Artist Of The Month – OCTOBER 2016: BLACKBLONDEIMAGES

Art, artist of the month, Uncategorized

Interview by Jess Petrylak

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I MET TREVON LAST SPRING AT A BERNIE SANDERS RALLY IN THE BRONX; IT WAS A VERY QUICK INTERACTION, HE HAD ASKED MY BOYFRIEND IF HE COULD TAKE A PORTRAIT OF HIM IN THE CROWD. THIS WAS A VERY DEFINITIVE MOMENT FOR ME AS A PERSON, AND AN ARTIST. I WAS VERY INSPIRED BY TREVON’S FEARLESSNESS, GRACEFULLY MARCHING THROUGH THE CROWD ASKING STRANGERS FOR THEIR PORTRAITS, WHICH I COULD ONLY IMAGINE WAS A DIFFICULT TASK IN ITSELF; I WAS ALSO WARMED BY THE FACT THAT HE SAW SOMETHING SPECIAL AND BEAUTIFUL IN PEOPLE HE DIDN’T KNOW. I AM HONORED TO HAVE INTERVIEWED AND SUPPORT  SOMEONE WHO HAD SHOWN ME SUCH CONFIDENCE IN THEIR ARTISTRY. THANK YOU TREVON!

– Jess

SUCKER: Who is Black Blonde Images?

BLACKBLONDEIMAGES: My name is Trevon Blondet, I was born and raised and educated in the Bronx. And BlackBlondeImages is the name of the gallery on Instagram where I share my photographs and my message.

SUCKER: What was your first experience with a camera? Did your artistic career start with photography?

BBI: My first experience with a camera is when dad always took photos and I always play with the film container. He had tons of slides. I was the kid who used to bring my disposable camera, and photograph class trips. I took 3 credits of photography in undergrad as an elective. That wasn’t enough to be fluent in the dark room.  I few years ago I bought my first digital camera. A Canon Rebel.  I was off and running. As a kid, I was always interested in the music.

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SUCKER: Almost all of your images are monochromatic, what is the reasoning behind this? How do you decide if a photograph should be in color or black and white?

BBI: The first exhibits I went to that left an impact on me, most of the photographs were black and white. Mainly those photographers were too poor to spend the extra money to buy and process color film. When I started to figure out what subject matter I wanted to capture, I stripped away the colors to focus on the message.  If there is something very dynamic about the color in the photo I will leave it in color. Usually I convert it to monochrome to my liking. I mainly shoot street photography, sports, concerts and portrait not in that order.

SUCKER: Who are some of your favorite visual artists?

BBI: That’s a tough question…I’ve meet a lot of  muralist and painters in recent years and I’ve become friends of a few of them, So my favorite visual artists are my friends.

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SUCKER: How did you transition from taking photographs to making a career out of it?

BBI: I still have a 9 – 5, but I starting taking my camera every where and I began to hone my craft. Once I joined the Bronx Photo League, my photography got better exponentially. Being around a group of people who genuinely want to see you become a better shooter; they nurtured the environment that different types of photographers where you get inspired.  The BPL forced me to become better at my craft all around. It made me more aware about my community. That was showcased at Photoville with the Bronx Documentary Center container, where we highlighted a 2 mile stretch on Jerome Ave. in the Bronx. Photo book: Jerome Avenue Workers Project. From that work, I got published in the NYTimes and Metro News. I have had a few assignments for the Riverdale Press, Bronx Times and Crain’s 5Boros. It’s a start for other projects coming up.

SUCKER: What is the most challenging thing about working with an urban landscape and portraiture photography? What’s the easiest?

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BBI: I guess the tough  part is approaching people and asking someone to take your portrait.  It’s also it’s challenging being rejected. I doesn’t bother me too much, but at first I would completely shut down and stop taking pictures for the day.  The easiest part is when people walk up to you and ask for a picture. Some people want their story told and picture taking.

SUCKER: What kind of camera(s) and editing software do you use?

BBI: I have a: Canon 60D w/ Tamron Lens 24mm-70mm, canon telephoto lens 70mm-200mm, and canon 50mm, Fuji X-Pro 1  35mm, and Canonet QL17RF 35mm (film camera). Lightroom software, Snapseed (Google based app)

SUCKER: What is your go-to art making song?

BBI: The music really depends on my mood. There was a period time when I only listened to jazz while I was shooting  because I gave me peace to let my mind wander a bit and see things differently.

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SUCKER: Your work gives narrative behind the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, and coincides with living in the Bronx. What does your process look like in terms of your theme? Has it changed at all over the years?

BBI: I started to photograph the Bronx; and her residents and neighborhoods and the culture that lives there. When Black Lives Matter movement kicked off I felt I had to use my images to show, individually, each person matters. I started to finding people and started using the #TheyMatter,  or her or she matter. (I didn’t create the #) I take portraits of men, women, transgender, LGBTQ, kids, or senior citizens because they all matter. I went to a few Black Lives Matter movement events in the Bronx, but most of the marches and rallies are in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

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SUCKER: Did you get a higher education in art? How did this decision help you?

