(yf2) Untitled, acrylic, farinha, 2013
What are you working on in your studio right now?
Right now, the studio has been pretty dry. I just finished the yellow paintings and have been mostly working on FORGETGOOD. I am also teaching English, which takes up more time than anything.
Can you describe your working routine?
I wish I had more of a routine. I feel pretty guilty about how off-and-on I work. While I've been in Brazil, I've been consistently cranking out a bunch of work every other month. I think the month in-between allows for some tension to build up, so that when I'm actually in the studio, I'm very productive. I think it's also because I'm still figuring out how to be an artist outside of an academic institution. It's a heavily self-motivated situation. However, even when I'm not in the studio, I'm always thinking about art. I try to make videos or something on the computer at the very least. I always carry a disposable camera too.
Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
My current studio space isn't much of anything at all. I think that's part of the reason my studio routine is non-existent. I keep more of a virtual studio. I try to collect images and keep scanned archives. I moved to Brazil in September of last year and am living with my aunt and uncle here. There isn't any space dedicated solely to my art making, so each time I work, I have to clean and put everything away, which can really be a bummer. I do a lot of table painting, but I've never been a very neat painter. In the next year, I'm trying to figure out a better studio plan - I'm really missing my old studio in Chicago.
Brazil I & II, digital collage, 2013
Tell me about your process - where things begin, how they evolve, etc.
Most times things begin off of an image, whether I see it online or in real life. From there, it might be a while before I actually make it into the studio, so most of the images end up disregarded. My ultimate goal in the studio is to forget that I'm working. I usually create four or five paintings rather quickly, hang them up and look at them for a bit; then, sometimes I go back in to fix some things and put them all away. The next day, I come back in to photograph them. Usually by then, they've lost most of their magic, but I almost never go back in with these little ones. I've just been kind of collecting them over the last year. I find that going into the studio with no ideas usually leads to some pretty awful work, but sometimes it's okay to make some really bad stuff.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
Over the last year, I've had the most trouble finding artists to be around. I went from a great arts community in Chicago to an almost non-existent one in Serra, Brazil. I really rely on online support/conversations, otherwise I go crazy not being able to discuss work/see shows. It's very surreal painting without receiving feedback. I have no idea what comes across with most of the work I've made over the past year.
Untitled (mold), acrylic, farinha, 2013
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
I'm pretty open to materials, but right now everything is very simplified. I've just been working with acrylic, small canvases, and dirt or farinha de milho amarelo for texture. In the past, I’ve used flour. But, I would really like to get back into fibers, sculpture, and oils - it's just a lot more difficult when you don't have all of the facilities and space.
What does the future hold for this work?
The future for this work I'm making here in Brazil? I'm really not sure. I may do a residency in December or lug everything back to the United States next year. Otherwise, everything is pretty wide open.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks a lot Valerie! I think it's really important for artists to stay connected and it's been especially important for me over this past year.
(yf3) Untitled, acrylic, farinha, 2013