Artist Highlight


  • Terrible Tony

    1. Name: Terrible Tony IG: @terribletonyxx Current Location: Indiana, USA Website: hellaignorant.bigcartel.com

    2. What inspired you to begin creating art?

    I think my biggest inspiration to start creating art would definitely be cartoons and video games for sure. Some of my earliest drawings I can remember were of Doug and Sonic the hedgehog.


    3. To what degree does your cultural background/heritage influence your work?

    Black culture is a pretty big influence on my art work just as it’s a pretty big influence on the whole damn world if you really look around. I love that I can sneak little things into my art that only black people typically understand. We have our own language and way of communicating with each other and it’s pretty beautiful.


    4. What draws you to create with this medium in particular?

    Painting is just fun and therapeutic for me. It’s relaxing and nice to just put on an album to zone out and get lost in creating something. The funny thing is that I always hated painting, but one day I just gave it a try and really enjoyed it and haven’t looked back since. I’d love to explore other mediums in the future though.


    5. How does the medium help to depict your ideas?

    One thing that I love about art is that you can create anything you want. You can make things that don’t exist or distort reality. Using paint kind of helps make that physical distortion come to life.


    6. Why do you use the colors/forms/shapes/textures/patterns that you do? (pick whichever matches the visual cues found in the work)

    I think I use the bright colors I use because I grew up in the 90s. The fashion, malls, arcades, holographic pokemon cards, blueberry slurpees, fast food logos. Everything was bright af and I think that just kinda stuck with me.

    7. How would you describe the current trajectory of your work?

    I think the current trajectory of my artwork is to just evolve what I’m currently doing and trusting myself and the process / more. Creating without fear. Living, Laughing, and Loving and all that.


    8. Who/ what do you draw inspiration from creatively? Whether it is musical, visual, literary, religious, sources?

    To be honest everything is inspiring to me. I get so inspired that it’s overwhelming. It’s a gift and a curse.


    9. What do you do to pull yourself out of a creative block?

    To pull yourself out of a creative block sometimes you just have to step away for a little bit. We aren’t robots (yet) and we have to take breaks sometimes. Changing your scenery is a good way to get out of a block as well.


    10. What is the desired effect that you hope for your art to have on its viewers?

    Pretty much my only goal with my art is to make people think and feel. Whether it’s feelings of joy or disgust I want to make people feel.

  • EDO
    Infinite Grace. 48×60. Acrylic on canvas. 2019


    Traveling beings journey. Predicting what’s to become the future with understanding where you are in the present with the knowledge you gained from the past, all through the silhouette of the iconic Nefertiti!

    1. Name: Eddie Santana White (Edo is my artist name) IG: @legomyedo Location: Chicago, IL Website: Totheinfinite.com

    2. What inspired you to begin creating art?

    Well, What inspired me to begin creating art was…. I’m actually easily inspired by everything you know. But I guess subconsciously it was A sense of escapism like I had a place where I could go to to be free in a way. A place where there was no rules. A place where I could put all of my own emotions & energy into. For the things I was going through, at the time, art was like therapy to me so that’s kind of how it happened you know. I just found myself creating and how it made me feel that sense of freedom was so new to me… Really euphoric in a way. So yeah I would say that’s what inspired me. The freedom/escapism of it. Well that’s what initially inspired me. Now it’s more so about being of service to the world through my work. Being a messenger/ vessel in a way.

    Excelsior. 48×48. Acrylic on canvas. 2019.


    Stan Lee is one of my biggest inspirations. This piece is dedicated to his legacy he left behind for us nerds. There’s over 90 objects all referencing my favorite characters from the wonderful mind of Stan Lee including Fantastic 4, Iron Man, X-Men, and even Spider-Man. This piece also possesses objects that speak to Stan Lee’s personal life.

    3. To what degree does your cultural background/heritage influence your work?

    My cultural background influenced my work alot. As Im thinking about it right now I’m realizing that a lot of my work has to do with us knowing our own worth as far as Minorities & African Americans. We belong in these places too. We deserve everything that everybody else feels that they deserve. We’re the creators of so many things and I feel that gets even more lost with each generation. That’s why I feel like I’m here to really show my people that you can dream too & you can do what you want to do. You can look how you want to look. And you don’t have to be afraid to dream in this world. It’s a beautiful thing to dream. Majority of my work speaks to that. Don’t be afraid to open your eyes, unlock your mind, and dream. They can’t take that away from you!

