Blog: Interview

Artist in Residence – Interview with Mary Fan

Today I am sharing an interview I did with sci-fi author Mary Fan. This is an interview series I call Artist in Residence.

I heard this great quote recently: “On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.” It got me thinking about how times of adversity and challenge are often what inspire action and creation for us artists.

I decided to seek out some peers whom I admire and ask them how they are using this time to be working artists. What has changed for them? Where are they finding room to create at home if they previously worked in an offsite studio, out-of-doors, or are now sharing a home studio with other working-from-home family members? What are they creating now – is it influenced by the current situation or on a similar path as before? Are they feeling called to action or struggling to create?

Everyone is responding differently to this crisis. Let’s learn how others are coping with their new status as Artists in Residence.

 

A little bit about this video:

This interview is with sci-fi author Mary Fan. Mary describes her genre and style of writing, how she got into writing science fiction for a young adult audience, and the hallmark themes that many of her books touch upon. She talks about the appeal of writing characters that are just coming of age, the book that inspired her to pursue writing in the first place, and how she fit this creative craft into a busy life that also included a 9-5 day job and numerous other hobbies. Mary also describes how her schedule has changed since the pandemic, the challenges of maintaining creative energy, and the effect that these difficult times may be having on what and how she is writing.

You can learn more about Mary on her website: https://www.maryfan.com
And be sure to follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/astralcolt/

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Artist in Residence – Interview with Rhian Swierat

Today I am sharing an interview I did with mixed media artist Rhian Swierat. This is an interview series I call Artist in Residence.

I heard this great quote on the web recently: “On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.” It got me thinking about how times of adversity and challenge are often what inspire action and creation for us artists.

I decided to seek out some peers whom I admire and ask them how they are using this time to be working artists. What has changed for them? Where are they finding room to create at home if they previously worked in an offsite studio, out-of-doors, or are now sharing a home studio with other working-from-home family members? What are they creating now – is it influenced by the current situation or on a similar path as before? Are they feeling called to action or struggling to create?

Everyone is responding differently to this crisis. Let’s learn how others are coping with their new status as Artists in Residence.

 

A little bit about this video:

This interview is with mixed media artist Rhian Swierat who works with embroidery, paint, paper, and explorations into memory. She talks about her process: from gathering impressions from places to translating those feelings and textures in a tactile way through stitching and pattern elements. She discusses her material choices, her embrace of accidents, and how the direction of a piece may change as she’s working on it. In response to the pandemic, Rhian talks about adapting to a more fluid schedule, the importance of doing something creative each day, and some of the bittersweet emotions that creating her artwork brings out. She shows some of her latest pieces, describes how working big has been beneficial, and talks about some of the parallels between her artmaking and her job as a graphic designer.

You can learn more about Rhian on her instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/rhianswierat/
And on her website: https://www.rhianswierat.com

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Artist in Residence – Interview with Elena Zazanis

Today I am sharing an interview I did with writer, actor, and creative Elena Zazanis. This is an interview series I call Artist in Residence.

I heard this great quote recently: “On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.” It got me thinking about how times of adversity and challenge are often what inspire action and creation for us artists.

I decided to seek out some peers whom I admire and ask them how they are using this time to be working artists. What has changed for them? Where are they finding room to create at home if they previously worked in an offsite studio, out-of-doors, or are now sharing a home studio with other working-from-home family members? What are they creating now – is it influenced by the current situation or on a similar path as before? Are they feeling called to action or struggling to create?

Everyone is responding differently to this crisis. Let’s learn how others are coping with their new status as Artists in Residence.

 

A little bit about this video:

This interview is with my dear friend Elena Zazanis. Elena is a true renaissance woman: a singer, actor, producer, writer, director, a wonderful cook, and much, much more. She has recently organized a roundtable group of creatives that I participate in and in this interview she talks about her motivations for getting this group together and the benefits of communing this way. She also discusses her daily life before the pandemic as an actress at a local law school where she helped students role play different legal scenarios, rehearsal with her music group, auditions, and meetings with collaborators. She describes how the current situation is effecting her routines and her apprehensions about getting back to it once restrictions are lifted, an exciting new script she is writing and her new focus on personal projects, and her techniques for warming up her creativity.

You can follow Elena here on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elenazazanis/
… And watch a trailer for her short film here: https://www.rgbshort.com/clip
…Elena’s musical group Cabaret Sauvignon can be found here: https://www.cabsavjc.com
…And here is a link to her website: https://www.gemprodsllc.com

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Artist in Residence – Interview with Sara Stadtmiller and Gary Mellon

Today I am sharing an interview I did with photographer Sara Stadtmiller and artist Gary Mellon. This is an interview series I call Artist in Residence.

I heard this great quote recently: “On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.” It got me thinking about how times of adversity and challenge are often what inspire action and creation for us artists.