BBI: I graduated with a Fine Arts – Communication Degree, but I wouldn’t call myself a Art Major. I learned most everything I know from the Bronx Documentary Center and that was the best decision I ever made.

SUCKER: Have you had any bad experiences when asking strangers to take their photograph? Any good experiences?

BBI: When I actively shooting the “NO” was the worse thing. No one has every threatened me or anything. If they agree to take a portrait, I consider a gift and it always pleasant to receive a gift. Also, it’s nice when people recognized the person if I post it to Instagram. That’s why I photograph the Bronx.

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SUCKER: Why is it important in the 21st century to be active online as an artist?

BBI: Photography provides immediacy depending on year gear. It tells you a whole without words, or a few photos with poignant text is like a novel. Photography can sell the recent trends of fashion. Everything is more visual these days and with a camera you tell a story and upload it within seconds.

SUCKER: What is the best advice you could give to aspiring young photographers?

BBI: It’s import to keep up with what everyone one is doing; it should spark ideas. I think also finding mentors and mentees is important to be active online. Criticisms can be complementary, and online you can get some good constructive criticisms.

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SUCKER: What are your plans for your future art and future self?

BBI: I will continue to get better as a photojournalist and try to show the Bronx in a positive light.


SUCKER: Where can we buy your art and contact you?

BBI: I have a friend working on my website it should be complete in October, but you can DM me on Instagram (@BLACKBLONDEIMAGES) and we’ll figure it out from there. I have 8 x 10’s and 11 x 14’s prints of my favorite photographs.

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AOTM September 2016: Beth Murphy Morrison

Art, artist of the month, Uncategorized

Interview by Jess Petrylak

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Beth Murphy Morrison

SUCKER: Who is Beth Murphy Morrison?

BETH MURPHY MORRISON: I’m a seventeen year old artist and student from Northern Ireland. I like to create colourful pieces exploring the theme of body positivity, self love and the connection between ourselves and the beauty that is found in nature in my art as I find it’s a good way to celebrate self expression.


SUCKER: What is your preferred medium(s) to work with?

BMM: If I had to choose a favourite media it would definitely be a tie between watercolour and gouache. I love the freedom of expression I have when I’m working with watercolour, as in my experience even the mistakes that I inevitably make while painting with it serve only to add character and beauty to the piece, forcing me to step outside of my plans and assess how I can improve. However, I also adore and the strength of colour and versatility of gouache. It’s incredibly useful for an art style like mine, due to the thick consistency that lends itself to heavy linework.

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Beth Murphy Morrison

SUCKER: Reminiscent to Art Nouveau paintings/illustrations, you are influenced a lot by naturalistic elements, such as plants/flowers, crystals and the female form. Modernizing this classic style, you mainly work with imagery of women of all shapes/colors and LGBTQ themes. What do you hope your work illustrates to the world?

BMM: My main hope with my work has always been to celebrate the parts of us that are too often looked down upon or ignored by our peers, ourselves and the media, and to improve the representation of different bodies, sexualities, genders and ethnicities within art. While I’m heavily inspired by beautiful, stylistic Art Nouveau movement, I don’t see a whole lot of variety in what is shown to be beautiful. I am inspired by stomach rolls and stretch marks and acne and I have always wanted women to be able to look at the people I create and see themselves, their sisters, and their mothers in them. Every time somebody tells me that I have helped them feel more at home in their skin I feel like I have achieved a huge goal. I enjoy drawing the women among flowers and other natural, organic elements because I can show the similarities between our bodies patterns and those we find in the natural world. A woman with stretch marks beside flowers with huge veins, a woman with acne compared to a geode and crystals, a woman with body hair surrounded by cacti. It makes the person viewing them perceive what is usually shown to be a flaw as a natural and necessary part of the art. I hope my art illustrates that every single part of us is natural and beautiful and should be celebrated rather than hidden or changed.


SUCKER: What is your first experience with art? How do believe you have grown overall as an artist?

BMM: The first memory I have of anything art related is my mother explaining a Picasso painting to me. I come from an incredibly artistic family, with my grandfather, mother and sister all being very artistically talented, so art has always been part of my life. I began drawing when I first learned to hold a pencil and the nurturing and encouragement I received at such a young age is almost definitely the reason I continued with it. Despite this, I would say that I have only began to grow within the last two to three years. While I always had a talent for art, I rarely worked on my techniques and style until I was forced to when I took GCSE art and actually tried to step outside of my comfort zone and develop a new and more interesting style. I had previously fallen into a rut in which I only drew photo-realistic pencil drawings, which, for me personally, didn’t feel rewarding or expressive. Working with more knowledge of artists and mediums definitely helped me grow and it’s something I’d recommend every young artist explore.

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Beth Murphy Morrison

SUCKER: What is your go-to art making song(s)?