    PERSPECTIVE 2020

    4. What draws you to create with this medium in particular?

    What draws me to create within the medium I created in is…. It’s really just how my mind works. I’m extremely particular, very organized and structured. I think everything through for the most part. Ninety five percent of my paintings are all thought through before I start. And then the other five percent happens organically as I go on to paint a painting. But for the most part yes its really how I think. I wanted to make art that possessed many things in it & wasn’t just one thing you can look at and it just stays the same & lives in that time space. I want my work to transcend and I want it to consistently refresh itself over time that’s where the “infinite” comes from. because you can look at my work right now and find something in it & then you can look at it a year from now and find something completely different in it. It grows with the collector and I think that’s a beautiful beautiful thing.

    PERSPECTIVE 2020

    5. How does the medium help to depict your ideas?

    I think it helps to depict my ideas because it allows for my messages to come through clearly. For the most part it gets directly to the point I’m trying to prove. It’s simple enough for the youth to digest but complex enough for an art cultured being to study it.

    6. Why do you use the colors/forms/shapes/textures/patterns that you do?

    I use the colors, shapes, words, and phrases all for specific reasons. I use the colors because I want to attract the eyes to the painting. Once you get to the painting the shapes, words and phrases all combine to tell a specific story (story varies depending on the actual piece). But I also want the viewer to immerse themselves in my work. Because even though I’m telling a specific story, it’s really not about me. It’s about the viewer, and how much the piece resonates with them. I love when people get lost in my work !

    Elsewhere. 60×48. Acrylic on canvas. 2017.


    This is my first painting ever. Elsewhere, is the tale of an humanoid named M-A-R-C (Making A Real Change & Mental and Reality Connection) who journeys from his dying planet earth, to the inhabitable planet, Elsewhere. While on his journey he encounters many allies, foes, obstacles and fun filled experiences.


    This piece was also created to take the viewer on a journey of self discovery. The viewer is to immerse themselves in the piece, let their minds run wild & enjoy the ride !

    7. How would you describe the current trajectory of your work?

    The current trajectory of my work is it’s becoming a lot more spiritual! My new series speaks to that a lot. I think it’s really interesting as we grow we tend to elevate (atleast those who seek elevation). Raise our frequencies. That’s exactly what’s going on with me & my work. The stories I’m telling are from more of a spiritual place. It’s no longer about me, truly. Certain messages hit me and inspire me to create something to give to the world. My work is also becoming a bit more intricate and clean. The way the colors lay to even the line work… everything stepped up another notch !

    8. Who/ what do you draw inspiration from creatively? Whether it is musical, visual, literary, religious, etc sources?

    I really do draw inspiration from any and everything. I could hear a conversation and pick up something pivotal or I could be walking down a street and my eye catches something. I give my all to be present and aware of my surroundings. My biggest inspiration lately has been my inner spirit. I get quiet and I just listen. Allowing it to guide me. It’s sparked some of my best work to date & the new work I’m working on !

    Infinite Truth. 48×48. Acrylic on canvas. 2018


    What’s reality and what’s a dream ? This painting dives into that question taking the viewer on a journey where they themselves will be force to answer that question. 90+ objects referencing my favorite Jim Carrey movies, my favorite being The Truman Show.

    9. What do you do to pull yourself out of a creative block?

    To be honest I don’t really have creative blocks. Might sound weird but it’s true (hahaha). If anything I have to tell myself to relax at times. My mind is always running & I usually burn out ! So lately I’ve been giving myself Grace periods just to to absolutely nothing. Not the easiest thing to do, but I’m getting better for sure!

    10. What is the desired effect that you hope for your art to have on its viewers?

    The desired effect I want my work to have on the viewers is simple…. I want it to heal and inspire them. I want it to bring joy & light into the minds, homes, galleries, and buildings around the world !