I decided to seek out some peers whom I admire and ask them how they are using this time to be working artists. What has changed for them? Where are they finding room to create at home if they previously worked in an offsite studio, out-of-doors, or are now sharing a home studio with other working-from-home family members? What are they creating now – is it influenced by the current situation or on a similar path as before? Are they feeling called to action or struggling to create?

Everyone is responding differently to this crisis. Let’s learn how others are coping with their new status as Artists in Residence.

 

A little bit about this video:

This interview is with my friends Sara and Gary. Sara is a photographer and Gary is an artist in several mediums and it was such a treat to get to talk to both of these inspiring individuals! Sara talks about her business expanding into a new space, the variety of work she does, and the challenges of juggling work and family life during the pandemic. Gary talks about the variety of artistic roles he’s played, his motivation and drive to create, and the benefits of creating for others. They also discuss their latest project – a “quarantine gallery” group art show that they’ve organized in the windows of Sara’s new studio space, bringing beauty and something positive to the neighborhood and to their own lives too. Finally the duo talks about applying creativity to other aspects of their lives to make all kinds of things work.

You can find the gallery show here: http://www.srsphotographer.com/outside-looking-in-a-quarantine-gallery/

Sara’s website is: http://www.srsphotographer.com

And be sure to follow Sara on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/sarastadtmiller/
and Gary on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/gamellon/

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Artist in Residence – Interview with Wes Mingus

Today I am sharing an interview I did with musician Wes Mingus. This is an interview series I call Artist in Residence.

I heard this great quote recently: “On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.” It got me thinking about how times of adversity and challenge are often what inspire action and creation for us artists.

I decided to seek out some peers whom I admire and ask them how they are using this time to be working artists. What has changed for them? Where are they finding room to create at home if they previously worked in an offsite studio, out-of-doors, or are now sharing a home studio with other working-from-home family members? What are they creating now – is it influenced by the current situation or on a similar path as before? Are they feeling called to action or struggling to create?

Everyone is responding differently to this crisis. Let’s learn how others are coping with their new status as Artists in Residence.

 

A little bit about this video:

This interview is with my friend and ukulele teacher Wes Mingus. Wes is a professional musician and composer, so we are exploring a different side of the arts with this chat. In this interview, Wes talks about his journey as a working musician and the challenges that come along with that, his shift to teaching to help balance work and family life, and his current situation navigating the pandemic and dealing with cancelled performances and classes. He discusses the collaborative nature of his artform, adapting to the new realities of life in his work, and his process of creating music. He also touches on working from home while everyone is at home :)

You can hear Wes’s latest track here: https://soundcloud.com/wesming-1/2x2l-quarantine2
And be sure to follow him on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/wesmingus/

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Artist in Residence – Interview with Bruno Nadalin

Today I am sharing an interview I did with printmaker artist Bruno Nadalin. This is an interview series I call Artist in Residence.

I heard this great quote on the web recently: “On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.” It got me thinking about how times of adversity and challenge are often what inspire action and creation for us artists.

I decided to seek out some peers whom I admire and ask them how they are using this time to be working artists. What has changed for them? Where are they finding room to create at home if they previously worked in an offsite studio, out-of-doors, or are now sharing a home studio with other working-from-home family members? What are they creating now – is it influenced by the current situation or on a similar path as before? Are they feeling called to action or struggling to create?

Everyone is responding differently to this crisis. Let’s learn how others are coping with their new status as Artists in Residence.

 

A little bit about this video:

This interview is with my friend Bruno Nadalin, a very talented printmaker artist who is also a teacher at the Jersey City Art School. Bruno talks about the impact that the virus has had on his teaching, the challenges of creating online classes as an alternative, and opportunities to create and hone certain fundamental skills despite the situation. He discusses the possible impacts on his own work that social isolation may reveal with time, his gallery show that opened just days before we went into lockdown, and his current experiments including sculptural elements created from metal printing plates.

You can learn more about Bruno, see his work, and get a link to his website  at: https://www.instagram.com/bruno_nadalin/

His prints for sale can be found on his etsy page.

A video tour of his gallery show can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ncn9wzwisJk

*Please note that there is some sound syncing delay in this video, and although it is there, it is still a great listen! Our apologies!

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Artist in Residence – Interview with Natalya Khorover

Today I am sharing an interview I did with artist Natalya Khorover. This is an interview series I am calling Artist in Residence.

I heard this great quote on the web recently: “On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.” It got me thinking about how times of adversity and challenge are often what inspire action and creation for us artists.

I decided to seek out some peers whom I admire and ask them how they are using this time to be working artists. What has changed for them? Where are they finding room to create at home if they previously worked in an offsite studio, out-of-doors, or are now sharing a home studio with other working-from-home family members? What are they creating now – is it influenced by the current situation or on a similar path as before? Are they feeling called to action or struggling to create?