BMM: I’m a huge fan of musical theatre, so i always keep a playlist on my phone with a mixture of my favourite soundtracks which I stick on and sing along with as I work. At the minute I like to listen to Hamilton, Rocky Horror and Les Miserables. if I’m not in that sort of mood though I find artists like Hozier and Fleetwood Mac put me at ease while I work.


SUCKER: Heavy contrast is part of your stylistic approach to creating art, in your experience does overworking a piece ruin it?

BMM: For me, it definitely does. Often times simplicity is the best route to go down if you’re uncertain. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been forced to scrap one of my pieces after I let myself get carried away and either destroyed the paper I was using or overcrowded the painting itself. It’s never a pleasant feeling, and even when the piece is salvageable, it won’t feel the same way my other, more successful attempts do.


SUCKER: What physical and emotional environment is the best for you to work in?

BMM: I prefer to work alone most of the time due to the fact that I’m ridiculously easy to distract, and when I’m in other people’s company I tend to get sucked into speaking to them rather than being focused entirely on whatever I’m working on. I also tend to work best in a positive mood, because with the style of work I do I am always focused on portraying positivity and happiness. . When I work in a bad mood I find that that will affect my colour schemes and the general feeling of the piece, and I will likely be less happy with the end result.
Physically I’m not too fussy. As long as I am somewhere comfortable I can generally make it work. A lot of the time I paint sitting cross legged on my bed, leaning on whatever hard surface I can find. It’s unfortunately not the most professional set up, but hopefully I’ll actually get myself a desk soon.


SUCKER: What is something you absolutely would not do within your artwork?

BMM: There aren’t a whole lot of boundaries I have in terms of subject matter, however  If I felt that something I had created had the capacity to be harmful to someone, for instance, by promoting stereotypes, being culturally insensitive or by romanticising eating disorders, self harm or substance abuse I would immediately get rid of it. Other than that, I’m open to exploring a range of different themes within my work.

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Beth Murphy Morrison


SUCKER: Do you experiment with other forms of art other than illustration?

BMM: I have experimented in the past with different art forms, such as sculpting and digital art, however I found that none of them suited me as well as illustration does, as I enjoy the process of painting and sketching. Although I would really like to gain more experience with different art forms as I believe it’s incredibly important for growth, and I would absolutely like to try to improve my skills in a range of areas in the future.


SUCKER: What does your art making process look like? How long does it usually take to create a piece?

BMM: Usually when I’m working I like to start with a sketch or clean linework and then begin to layer. My process usually adapts to work with whatever media I am using at the time but I generally enjoy working in segments and will prefer to focus on one part of the piece at a time to make sure it gets the right amount of attention. More often than not, I start at the face and work outward, because that’s the part I enjoy most. When working with fast drying paint, which I usually do, I mix my colours as I go to avoid them drying out as I work. The amount of time spent on a piece for me varies, and can take anywhere from 4 hours to 70 hours, depending on the size of the painting and what I’m using to make it, but if it is as small as A4 I can usually finish it in around four or five hours.


SUCKER: Your work involves very vibrant, saturated colors; How do you make color decisions? Does color transcend the meaning behind your work?

BMM: I wouldn’t say I use colour to display meaning, but I do use it to portray moods at times and I find that the colour decisions I make change as I get a feel of the “personality” the subject I’m painting displays. I like to choose bright colours if I want the piece to show someone powerful or joyful and I like to use duller colours or purples to show someone peaceful and calm. People tend to associate different colours with different emotions, like yellow with happy or angry with red, so playing with these ideas can be good when displaying emotion in art.

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Beth Murphy Morrison


SUCKER: What is your ultimate goal involving the arts?

BMM: Ultimately, I would love to get into tattoo art and continue to sell commissions. I think that the stylistic approach I like to take with my pieces would transfer well into tattoos due to my love of linework, and, like all artists, I would also hope that at some point in my career I would be able to have my work displayed in galleries. In the more immediate future I would like to attend university to study Fine Art.


SUCKER: Who are your biggest inspirations within the visual arts world?

BMM: I’m really inspired by artists such as Frida Kahlo, Klimt, Alphonse Mucha and Egon Schiele, because they are all artists who explore a somewhat surreal style of portraiture which has heavily influenced my own work. Frida Kahlo’s unapologetic self expression and the celebration of her features has always played a part in my exploration of self love, and the unique body types both Klimt and Schiele portray is somewhat mirrored in many of my drawings. I’ve always felt very fond of Mucha’s work because body types he portrays look realistic and attainable, and I admire and the classic elegance that all of the women in his work seem to possess.

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Beth Murphy Morrison


SUCKER: You have recently painted on the back of your jean jacket, could you see yourself venturing into creating more custom made clothing pieces?