    [HEAL SOCIETY & LOVE INFINITELY]

    The artist in front of “DOWN THERE” 2021b
  • Sahaya Sharma Kapur
    Empire of Light (2020), Oil, enamel and acrylic on canvas, 4×4 ft

    1. Name: Sahaya Sharma Kapur IG: @sahayasharma Location: New Delhi, India Website: http://www.sahayasahaya.com


    2. What inspired you to begin creating art?

    Childhood escapism. Creating art has always been a transcendental activity for me. It was something I made in the confines of my bedroom that I shared with my sister. It was a safe space I went to. I started off with making birthday and festival cards for every family member. I’ve basically been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember!


    3. To what degree does your cultural background/heritage influence your work?

    Immensely! India is the land of Spirituality, colour and Chaos. I like to believe that Colour and an organised Chaos are some of the visual elements that inform my work. A very apparent and predominant theme that seems to inspire the process, painting titles and my life at large is Spirituality.

    Agate (2020), Acrylic and acrylic pour on paper, 31”x41”


    4. What draws you to create with this medium in particular and how does it depict your ideas?

    I’m very drawn to the fluidity of paint and its versatile nature. Painting is linked with the movement of the wrist and the wrist is informed by the mind. I regard painting as a highly spiritual act and it does justice to some of the esoteric ideas that I paint around like the Hierarchy of the Soul and Ascension (Eye in the Sky).

    Ascension Series / Eye in the Sky (2021), Oil, enamel, acrylic and colour pencil on paper,
    14”x21”

    8. Who/ what do you draw inspiration from creatively?

    Occultism, Meditation and Music. The term Occultism was introduced into the English language by the esotericist Helena Blavatsky. In 1875, Blavatsky started a society called The Theosophical Society which teaches that the purpose of human life is spiritual emancipation and claims that the human soul undergoes reincarnation upon bodily death according to a process of karma. Books by members of this society really inspire me eg. Masters and the Path, The Voice of Silence and The Path of Occultism by C. W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant amoung many others.

    I practice daily meditations of a spiritual school called Pranic Healing that was founded by Grand Master Choa Kok Sui.

    Music is another stimulus that really inspires my being and fuels my creativity. I listen to a wide range of genres from alternative indie rock, classic rock and roll, sufi, old school Bollywood retro music, Folk fusion and Spiritual Chants. Some of the artists that I love across these genres are – Foals, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, A. R. Rahman, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle, Achint, Lifafa, Techpanda & Kenzani. Chants by my spiritual guru GMCKS and other transcendental chants are always playing on repeat in the studio.

    Empire of Light (2020), Oil, enamel and acrylic on canvas, 4×4 ft


    6. Why do you use the colours/ forms/ shapes/textures/ patterns that you do?

    Colours- My colour palette is a unique balance between earthly, pastel and fluorescent. I enjoy working with all three because they all seem to represent my artistic sensibilities.

    Forms and Shapes – The forms are fluidic and organic in nature that are achieved with a lot of layering. Like a coral reef on acid or an ant inside a kaleidoscope. I’m really inspired by the triangle as a shape these days, itsignifies an upward movement towards cosmic consciousness.

    Textures & Patterns- I’ve finally formulated a unique signature brushwork that I thoroughly enjoy. The colours inform the textures that I create with my fingerprints, my side palms, tissue paper, end of the paint brush and other tools


    7. How would you describe the current trajectory of your work?

    My 2021 body of work is very one pointed in aesthetic and more defined as compared to my previous works. I’m trying to work towards a spiritual dynamism in terms of colour, shape and flow by using shapes like triangles, circles, diamonds and stars.

    I’ve taken a lot of refuge in my own meditative practices and inspiration from the Neo Tantric art movement that originated in the 1960’s in India. In Sanskrit Tantra means “loom” or “weave,” but also “treatise.” What I am trying to do is to express my own learnings and epiphanies in the work. It’s a marriage between knowledge and experience.

    9. What do you do to pull yourself out of a creative block?

    When I reach a creative block, I astral travel, physically travel or simply distance myself from the studio for a bit. I reach a block when I get very overwhelmed with the inspiration at hand and reach a sort analysis paralysis. The time away from the studio really helps in distilling the creative inspiration. The residue of the inspiration is the artwork.



