This Blog Hop is a fun project that connects artists, designers, writers, illustrators and more from around the world and helps our followers discover new talent. We all answer the same four questions about our creative work and then tag the next person to do the same. I was invited to participate by a fellow artist and blogger Consu Tolosa from Portland. Check out her work and make sure you stop by her lovely About page too!
1. Why do you do what you do?
Do you want the long version or the short version? I’ll give you both so you can choose.
I’ve been making art and doing other creative things my whole life, starting from kindergarten and primary school where we had to choose between a sports- or an arts-orientated class. I kept choosing art, seemingly by default, ever since. When choosing what to study at university I considered several options but ended up applying for arts because, after all, that is what I had always done.
After graduating from University things got much more complicated. I was traveling a lot and art was left on the back burner. Secretly I feared that I wasn’t a “real artist” because I had always made works when I ‘had to’ – when there was a subject, a deadline, a tutor prodding us to finish a project. I heard stories about compulsive creators who couldn’t stop making art and I could not relate to them, thinking myself a failure. Then one day, after a long and life-changing travel experience, there it was: I felt like I HAD TO do something and several dozen drawings just poured out of me in one liberating all-nighter session.
Nevertheless, my grappling with the notion of being an artist (what it means, what I should be doing and why) continued. Every once in a while my focus and motivation just shuts down and I need to stop and ask myself: Why am I doing this? Is this what I want? Am I on the right track? At the end of these crises the answer has so far always been the same. It’s just the form and direction of my art that has morphed over time. So why do I always end up reaching this conclusion?
Because I can’t not do it. Even when I try to steer clear of art, I keep coming back to it. Or it keeps finding its way back to me. It’s like an obsession – ever present in the back of my mind. I get really excited about every new drawing I make. I get butterflies when I see beautiful art in exhibitions. And every time I ask myself: if I could do anything I wanted what would it be? Art and travel is always the answer! This is why I decided to make art inspired by travel.
2. How Does Your Creative Process Work?
First I go out into the world armed with my camera and a sense of curiosity. Some of the photos I take are marked as ‘drawing material’ in post processing. Drawing the pictures later allows me to re-live and analyze my experience.
Drawing needs time and space. I usually have to decide the day before that I will do some drawing the next day. That means taking the afternoon off, with no plans or responsibilities or meetings. I set up the desk, make a cup of tea or coffee. I prefer being alone and undisturbed. I go through photos, previously marked as potential drawing material, and pick one going on gut feeling. Then I draw, usually for several hours straight without taking any breaks. I like to finish the outline (the black lines that are the basis of each drawing) in one sitting whenever possible. Color needs more time and decision-making power, which is why I usually have several works waiting in the “in progress” folder because I haven’t figured out how to finish them.
I love to listen to podcasts or audiobooks while drawing. There is no better feeling than drinking in information while creating something. And I love the fact that each drawing reminds me of the story and ambiance of the book I was listening to as well as the place depicted in the image.
3. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Digitally created art is still pretty marginal in galleries. And the medium of drawing is still seen as “works on paper”. So I find it difficult to compare my work with anything I have seen around the world. People who see my work for the first time often use words such as “unique”, “fresh” and “different”. Art connoisseurs would say it is illustration with elements of pop art. I prefer to think it’s inspired by my favorite childhood coloring books.
I have chosen the Diasec process (mounting the image between a sheet of aluminium and acrylic; a process used to display contemporary photography) to bring out the sleek, clean lines of the drawings. It is also a reference to photography as the basis of all my images. Mounting my work this way creates a very particular, ultra-contemporary look.
4. What are you working on now?
I am currently in Fiji, living on a boat and gathering material for a Fijian-themed series of works. I did not plan for this and no-one is paying me for this project (unfortunately). It’s just something that I would have done anyway because my partner is a sailor. I have decided to actively use this opportunity as part of my work and am excited to see what stories and drawings will come out of it.
Right now I am starting work on a a new experiment – drawing local nature and architecture, which is a bit of a challenge and very intricate work. Want to see my previous work? You can flip through the images in the Lookbook.
If you want to get insights about my adventures in Fiji and be the first to see my newest drawings join my crew and you will get beautifully designed updates straight in your inbox once a month:
Next Monday hop on over to get to know Kristina from K9 Studio Photography. Because who doesn’t love cute photos of cats and puppies!
20 Things You Might Not Know About Me
3 Inspiring Paradigm Shifts (or why travel & art is the answer to everything)
The 2 Biggest Challenges of Living a Creative Life
How I Found My Visual Handwriting
Fascinating post and life – living and drawing in Fiji sounds quite amazing :) Thanks for adding your post to my linky.
Thanks Tasha! Yeah it’s pretty amazing, just difficult to do less living and more drawing & work when settled into the “island time” here!
Anastasia, your work is really cool and the life you are living to make your art sounds equally cool!
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for stopping by Samyak, when can we read your entry to the Blog Hop?
Wonderful post, Anastasia! I loved learning more about your process. And you know the saying, “do what you love, and the money will follow…” I hope your amazing project meets a generous and eager funder in the most unexpected of ways!
Thank you Consu! I hope so too, hehe! It’s been a pleasure participating in this blog hop along with you!
Very interesting blog post thankyou for shaing
Thank you for visiting and reading :)