BMM: Definitely! I’ve already started on a second jacket and I have plans to buy more denim clothing in bulk and begin to make as many as possible to sell at markets, as well as creating custom clothing on request. It’s an incredibly fun way for me to create something new that can actually be used and it’s something a lot of people have expressed an interest in, so in the near future, I will hopefully be making a ton of new items.

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Beth Murphy Morrison

SUCKER: Why is it important as a contemporary artist, to share your work online?

BMM: I think that if you are trying to gain success as a contemporary artist you would have to be absolutely crazy not to have some sort of online presence, whether that be a promotional page on Facebook, an Etsy store or even an Instagram. The internet, and social media in particular, are incredibly powerful tools for creating a name for yourself and spreading awareness of your work outside of your own small bubble of acquaintances. The truth of the matter is that the internet is incredibly important for marketing yourself and getting your name out there for people to come across, and your chances of success are going to be much higher with that support behind you.


SUCKER: What is the best advice you had received as an artist?

BMM: Probably that you should listen constructive criticism, because as an artist it’s really important that you listen to the advice and tips that you are given by other artists or the people buying your work. While it may be difficult to acknowledge that you don’t always know best and that not everything you create will please everyone, taking constructive criticism on board will help you grow a lot faster and improve your work drastically. This doesn’t mean you always have to agree with the criticism, but acknowledging it and respecting different perspectives of your work can be really helpful.


SUCKER: Your linework is graphic, but hardly linear. What do soft, curved lines do for your work, contrasted with the graphic highlights and shadows?

BMM: I mainly use softer, more curved lines because of the movement and the easy flow they give the piece. I find that harsher, more linear lines can at times make the subject seem stiff and rigid, which is never an effect I’m fond of in my own work, or else they can make the entire piece slightly too harsh when coupled with the highlights and block colours I enjoy using. I find that when the soft linework is coupled with the more graphic elements of the piece it finishes the painting and it works as a whole, rather than overtaking other details and becoming the main focus.

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Beth Murphy Morrison


SUCKER: What is next for your future art and future self?

BMM: In terms of my future art, I’d really like  to further refine my current art style, while also experimenting with new subject matter and art forms to round out my abilities. I also want to begin to sell prints as well as commissions and will be doing so as soon as possible.Because I’m currently in my final year of high school, my future self for the time being will be focusing on getting into a good university and maintaining a balance of school and art, and will be selling custom clothing and commissions when she has the time, and will hopefully be creating an online store as soon as possible.


SUCKER: Where can we contact you, follow you and buy your art?

BMM: Currently my only public social media is Instagram, and you can find me and contact me there @fairyhands, and while I  don’t have an online shop at the minute, I will be creating one in the near future!

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Beth Murphy Morrison

Harsh Noise: A Conversation with GRUTESK

Art, music, Uncategorized

Interview by: Jess Petrylak

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“Harsh Noise” is a musical style that is entirely characterized by static used in an expressive state, and often times challenges what is thought to be conventional in terms of musical practices. Sucker Magazine interviewed GRUTESK, a rising star in the genre of harsh noise who’s based in a quaint town in Upstate New York.

SUCKER: Who is GRUTESK?

GRUTESK: Grutesk is a harsh noise alias I use to let out some steam and just to create.

SUCKER: Not an entirely expanded upon genre, what sparked your interest in harsh noise?

GRUTESK: I honestly can’t pinpoint what exactly sparked my interest, but I’ve always been interested in more experimental music. I always wanted to be different with my music taste while growing up. When everyone was listening to pop music I was listening to more independent music. I could say that probably the band/group to get me into the genre would be a rap group by the name Clipping. If harsh noise interests you, you should check them out

SUCKER: What software do you use to create your music?

GRUTESK: Currently I’m using FL Studios to make this, but I want to expand my horizons and go with the traditional setup for noise music, which is with a mixer, and some guitar pedals.

SUCKER: Do you consider GRUTESK sort of an alter ego comparative to your natural self?

GRUTESK: I think I would, I would say I’m more calm and collective then Grutesk would be, I’d best say that Grutesk is more expressive of his emotions and does not take shit from anyone, a little on the chaotic side of things though.

SUCKER: How does the emotion of anger play its role within your music? Do any other emotions come out through this medium?

GRUTESK: I’d say if it hasn’t shown in the song titles of my latest EP “Violence”, it’d be my latest experimentation with vocals in some tracks and also the noise itself gives off an angry tone or feeling.

SUCKER: What are some responses you’ve gotten on your music? Good, bad?

GRUTESK: I’ve either have gotten “Oh that’s interesting” which usually means “This is terrible” or, (from people in the noise community) “This is some good stuff man keep it up.” I take anything as a compliment; I realize this genre isn’t for everyone it even took me a while before I was fully interested in it.

SUCKER: Do you believe truly anyone can be an artist (music, art, writing, etc)?

GRUTESK: I believe you if work hard at something you love, and you are putting in the effort then you can become an artist. If you go into anything either looking for money or trying to get famous thinking “oh this is so easy hahaha” you aren’t really going to get very far.