    10. What is the desired effect that you hope for your art to have on its viewers?

    I aspire to create art that moves individuals and transports them to some place and back just for a little bit. I believe that the very purpose of art is to transcend. I have a thing I say- “Good art makes you want to go to the bathroom…It hits you in the gut and suspends your soul for two seconds”

    Painting Caving In (2019). Shot by Ahvanya Sharma
  • Seema Shakti

    1. Name: Seema Shakti

    IG: seemashakti

    Location: New York City

    Website: www.seemashakti.com

    2. What inspired you to begin creating art?

    I’m a self-taught visual artist without formal training and I’ve enjoyed visual art as a medium of expression since my childhood. I created art more seriously after graduating college and began to formally identify as a visual artist in 2012. I initially worked with acrylics, however my current preferred mediums are digital and watercolor. I currently create a mix of abstract art and illustrations that center my identity as a womxn of color.

    3. To what degree does your cultural background/heritage influence your work?

    It plays such a major role in my art as my Indo-Caribbean and South Asian heritage molded me throughout my formative years. My cultural background influences my vibrant use of colors as well as the symbolism and motifs that appear in my work. My heritage is what grounds me and so, it will always have a place in the work that I create.

    4. What draws you to create with this medium in particular?

    I was initially drawn to watercolors because of it’s organic fluidity, making me feel in tune with the flow of nature. I experimented with it for a bit in the beginning as I worked with acrylics, but I fully transitioned to watercolors when I lived abroad. It was both portable and easy-to-carry, which was the perfect combination for travel! I got into digital art a little over a year ago and I enjoy the versatility of it. It gives me the space and flexibility to experiment and grow in new ways as an artist. It’s ability to mimic the feeling of traditional painting is the reason why I was first drawn to it.

    5. How does the medium help to depict your ideas?

    Watercolors can sometimes be unpredictable since the flow of water can alter the design I initially had in mind. It very easily crosses the boundaries of my pencil-marked sketches and feels a bit like improv because I need to incorporate and build on the changes in shape that the watercolors create. It works for me since I’m not a perfectionist in my work and I’m not so much concerned with the perfect geometric alignment of my illustrations. Painting with watercolors allows me to let go of expectations and fully trust in the process. I also love its gradual and meditative nature. Digital art has more versatility, allowing me to manipulate my art in a wider range of ways. I can play around with color quite easily and manipulate shape and size in a way that I can’t when working with traditional paint and paper. So, each of the mediums complement each other and digital drawing can allow for more precision, while watercolors are a bit more messy and fluid. I like the balance and it works for me since I start creating with an open-mind and build off of my initial idea as I go along.

    6. Why do you use the colors/forms/shapes/textures/patterns that you do?

    My intuition guides my work and creating is an organic and meditative process for me. Sometimes I start with an idea or a feeling, however when I’m creating for myself, I typically just start drawing and go with the flow without thinking too hard about the outcome. I’ll use vibrant colors in my work with wave-like brushstrokes. The waves and curved lines represent the fluidity and flow of feminine energy. Many of my illustrations will feature the female form and it’s something that I organically incorporated into my work to celebrate and honor our natural form as womxn. The female body is oversexualized in society and taboo in its naked form, but it’s how we enter this world from the womb. I see the female form as an extension of mother nature and I uplift that in my work. You’ll also see the use of the third eye in my artwork and it represents the window to our inner world and connection to our intuition. I was exposed to the power of meditation, yoga, and ayurveda from a young age and the third eye is representative of that part of my upbringing. Both of my parents were very religious and I was most attracted to the spiritual and mystical aspects of understanding life and our purpose.

    7. How would you describe the current trajectory of your work?

    For over a year now, I’ve been in a state of flow with my creative practice and I’ve been experimenting and growing in new and innovative ways. I want to further expand my work and share it with a wider audience. My work is created through the lens of my identity as a womxn of color and I think it’s important to share that perspective. I want to continue creating abstract work and illustrations through a mix of personal pieces, commissioned artwork, and collaborations and partnerships. I’d also like to participate in art shows and present my work in new platforms and spaces.

    8. Who/ what do you draw inspiration from creatively? Whether it is musical, visual, literary, religious, etc sources?

    First and foremost, I draw inspiration from mother nature. And, inspiration can also be found in the lyrics of a song or the sound of an instrument. I may also be inspired by the beautiful entryway of an old building as I’m taking a walk in my neighborhood or I might feel creatively energized through a conversation with friends or acquaintances. The sources of inspiration around me are endless and show up spontaneously. So, it’s about keeping all of my senses open as I interact with the environment around me every day.

