As part of winning the Urban Arts Gallery Connect night, I was asked to answer some questions for the upcoming grant competition. Here be my answers:
a. How did you become interested in the arts?
I think it was ingrained in my DNA from birth, as my parents and step parents are all artists of some kind. My mom said I was four when I told her I wanted to be an artist and go to college. As I grew up, I would get art supplies or instruments as gifts or they would help me fund raise for dance competitions.
My desire to make art a profession came when I was 11 or 12. My best friend was, and still is, the most talented artist I knew. We would compete frequently through middle and high school to see who could make the best drawing or short story using characters from anime and video games we watched. Eventually it became a competition on who had the most original idea or mastered a technique. She always was better at comics and fantasy work, so I developed myself more towards the traditional arts to stand out. Competition turned an early interest into an addiction of sorts.
b. How does art benefit your daily life?
Learning how to have a conversation with a piece of art really has informed how I live my daily life. On average, people look at a piece of art work for two seconds or less and judge the experience quickly. It doesn't matter how many hours, days, weeks, months, or years and artists spends drafting their piece, the viewer barely takes time to notice subtlety. But, if one stops and really takes the time to delve deep, sometimes an unsavory piece of work becomes likeable, one finds an even deeper enjoyment for a piece that was automatically loved, or something a person enjoys shows serious flaws. They way humans experience life is very similar. Sometimes one has to stop and really have a deep look at what is going on to appreciate the subtlety. Yeah it's slower and more difficult, but what you gain from doing the work is so much more meaningful.
b. What inspires you?
The ever futile yet extremely necessary attempt to encapsulate deep spiritual and emotional meaning in visual imagery. And repeated viewings of the Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.
c. What medium do you work with?
I work with all sorts of mediums depending on my intention. Photography, collage, and ink are for immediate gratification. My favorites are oil paints, graphite, and charcoal due to their intimate and meditative quality.
d. What was your favorite project? How did it affect you as an artist?
My favorite project was my B.F.A series, "Rooted In Identity", a graphite diptych of a man and woman facing each other with different plants growing out of their heads. They sort of solidified the subject matter I am interested in as an artist in a lot of ways, but it also made me realize that I needed my alone time and space to be an effective creative.
e. Is your artwork for sale? If so, where? (To promote our participating artists.)
Yes. Right now, "Rooted In Identity" is for sale at the Urban Arts Gallery. Typically, I work as a freelance artist or sell my work through personal contact via Facebook and Instagram. I like to do studio visits as well so people can check out the projects I am currently working on and get to know my artwork as a whole.
I can be contacted through www.alexannawonder.com.
d. What are other hobbies you enjoy in your free time? (Get to know the artist on a personal level)
In addition to being a visual artist, I also perform as a belly dancer (specifically American Tribal Style). Currently, I'm evolving my dance skills to include sword dancing and fire spinning. I also run, hike, and take my puppy snuggling very seriously.
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