SUCKER: What would be on GRUTESK’s personal playlist?

GRUTESK: He would definitely have just a lot of variety of noise music, and extreme music.

SUCKER: You also craft your own album art, what are the benefits of being a completely independent artist that transcends many different creative mediums?

GRUTESK: I think that because I have somewhat of an idea with what looks good with art, it plays a big role into both noise and my digital art. I believe with each album cover it portrays the emotion within each album.

SUCKER: Does your creative process for visual art and music differ in any way?

GRUTESK: With my digital art I try to draw cute cartoon women and fandom related things as well, generally like a non impacting emotion with it. Grutesk is a way I can express myself when I get angry, upset, whatever. I mean, I have created something from emotions into my digital art, but for the most part I don’t, which I think needs to change.

SUCKER: Have you done any live shows, and if not would you consider?

GRUTESK: I haven’t yet, but I would love to! I have some crazy ideas of what to do for some live events which I would love to share with everyone.

SUCKER: What was the definitive moment that lead to you to create music?

GRUTESK: After I saw a performance at the Bundy Museum in Binghamton, I forgot the guy’s name or his groups name, but it was really interesting and it just went on from there.

SUCKER: In a genre that has a very specific sound, how do you separate yourself from the rest of the harsh noise scene?

GRUTESK: I think that with my vocals I add on tracks it definitely separates me from the others.

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SUCKER: What influences your sound, other than other music/musical artists?

GRUTESK: Some of the current events or horror themed things really inspires me with Grutesk, I want to do something a little different someday where I incorporate spoken word, poetry, or whatever with harsh noise. I also would love to collab with anyone if they are interested, just write to me via email or on soundcloud or bandcamp.

SUCKER: What is some sound advice you have gotten as far as any creative endeavors?

GRUTESK: I have been just told to practice, experiment, and to keep trying new things.

SUCKER: Where can we follow you, listen/buy your music?

GRUTESK: You can follow grutesk on soundcloud (where I post tracks, previews, and albums) and my bandcamp.

I would also like to shout out some really cool people in the noise scene I’d recommend anyone to check out : Writhe (Ruben), he has some intense tracks and he’s just an awesome friendpaper skin. (Taylor), he’s more power electronics but has awesome live shows and music, he’s who inspired me to add vocals to some of my own tracks. 

 

 

hope this time

Art, poetry, talk, Uncategorized, Words

Poem by Alyssa Faye Campbell

Art by Jessie Petrylak

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in the face of adversity the load becomes

heavy – as we strive towards so much

more. we arrived with words as keys,

discovering our strength from their

energy – “Black Lives Matter.”

forsaken chants – no remedy,

another hashtag. awaiting

brighter days; and there

will be.

even in

the dark

we grow – in

the

dark

we glow.

so much pain –

still, there’s always hope.

where is heaven for a

Black

angel –

when

will

all

Lives

really

Matter

 

Emma Magenta: Artist of the Month – July 2016

Art, artist of the month, Uncategorized

Interview by Jess Petrylak

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Emma Magenta

Who is Emma Magenta?

I am an artist, author and now I’m heading into film making.

In your TEDx talk, you stated that with art and writing you attempt to map the terrain of the collective emotional landscape, and describe yourself as as a cartographer of the heart. What does this mean in terms of your artistic process?

I guess through my process of these two mediums, writing and drawing, I undertake my mission to base jump into my own darkness, collective unconscious and all matters to do with inner world to understand the invisible forces at play in us all. I imagine myself sometimes as a kind of Indiana Jones undertaking missions to find the treasures hidden are I’ve surpassed the challenges facing me as I look at at the unlovable, the painful and the destructive aspects in myself. I go to these places and my drawings and writings are landmarks i leave behind as possible help for those making the same journey. My process is basically this to help myself and maybe create something meaningful.

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Emma Magenta

What is your first memory with art?

It was seeing my mum’s sketchbook in our foreboding floor to ceiling library as a kid. It blew me away that she had this secret talent, she was an exhibiting ceramicist, so I traveled a lot as a kid for her shows. Drawing was always something I always did and didn’t think about it except that it gave me freedom and pleasure to do so. I always poured over comic books and the tipped-in plates in rare books in my father’s library. I guess my first experience of drawing being “art” was when I spent my lunchtimes at school in the library and read every book there was on Modern Art and I felt that these artists were my people, I felt for the first time, understood. I never thought I wasn’t an artist until after I finished art school and saw how the contemporary art scene was the opposite of creativity and it killed my mojo.

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Emma Magenta

 

When visually portraying an emotion, what are some indicators you utilize, other than text, that gets your message across? Are there any recurring symbols?