    9. What is the desired effect that you hope for your art to have on its viewers?

    I hope that my work brings people joy through connecting with the magic of their divine feminine power. We get so caught up in the external world that we forget the immense power we hold within. Whether or not a viewer identifies as a womxn, we each have a balance of divine masculine energy and divine feminine energy within us. I seek to strengthen and uplift the divine feminine power within viewers.

  • Sandro

    1. Name: Sandro
    IG: @saniodigitalart
    Location: Croatia, Europe
    Website: N/A

    2. What inspired you to begin creating art?


    I have always been attracted to art since I was a child. My paternal grandfather used to draw simple drawings for me and he showed me how to simply draw animals at the beginning.
    As a kid I loved to watch animated movies and when I saw ‘Prince of Egypt’ somehow my fascination towards ancient Egypt woke up.
    Being ‘able’ to draw gave me an ability to give life back to the people of Egypt.
    I went to art classes in school, my art was recognized and awarded and it only motivated me to carry on and draw.
    After a while, when my parents bought me my first PC I started to use Photoshop and that is how SanioDigitalArt was born. 🙂

    3. To what degree does your cultural background/heritage influence your work?


    I am Slavic, so my culture and heritage is more of a ‘Witcher’ style but never the less I adore our ancient mythology and culture.
    However, I never actually drew anything that is connected to my heritage.
    Maybe I should give it a try now and then.

    4. What draws you to create with this medium in particular?


    I use Photoshop. Before it and now and then I use watercolors and graphic pencils to draw but my favorite medium is for sure Photoshop.
    I can make countless mistakes and fixes and the colors are very vibrant and bold, what I actually love.

    5. Why do you use the colors/forms/shapes/textures/patterns that you do?


    I love, just simply love to illustrate white cloth on a dark skin and add golden jewellery.
    The combination of white, brown and gold is something that is very divine for me and attractive a lot.

    6. How would you describe the current trajectory of your work?


    Well a work 9 – 5 every day during the week and I find it very hard to focus on my art and I can feel that my art and my inspiration suffers because of it.
    At the moment I have lots of commissions, job offerings to illustrate books and miscellaneous items and to be honest I am on a crossroad of my life, thinking of quitting my job and giving 100% to my art.
    And with each day passing I am close to step on the road of my art. 🙂

    7. Who/ what do you draw inspiration from creatively? Whether it is musical, visual, literary, religious, etc sources?


    One of my biggest inspirations are women. Their strength yet softness. Their beauty and power.
    Also, as you all know, ancient Egypt is my huge inspiration.
    Show me a strong queen, princess or even an ordinary woman and soon I will have a vision.

    8. What do you do to pull yourself out of a creative block?


    That’s a tough one. I had a creative block for almost a year. And it was very hard to push myself back into the creative world.
    But once I started, once people started to praise my art, it gave me the fuel to draw more.
    My art makes me happy. And I see that it makes other people happy. And that is very important if you ask me.
    The task of an artist is to spread joy and happiness.

    9. What is the desired effect that you hope for your art to have on its viewers?


    It is very simple. I want to make people happy. When they see my art, they feel the warmth of happiness inside them. 🙂

  • Lori Saint Rome

    1. Name: Lori Saint Rome IG: @bylorintheory Location: Orlando, Florida Country of Origin: Haiti

    Website: https://www.inprnt.com/gallery/lorintheory/


    2. What inspired you to begin creating art?


    I started drawing at a very young age. I did it on and off throughout the years. I would say my love for art and creativity in general inspires me. Creating art is like therapy for me.


    3. To what degree does your cultural background/heritage influence your work?


    I am originally from Haiti and to some extent that is a big part of who I am. So I’d say that it does influence my work. For examples, Haiti is a very mountainous country with beautiful landscapes and you can see that inspiration of mountains and landscapes all throughout my work.


    4. What draws you to create with this medium in particular?


    I love digital drawing because I find it easier to use to create. Watercolor will always have a place in my heart since it’s mostly where it started for me, but digital gives me more freedom to create the images I like. It allows me to incorporate more elements and textures into my art.