Everyone is responding differently to this crisis. Let’s learn how others are coping with their new status as Artists in Residence.

 

A little bit about this video:

I have known Natalya for quite some time now and I love her “architecturally inspired” artwork and the unique materials that she uses. In this interview, Natalya talks about the changes in her routines and side gigs due to the pandemic, her commissioned Home Portrait artworks for clients that involve the use of personal and meaningful ephemera, and the challenge of more unusual commissions. Natalya also describes how her love of cities influences her chosen subject matter, the reasons behind her use of plastic bags, an unfortunately interrupted post as a visiting artist at a local school, and how mask making helped her emotionally handle the crisis. She also shares a sneak peek of a large project she is currently working on and insightful glimpses of her process and studio.

You can learn more about Natalya here on her website: https://www.artbynatalya.com and here on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artbynatalya/

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Artist in Residence – Interview with Sam Pullin

Today I am sharing an interview I did with fellow Jersey City artist Sam Pullin. This is an interview series I am calling Artist in Residence.

I heard this great quote on the web recently: “On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.” It got me thinking about how times of adversity and challenge are often what inspire action and creation for us artists.

I decided to seek out some peers whom I admire and ask them how they are using this time to be working artists. What has changed for them? Where are they finding room to create at home if they previously worked in an offsite studio, out-of-doors, or are now sharing a home studio with other working-from-home family members? What are they creating now – is it influenced by the current situation or on a similar path as before? Are they feeling called to action or struggling to create?

Everyone is responding differently to this crisis. Let’s learn how others are coping with their new status as Artists in Residence.

 

I emailed Sam the above questions and here is what he had to say:


One of the silver linings of having more time at home is that it’s a great time to reconnect with old friends that the pace and demands of the world have caused us to loose touch with.

I have definitely spent way more time and energy on making paintings over this quarantine period and feel as though my work has developed technically because of the level of focus I can spend on it. I am also working a lot smaller because of my limited supplies, particularly when it comes to canvas and I think that the change in scale is making things a bit more engaging and new. I dont want to order any unnecessary items but if I run out of canvas I may have to. If I’m unable to paint I think I will loose my mind!

The subject matter of my recent paintings, which I’m calling the “quarantine series” is inspired by my reaction to what’s happening in the world.  The tone of the paintings range from funny and light hearted to horrific and obscene, reflecting on both on my desire to turn away grom the horror of what’s happening and the need to acknowledge the full extent of the suffering that this has caused. 

I have been thinking a lot about why I make art and who benefits from the art market while paying close attention to the economic bailout, the half assed response to the coronavirus at the federal level and the pundents and political leaders who are placing market profits over human life. After this virus takes it’s horrible toll and we come out the other side of this i think there will be an opportunity to restructure some aspects of society and I’m sure there will be some organizations and individuals that seek to exploit the situation. I plan on focusing my creative energy into something that can force the restructuring into something positive and distribute the resources in a more equitable manner…I’m not exactly sure how to do that, but I spend a lot of time thinking about it and I assume it will mean rallying people and coming together with others to build coalitions.

I always thought of art making as two separate but related endeavours: the introspective time spent in the studio making the work and effort of putting it into the world and allowing it to interact with the people. It’s nice to have time in the studio, but when this is done I want to take it out into the world and see what can be done.


Thank you Sam for your thoughtful response – I think we can all relate to your concerns and your hopes for when this passes.

You can learn more about Sam here on his instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bedbugs_in_love/

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Artist in Residence – Interview with Grant Hardeway

Today I am sharing an interview I did with Jersey City writer and photographer Grant Hardeway. This is a new interview series I am calling Artist in Residence.

I heard this great quote on the web recently: “On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.” It got me thinking about how times of adversity and challenge are often what inspire action and creation for us artists.

I decided to seek out some peers whom I admire and ask them how they are using this time to be working artists. What has changed for them? Where are they finding room to create at home if they previously worked in an offsite studio, out-of-doors, or are now sharing a home studio with other working-from-home family members? What are they creating now – is it influenced by the current situation or on a similar path as before? Are they feeling called to action or struggling to create?

Everyone is responding differently to this crisis. Let’s learn how others are coping with their new status as Artists in Residence.

 

A little bit about this video: Grant Hardeway is a photographer who lives and works in Jersey City, and whose work I found on instagram. In this interview Grant discusses his earliest artistic project (an art class stunt that turned out pretty successful), the importance of intention when he’s photographing the world, and his reluctance to call himself a photographer. He talks about using both film and digital, his love of composition and light, and the power of photos to evoke a mood or feeling and a memory of another time and place. We discuss the duty that artists have to document life (especially during crisis times like today) and also the importance of slowing down and being more aware of life. Grant is a very thoughtful person and I absolutely loved speaking with him. I hope you enjoy!

You can learn more about Grant and see his gorgeous work at: https://www.instagram.com/digital_taxidermy/

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