I have my own symbolic language that was born out of keeping my visual language as simple as possible while conveying as much as I could. I used a lot of math signs such as equations, plus and minus symbols to convey positive and negative emotions, division symbol for feeling divided or confused. The human body for me is the ultimate tool for me to convey emotion and body parts doing certain things to express what is happening internally, such as the hair taking on a life force of it’s own. The hair for me is about thoughts that we have not surrendered thought patterns, contained ideas and cosmic consciousness at it’s best. Cutting hair is often used to release such thought history and growing it long is nostalgia in a way. Feet for me are our unconscious steps and I often use bird feet to show fragility and not being grounded. Blood tears is about ancestral pattern release and may appear negative but is actually the essential process of transforming one’s own darkness. Animals as well are used to convey the symbolic meaning of the animal such as foxes being sneaky, wolves are the instinctive part of the masculine, birds are the higher aspects of the spiritual dimensions of the human, cats are intuition and dogs are loyalty. Nature is always for me the source of all metaphoric glory, I derive all my inspiration from nature.

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Emma Magenta

 

Are there any emotions that are too hard to portray? Too easy?

The works that people respond to the most are my very hopeful pieces which is natural, people don’t want to be looking all the time at the darkness. I began to introduce the darker side into my work, because that was what I was experiencing and I make my work to understand myself, not to appeal to an audience. A lot of what I have been doing of late is confronting for some people who have enjoyed my more Anne of Green Gables era of drawing, but that is the price i have to pay for being authentically where i am at. Having said that, the work that I am doing of late is opening me up to a new audience who are prepared to accept that life is not just a feel good mantra on a Facebook meme. I don’t struggle to draw the darkness, of late I am finding it harder to draw the whimsical, the über hopeful, but I can only be true to where I am at if I want to call myself an artist.

 

Your work is composed of simple but confident lines, and primary colors. How do these add to your message?

I think the style is actually where the artistry resides and also is not separate from the message. Most people look at it and think a child could do that and I say thank you. It is not easy to draw unencumbered by years of adulthood should’s and should not’s. Some people view my work through a very conservative lens of “art should look like this, but not that” I think the simplicity shocks people sometimes and they miss the point. The point is that the simplicity is a juxtaposition of the deeper message. I am merging the best parts of the child and adult into the one moment, such as the innocence, playfulness, emotional honesty of the child and the wisdom, experience and insight of being an adult.

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Emma Magenta

 

What other visual artists do you look to for inspiration?

Unfortunately Frida Kahlo has been hijacked by Art Capitalism and turned into a fridge magnet and shopping bag, but i have loved her since i was 15. Her independence, politics, style and honesty. I love Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, Louise Bourgious, Bill Viola, but to be honest, I have stopped looking at other artist’s work for inspiration as i see them more with appreciation. I derive all my inspiration from nature, observing human behaviour, books, conversations and meditation.

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Emma Magenta

 

During what part of the artistic process do you feel most yourself?

Drawing for me is when I come in to the true essence of myself. It is when the intellect is dissolved and the heart is in control. Writing is more of a skin shedding process like I’m trying to exorcise demons. The best part of me emerges when the space between the intellect and intuition merges and I am no longer myself, but everything. That is when I do my best work and am the happiest being alive.

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Emma Magenta

 

What is your go-to art making song?

It used to be Arvo Pärt, but now it’s ambient electronic artists like Dead Texan, Steve Roach, Harold Budd or 1970’s over toning singer David Hykes. Some times, Kate Bush or Bjork, but that is only if I’m not trying to pull down new ideas.

 

How do you decide what phrase or wording represents the emotion you’re depicting?

I don’t think too much about it. I guess I just wait for the feeling of what I want to say and then I wait for the words to construct in my head and then I wait for the feeling in the belly of certainty. I am always writing, thinking and constructing ideas in my head so it’s just a matter of pulling something down.

 

Why is it important as a contemporary artist to share your work online?

I used to struggle with the online world as my process is so organic and non techno and being a nature lover and all, but the beauty of online is that you’re simultaneously connected to people all around the globe while never having to leave your studio. It is a great tool to share your work and also take out the middle man, the vampires all wanting a piece of your creativity and pushing you into a tight box of how your work should be seen. I’m tired of that shit. I became tired of not being the one in the driver’s seat of my own creations. I am interested in connecting with people not just dialoguing with other artists in a narrow world of “experts”. I am more interested in people honestly connecting with my work, being online as opposed to physical galleries is that it helps you reach a broader range of people. Also, no one cares about your work as much as you do, so you have to love it like a child and take responsibility for it’s path in the world and the online process is more autonomous…for now.

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Emma Magenta

 

What is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you in the studio? What’s the best?

Commissions with a brief are the worst. The worst. Sometimes they can help you think about your process in a new way, but rarely. Usually it is someone trying to squeeze your style into their average concept and usually it is a very twee feel good creation that makes my dark side grow stronger. Magazine work is usually my top Never Again thing to do, no, wedding present drawings actually are my all time low. The best thing is being left alone with no concern of where the work is going to end up and creating without external pressure or deadlines, no exhibitions and just making work to unfold something I’m trying to understand about myself. Once in an old warehouse studio in the city when I was 23, I was so in the zone, of my work, I left my body but was still in the room and i was filled with such an indescribable ecstasy that I was timeless and I became everything that has ever existed or will exist. That was my best studio moment.