    5. Why do you use the colors/forms/shapes/textures/patterns that you do?


    I love colors and nature in general so I choose colors and shapes and forms that depict that. I go for mountains, circles and many shapes found in nature. I love the fluidity of natural items.


    6. How would you describe the current trajectory of your work?

    I am still learning and still growing as an illustrator. I hope to find my very distinct style soon. Until then, I’ll keep creating.


    7. Who/ what do you draw inspiration from creatively? Whether it is musical, visual, literary, relgious, etc sources?


    I find creation all around me. I am also a photographer so I get a lot of inspiration from my own work and photography in general. Also from people and things around me.

    8. What do you do to pull yourself out of a creative block?


    I usually do a lot of self care. I have found that creative blocks often mean that I am not taking care of all areas of my life. At least not enough so I take breaks and practice my self care routines to bring me back to my creative mindset.


    9. What is the desired effect that you hope for your art to have on its viewers?

    I hope my art brings peace and inspires others to be themselves and to find beauty in the little things.

  • Maya Varadaraj

    1. Name: Maya Varadaraj IG: @maya_vara Current Location: New York Country of Origin: India Website: www.m-vara.com

    2. What inspired you to begin creating art?

    I was lucky to grow up with opportunities to learn how to draw and paint and sculpt and just play around with a lot of materials and mediums. I think my academic pursuits were just a continuation of that and I’m fortunate to have a career in it.

    3. To what degree does your cultural background/heritage influence your work?

    100% – I continue to learn about my own identity as I explore my heritage and its histories through my work. I really enjoy the research aspect of my work, and I try my best to translate the research in an approachable manner.

    4. What draws you to create with this medium in particular?

    I work across a number of different mediums, and my research most always informs the medium I choose to work in.

    5. How does the medium help to depict your ideas?

    The medium I work in is an integral part of the concept of the work. It has to make sense and perhaps a part of this comes from an academic background in design where process, research, and methodology takes precedence over the final product or mediums I am most comfortable with.

    6. Why do you use the colors/forms/shapes/textures/patterns that you do?

    Research and process. I’ve been working a lot with concentric circles lately and they reference mandalas from Buddhist and Hindu visuals. The reason for this is because while the mandalas inspire introspection, religion is often the origin of violence towards women. Concentric circles are also used in data visualization and I am working on a project that relates to crime statistics so the intersection of concentric circles used in these different ways works for me.

    7. How would you describe the current trajectory of your work?

    My work is currently explorative; one project leads to another that leads to another and that keeps me busy. I really love research, so I’m excited to get into some new resources to ideate.

    8. Who/what do you draw inspiration from creatively? Whether it is musical, visual, literary, religious, etc sources?

    I would say history and historical narratives – I like visualizing the cycles of repetition and how society responded with the tools and mindsets of that time. I also really love industrial landscapes machine aesthetic.

    9. What do you do to pull yourself out of a creative block?

    Organize. I find that when I’m in a creative block it is usually because there’s either too much external noise or overcrowded ideas and too much subjectivity. So I stop and organize; in a very objective way so that I can clear some of that chaos and focus more easily. If that doesn’t work then I stop and indulge in some escapism till I feel ready to come back to it.

    10. What is the desired effect that you hope for your art to have on its viewers?

    I always hope that my work brings up questions for its viewers.

  • Kiyomi Quinn Taylor
    1. Name: Kiyomi Quinn Taylor       IG: @Kiyomitay     Location: New York    Website: kiyomitaylor.com

    2. What inspired you to begin creating art?

    When I was younger I loved to read but, I was very visual. It was much easier for me to formulate a picture (also, somehow less scary) than to choose words to express myself. As I learned more about creating things with my hands, I recognized that I could use materials (drawing, painting, collage) to express complicated feelings and stories without the choosing of specific words, but with instead choosing symbols, settings and characters in a way that employed my hands and my body; I was inspired to begin creating my own premeditated projects. Also, there were a lot of things that I found beautiful in my parents’ home: kimonos, paintings, and old photographs. I was excited about the idea of wrestling different, compelling, aesthetic elements from the world around me into my own creations. 

