Interview: Inside my Studio
Q1: Have you had any formal art training?
I didn't study art or go to an art school. Drawing and painting has been a part of my life since I was able to hold a wax crayon. I don't think I'm talented. I've just been very fortunate to find my passion as a little kid and stayed in love with it. Getting better at it was just an inevitable side effect. I don't know how artists work who have gone through formal art education. I've never watched or asked anyone who studied art about their work process or inspiration or technique.While I painted the Pink Buffalo, I listened to Malcolm Gladwell's 'Outliers' as an audio book and it claims that in order to perfect a skill, you need to do it for 10000 hours. Well, I calculated that I had drawn for 10000 hours by the time I was 18. I think even if I had studied art after high school, I would've probably not listened to an art teacher and let go of my self-taught techniques. Knowing me, I would've rather gotten bad marks than conforming to a university's practices :)
Q2: Who would you say is your biggest influence?
In terms of technique, style or subject inspiration, no one, as I consciously try to avoid to be inspired by other artists, but instead look for inspiration in my own life experiences and topics that are close to my heart.However, I look up to artists that live their life entirely through their art, who create, because they can't live without creating. The kids in grown up bodies, who would be painting every day even if they never earned a cent from it. They are the people I feel most comfortable with and they make my heart smile.
Q3: Describe your studio
I've painted in 6 different apartments on 3 different continents within the last year and wherever I travel, I just get a room and start working. So I don't have an actual 'art studio' that's why my Instagram pictures of my art and me are taken in different rooms with a different set up all the time. I also don't travel around with an easel, so I use whatever furniture I find to set up my canvas. I create my work either sitting on the floor or a chair, depending on what area of the canvas I'm painting on. I sometimes even put my canvas in my bed against the wall and paint in bed.
Q4: Please describe your painting/working process; giving as much detail as possible.
My first love has always been very detailed realistic pencil drawing which I taught myself as a kid by trying it over and over until I got good at it. So when I started painting with acrylic paint on canvas, I didn't bother to learn about any painting techniques. I just grabbed a small brush and used it in exactly the same way I'd control a pencil. The way I hold a brush in my hand, is the same way I'd hold a pen to write with. I guess it's not the official 'artist way' of holding a brush, but it definitely works for me. :)
When working in snail speed as I do, there is no dripping or splashing with paint. I load my brush with a tiny amount of paint each time I dip it into paint and apply it. It takes me between 150-200 hours to paint a 90cmx120cm canvas in my style.