 

You speak about the connection between growing older and the progression of censoring emotions in your TEDx talk. Why is it important to shed that censorship? How can it help the artist?

I feel like have I kept my child self intact and always see the world through the child eyes, so adults have always seemed so unhappy and I could never figure out why. It’s like I saw that they were always lying to themselves or taking on false roles to fill someone else’s agenda. It never made sense to me, until I became and adult myself, I saw how we get sucked in by our generational attitudes to how we should be. I was in my 20’s in the 90’s so irony and sarcasm were like social cues to kneel before if you were to be included and I just never could. I was always like “we don’t have to be unhappy guys, come on”. Censorship creates a false self and therefore your work as an artist is false and is buying into the strict codes of whatever era you’re passing through. It is this fear of not being included by your peers, but a true artist must be brave enough to walk alone if they have to and not be concerned if they’re not adored by their peers, to not conform, to trailblaze into deeper and deeper truths and realities IF they want to create meaningful work. If they just want a career that leads to a show at MOMA, then sure, conform and fill out those grant applications and dwindle your creativity down into the criteria of a panel of experts.

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Emma Magenta

 

Do you believe art school creates “anti-artists”?

It depends on the art school and what era you go there. It’s better to get technical skills than theoretical skills in my opinion. Because art schools are now becoming privatized or they are here in Australia, it will mean a diminished education and more hoops to jump through to fulfill government criteria agenda. Doesn’t sound like a good place for artists. But then sometimes yes, it will make you become a better more accurate artist because you have seen that even the art world has succumbed to the tyranny of the system and you’re basically own your own. This is very freeing and i hope art school creates more anti-artists but not to be cool. I just want to see integrity, honesty, talent and work that speaks to me. I don’t want to read a manifesto on why you are creating visual art unless it’s in book format. Academia has killed art, but has pushed the ownership of creativity back onto the artist if they’re willing to walk it with brave autonomy.

 

What is the best advice you have ever received as an artist?

It was actually from no one. Everyone around me was adhering to art history and academia so I was alone. The best advice was something I gave to myself and it was this: “Give up art, accept that right now you’re an athlete, draw for fun, draw what you want and feel. It is your world and therefore the only rules are the ones you give yourself, the flaw is the entry point for invention of new aesthetic combinations.”  So I did and here I am.

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Emma Magenta

 

What is your plans for future art and your future self?

I exhibit my work in this remote mountain gallery, but I just won money to write and direct my first film that will be a combination of live action, magical realism and animation. I made an animation a few years ago for The ABC called The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch and this is my first short film called Remembering Agatha. It’s about a mother of 2 in a flagging marriage who finds a portal through the dishwasher to the forest of her child self. I’ve been writing the treatment and script since August last year and it will showcase in October 2017. I’ve been working on an accompanying illustrated novella as well. It looks like the film world is opening up to me with this and another project afterwards, i’m just going to explore it as a new medium. My future self is creating work, making books, films, drawings, making a new straw bale studio in my backyard, camping, building my vegetable garden. I’m involved in a community garden project next year so there’s that to focus on as well, lots of bush walks and longer term: constructing a community multi-platform production studio under my company name Cellar & The Attic.

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Emma Magenta

 

Where can we contact you, buy and view your work?

My website will be up this year, but  for now you can view/buy and contact me through the following:
https://www.facebook.com/BrainPornNinja/
https://twitter.com/BrainPornNinja
https://www.instagram.com/emma_magenta/
http://www.hathillgallery.com.au

Illusioned Solitude

Art, poetry, Uncategorized

Poem by Alyssa Campbell featuring artwork by Jess Petrylak

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I.

cheeks

Stabbing

air

Voices

slice

chalk boards

Drowning

malice

balled

Pain

mind

trap

hands

Above

swallow

floating

water

below

Head

 

II.

The sky’s railroads hold clouds traveling in packs while gods hide drinking wine

Us puppets on strings dangling from their fingertips– Death, dead

our heroes, our legends, in silence they Live on. Words on a page- through rhythm

dancing on, in silence

AnswersAreBorn

 

III.

Questions forever forming tears of longing hearts, railroads of chirping birds singing gay songs.

They’d change their tone if they knew what we have done if they knew

if they knew

 

IV.

The air stung my cheeks, voices nails on a chalkboard theheartiswrongtheheartiswrong gods drinking wine,

Us puppets on strings dangling from their fingertips–

 

V.

Death, dead- our heroes, our legends- in silence they Live on, words on a page through rhythm dancing on. Words On a page– through rhythm they dance on

insilenceAnswersreBorn

 

VI.

Clocks pointing broken fingers, dead ends- Caged thoughts spillingfrom the ceilingburnt skin- black sun’s.nuns holding rifles, Dead ends- caged thoughts spillingfrom the ceiling

Hell’s portalHeaven’s illusionEarth’s Asylum

 

VII.

