At the beginning of our interview, Ashleigh Green talks to us about how she describes herself as an artist:
“It’s tough, because it’s always changing. It seems like once I understand how I work or draw things, it eventually changes again! So, the way I describe myself as an artist, would be that I’m really reactionary to the environment. The place really influences what I create. Here, in Iceland, my work is about change and the raw elements of the environment, because that’s what I’m experiencing and that’s how I try to be creative. I try to take what I’m experiencing and either distill and simplify it, or see it in a new way, by recombining different elements together.”
She also continues to tell us about what creativity means to her, how studying abroad influenced her, her university experience in general, on the residencies she’s been a part of, her process of creating, on the themes in her work and how she works with different mediums, as well as what she has planned for future projects, and some advice for other young artists!
John Franzen explains why repetition in his work is so important to him.
“The repetition is like breathing or life itself – everything is living and dying. It’s like what the sun is doing with energy; it’s filling up with particles over and over again. […] It’s crucial that things are being repeated. Even a thought or a feeling gets repeated again and again, to a point where it starts to live, in a way. If I’m drawing just one line, it’s about the holistic brushstroke and the pure energy of creation in the initial sequence. But if you start to repeat the action, similar to a DNA structure, it starts to mutate and life evolves from there. I think it’s not only about the energy, but it’s also a principle that you have to repeat, in order to be very close to the workings of nature and life. That’s why, if you’re dealing with the topic of creation itself, you have to do things repetitively, to be able to minimize your own perception of reality.”
John also delves deeper into his idea of what an artist is, his background and how that has affected his work, on various different philosophies that resonate with him, his series of works, including Darkness Archetype, Someone Died, Singular Flux, One Line, and Each Line One Breath, how people respond to his pieces, and some reflection on what he’s learned.
Rosalie McMillan explains how we have a deep connection to jewellery and how she utilizes that to affect people.
“Well, I think connection to jewellery is very important. […] For me, I think the connection makes the wearer feel energized and like they can make the most out of any opportunity that comes their way. I would like to say that my jewellery has a deeper beauty, in terms of the provenance of the pieces and the whole story behind it, which I think connects people as well. But also, I’m very much specializing in innovative materials, like for example, the most recent material that I’ve been working on is made out of recycled coffee grounds. No one would ever really think that waste coffee could be transformed into something with so much remarkable beauty. I hope that in itself is inspiring to others! Maybe, in turn, it’ll inspire them to make the most of any opportunity or any situation that arises.”
Through out the interview, she also speaks about her background in psychology, on her inspirations and how they affect her jewellery pieces, on her materials and process, on how she strives to be ethically sound in the work she does, how she finds balance in her work, what she’s learned so far, and of course some advice for others.
Joani Tremblay reflects on her art practice and how she uses it as a way to remove stress from her life.
“I’m a person, that is stressed in a lot of ways. At the beginning of my practice, I didn’t really know why I was doing so much art, but because it’s been so many years, I’m now reflecting on it, and I realize that it’s the only thing that destresses me. Whenever I’m stressed in my life, the only way to relieve it, is to make art. It’s kind of like doing meditation for me. Also, in the greater scope of things, I would say that art just gives me a purpose, which is very important. It just gives me a purpose and it makes me feel connected to something bigger than ourselves. I don’t know what that is exactly, or what it’s making a connection to, but, for me, there’s definitely something there […] that I really love.”
We then get to know more about her background and her start in art, how she continued to pursue her education in the arts, how she teaches others, what her inspirations and influences are, on the various stages of her creative process, her experiences in residencies abroad, some of her upcoming plans and shows, what good art is to her, and some advice she can pass on.
Betsy Eby tells us about her role in the process of creating a painting and that it may actually be secondary.
“When I begin a painting, I might start with a sumi ink study to establish form. That form of large gestures will be laid down in the under-painting, but then it often alters itself as the painting progresses, corresponding to whatever it needs to become fully felt and actualized. As for records of self expression, well, the paintings aren’t about me or my belief systems or how well I can draw a figure, as much as they are forces of natures themselves, with their own set of rules, that require me to get out of the way so that they can fully come into existence. If they’re records of anything, they might be records of balance, compositional semblance, and mimetic tangibles for all that is fleeting.”
Through out the interview, she speaks to us about her upbringing, her inspirations, a life-changing experience that molded her as an artist, the challenges one must face, on becoming a full-time artist, her daily rhythms, the changes in her work, on how she made a documentary movie with her husband, painter Bo Bartlett, and what it means to her to live a creative life.