins with the background. I apply multiple layers of medium, and through this process I find my spontaneity. I let my works speak to me, and I create as I go to express my own life experiences, current thoughts, emotions, and interests. Sometimes I have ideas in my head, I hardly ever sketch anything out. I have a folder of references that I look at and whichever ones speak to me, that’s what I use and base my paintings off of. I’ve definitely seen a lot of progression in my pieces now compared to my earlier ones. I’m becoming more comfortable with my style and voice, and my process is becoming more natural to me than it was before.
TB: What is your favorite medium to work with? Are there any artists or movements that have influenced you?
DS: I mostly work with acrylic, latex, and pray paint. Allison “Hueman” Torneros was the main artist who influenced me to paint. She too was a graphic and web designer. Her use of color and figure is what attracted me to her work and the story behind her design background was a plus. Danny O’connor (DOC) is definitely a big inspiration too. The way he builds his figures and details with lines, color, and abstraction is super fascinating. I’ve always loved street art, pop art, and urban contemporary art. I’d see a mural or a really urban piece and say to myself “Man, I wish I could do that!” haha Who woulda thought?
TB: In your ideal space, what is a must have?
DS: Music (Tinashe and Banks are on repeat almost every day), paint, art supplies, snacks, camera, good lighting, computer… and I guess that’s it. haha
TB: As you progress in your art career, what are your constants? (people, the need to expand your horizons, motivation, etc) What keeps you going?
DS: Inspiration and motivation are biggies. I’m not a creative who’s lucky enough to have the talent to create something off the top of my head, I always have to have some sort of reference or inspiration. Having people see my work and connecting with it is always motivation that keeps me going. It’s easy to get discouraged but I just have to stay focused on what I want. There’s always room for improvement.
TB: Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?
DS: In five years I plan to be pretty well known, with a big following base. I’ll be working as a full time artist. I’ll have collectors all over the world. Basically just be a big name in the art scene while being able to live comfortably and ready to travel the world. Ten years is a little too far from now, but I should have been in a many shows and galleries. Probably living somewhere amazing with my husband and 1 or 2 kids, painting and enjoying the fruits of our labor.
TB: What would you like viewers to take away from your work?
DS: I always aim to create a beautiful connection between viewers and my work. I want to be able to capture them in a natural trance. My paintings should suck them into their worlds. I want them to feel empowered and full of emotion. They should be able to escape into the canvases.
TB: If you had one piece of advice to give to aspiring artists (of any discipline), what would it be?
DS: Make a detailed plan, stay focused, be consistent, be patient, take risks, find your voice, do research, and surround yourself with like minded people. Remember that nothing will happen overnight and no one is going to do it for you. Always strive to achieve greatness, and grind to get there.
I am very humbled, amazed, and baffled to say the least. Below is a video I made to personally show you the book and thank Tiffany on the amazing feature.
Keep it gangSTAR*!