Wondering soulsWondering souls, voices bold holding signs screaming “Anti-voices” aknowingunknown gods

drinking wine

Us puppets on strings dangling from their fingertips–

Selena Ruiz: Artist of the Month – June 2016

Art, artist of the month, Uncategorized

Interview by Jess Petrylak

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Who is Selena Ruiz?


Selena Ruiz is a 20 year girl born and raised in Riverside, California.

What was your first experience with makeup?

I would say when I was about 11 years old I would apply NYX black pencil liner all over my waterline and smudge it out. I wouldn’t dare try liquid liner back then, I thought winged liner would never happen for me.

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Where did your inspiration first stem from?

When my mom died in 2012, I started wearing makeup way more than I ever had before. I felt it was a way of coping.

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Your makeup style showcases and argues the theory that makeup truly is art. How do you believe makeup factors into the art world?

I don’t understand people who do not think makeup is art. How is it not? It takes inspiration, vision, structure, blending shades, product placement, etc. My face is a canvas.

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Who are some of your favorite makeup artists?

I love many, but Roshar (@rosharofficial) is the only makeup artist I aspire to be.

How do you decide which design to create on a daily basis? Does color choice play into that as well?

I usually go based off the look I did the previous day. At the end of the day, I’ll look at my makeup in a mirror and think of other ways I could’ve done it, like what other lines/shapes I could’ve connected or drawn. I just keep building off what I do.

What are some of your favorite products?

Sephora’s Liquid Liner, Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder, anything Sugarpill Cosmetics, and NARS Makeup Removing Water.

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What makeup style do you feel most comfortable in? Empowered? Vulnerable?

I feel most empowered when I have sharp thick wings, over sized top/bottom eye lashes, some glitter highlight, and wearing my favorite brown lip gloss. I feel most vulnerable when I’m not wearing eyelashes, to be honest.

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Do you think makeup companies look down on you or avoid you because of your lifestyle?

I honestly feel they do, I feel a lot of makeup artists and brands avoid me because I’m not strictly a makeup account, and because I post photos of marijuana. If they look down on me for it, that’s unfortunate but I know myself and what I am capable of despite what my Instagram portrays.

You’ve recently been experimenting with adding textures such as gem stones, taped brows, and spiked paper eyelashes. How do these products further your exploration with makeup and art?

Yes! I’ve been experimenting with different objects to apply to makeup because I get bored. Adding these objects to my makeup looks have really given me a lot of inspiration to find out how far I could take it and what could become.

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What is the worst comment you have received on your makeup style? What is the best?

I don’t even consider the negativity I get. There’s a lot of people who think my makeup is trash, but not compared to how many people think my makeup is great. I think the best comment I’ve received was from @shrinkle (owner of Sugarpill Cosmetics); She told me how much her and her friends admire me, and how much she loves my creativity. Also, I have to add, when I went to IMATS this year, Kim Chi came up to me and complimented the hell out of my makeup. I nearly fainted. And, oh wait, once, Kat Von D liked a makeup photo of mine. I cried.

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What does your makeup process look like?

Well after I smoke, I get started with my skin, brows, shadow, liner, lashes, highlight, contour/blush, lips, and then, whatever I feel like gluing on my face that day.

What is your go-to song to listen to when getting ready?
Bam Bam – Sister Nancy

Which decade of makeup do you take the most inspiration from? Why?

I take a lot of inspiration from 90’s editorial makeup. I admire the rawness. They would include props on already very intense looks. Very fearless. I find it badass.

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What is your response to people inferring that women wear makeup to please men?

LOL

What is your experience with education and makeup artistry?

I’m a high school graduate and am currently attending My Beauty Mark Makeup Academy. The only makeup artistry experiences I have are from the courses I take at school, so far: prince inspired makeup, a full face makeup course, and a moodboard makeup course.

You are undoubtedly a pioneer of pushing graphic liner into another realm, changing how people view makeup itself, and truly creating a style unique to you. Have you noticed your influence on makeup artists on the internet and in real life?

Wow thank you. People do looks inspired by me often and will tag me in them on Instagram. I think it’s cool that people actually feel inspired enough to go out of their comfort zones and do some unusual makeup. I do notice other artists switch it up a bit and try something I would do, but I don’t blame them, I just get kind of irritated when I don’t receive credit.

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What is next for you? What are your plans and your plans for your future makeup looks?

As of now, I’m just waiting to finish makeup school, and see what happens from there. Due to experience, I find it hard to plan ahead of time. Nothing is certain, but of course it would be my dream to pursue an actual career in makeup. I want to succeed. And as for makeup looks… stay tuned️.

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Where can we follow you, stay updated and contact you?

I’m pretty active on Instagram: @anythingforselenaaas, and I also have a tumblr! Follow me at  spock-ho.tumblr.com.