Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Manhattan and grew up in Scarsdale. I never thought I would be back in the suburbs but the Rivertowns are very mellow with a rich artistic vibe and strong artist community so it’s a good fit for me. I went to Skidmore College and then to graduate school at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I am married with a 5 year old daughter who is currently in kindergarten.
Besides making art, what do you do, do you have a day job?
My last job was at the JCC in Tarrytown, teaching art to kids. I worked in a High School in the Bronx for years. I’ve done everything, been an art consultant, an art director for a stamp company, jumped around from profession to profession. I’m thinking about possibilities for the future. I am also taking care of my 5 year old.
Where does your inspiration come from? Is there anything you are looking at that particularly speaks to you?
From talking with other artists. The art critic from New York Magazine, Jerry Saltz, has a forum on facebook where he talks about art, people post their art and their are critiques and discussions about it. It is inspiring and validating to be involved in a community like this. I also listen to a range of music.
Has any advice influenced you?
I had a great mentor in graduate school. He said put up 40 things and work on them all at once. It has influenced me to work in a series. I can’t work too long on a piece because I become too precious about it, so I jump to something else. Similar advice from a teacher was: paint out the part of of the painting that is most precious to you. It really helps the composition because then you aren’t focusing on just one little area. It takes a lot of guts but but if you do it, it makes the whole work stand as a whole.
How would you describe your creative process?
I have an idea or theme in mind but then I just let the process take over.
How do you get out of your creative blocks?
Having people in to my studio to talk and exchange ideas and alternatively getting out of my space. Traveling is needed sometimes.
What is the most positive and inspirational thing about being an artist for you?
When I’m finished with a piece and I say WOW, this really works for me and having my work inspire others. Having my work encourage a discussion.
How do you balance work and family?
I try to involve my daughter on some of my work. She inspires me. During the day when she is at school is when I’m at studio. Having less time makes that time more productive.
What is the most difficult thing about being an artist for you?
It’s uncomfortable for me to tell people I am an artist, not all people understand it.
If you could visit the studio of any artist or designer, who would it be?
Gerhard Richter. His squeegees, rollers and paints are really cool.
Do you have any advice for artists just starting out?
You need to just go into the studio and paint, to see where it goes for yourself, not to be the next Damien Hirst or the next superstar.
Do you have any main goals for now or the future?
I have a series in my head that’s been percolating for a few months based on street art. I’d also like to connect to the arts in our community more, maybe organize some critique groups. I’d like to go see more artwork and begin journaling again.
Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about?
Street Art Inspired by Banksy, the everyday imagery that we see. Part of me wants to get back into detailed collaged work.
Do you have a blog or website?
Thanks so much Jennifer!