    3. To what degree does your cultural background/heritage influence your work?

    My cultural heritage has a huge influence on my work. My grandmother was Japanese. There were always old Japanese dolls in the house, woodblock prints, colorful, ornate kimonos and obis. That was a big influence. It stoked a love of texture and color.  Black culture on both sides of my family also inspired a love of style and color. And music – which though more tenuously related to my work, is apart of my upbringing, apart of many important relationships and has certainly had an effect on what I make and how I make it. Rhythm is in everything – either conceptually or in the physicality of the making. 

    4. What draws you to create with this medium in particular?

    I love collage and mixed media because I love texture and color, I also love literally drawing from the world around me. While I know I could mix any color I dream of, it is sometimes more exciting for me to come across a paper or a fabric or a textile in the world that I love and to find a way to use it harmoniously with painting or drawing or other collected materials in a larger work. 

    5. How does the medium help to depict your ideas?

    The medium is conducive to the ideas because just as I piece together ideas and images from many different places – different times in my life and the lives of my family members – into one story or one narrative image. I utilize techniques and materials pulled from equally disparate places to tell that story or depict that scene more faithfully and more directly. A “Frankenstein” usage of material accompanies a “Frankenstein” manner of story telling.

    6. Why do you use the colors/textures/patterns that you do?

    I use a lot of highly saturated colors. Lately I’ve also been using a lot of transparent vinyl and felt. I use highly saturated colors because I feel they evoke a certain psychological and emotional response – deliberate warmth to draw out a dream-like feeling. Almost like you are watching everything from beneath your eyelid. The vinyl and felt are extremes of textures, fuzzy/opaque and smooth/transparent that I employ to mimic different sensory essences from the world around us (both, indoor and outdoor.) I use vinyl to create windows and skylines and felt to create hills, grass, rugs etcetera. 

    7. How would you describe the current trajectory of your work?

    I would describe the current trajectory of my work as heading towards more movement, more text, and more materials. It is snowballing in complexity in a way that I hope will ultimately lead to more simple and impactful work when I figure out how to balance all these elements, old and new.

    8. Who/what do you draw inspiration from creatively?

    I draw the most creative inspiration from music, literature and theatre. Jazz, Soul, and R & B music gives me a litmus for concise, affecting sentiments told with many harmonious parts and told – ultimately – with rhythm. Earth, Wind and Fire, The Dramatics, Eddie Kendricks and The Emotions (and many others) are artists I often look to for rhythm/soulfulness to sustain physical making in the studio as well as for examples of earnest-feeling, affecting, precise, lyrical, story telling. From literature and theatre I draw the conscious building of meaningful scenes, settings, and characters. I love science fiction, high fantasy, and gothic horror literature especially – this has a big influence on the kinds of imagery I use in painting which, is sometimes related to “magical realism.” I think about specifically acting a lot as well. Especially in regard to manufactured earnestness, and measured/willfully executed “truthfulness” of action – tasks that are made much more difficult by the consciousness/awareness of an audience (just as in visual art.)

    9. What do you do to pull yourself out of a creative block?

    To pull myself out of a creative block I move my body. I like to go for runs. Nowadays, I am pretty emotionally and physically reliant on a series of online workout videos. I also like to read a book at night before bed always but I am extra religious about it if I am feeling creatively blocked. I’m always reading something fictional. 

    10. What is the desired effect that you hope for your art to have on its viewers?

    I hope that my art makes viewers feel like there is a world deeper and more complex underlying their own day-to-day world – like a great book does.

  • Lina Puerta
    Untitled, from the Botánico Series, 2017
    45”H. x 50” W (Base) Overall: 81”H x 60” . x 24D. (Installation Variable)
    Polyurethane, wood, paint, sequined and textured fabrics; lace, rhinestones, beads, chains, artificial plants and moss; fake fur and fringe.

    Name: Lina Puerta
    IG: @linapuertaart

    Current Location: NYC

    Country of Origin: USA/Colombia

    Website: http://www.linapuerta.net

    What inspired you to begin creating art? Seeing Art and being deeply moved by it.

    To what degree does your cultural background/heritage influence your work?
    For a long time I resisted the idea that my cultural background had any influence in my work, especially as art that is not made by white artists tends to be exoticized. But, with time, I’ve realized my background and upbringing, as with any person, is part of who I am and therefore it is very present in the work, sometimes unintentionally.

    Untitled (Turquoise/Tapestries Series), 2016,
    49″ x 38″
    Handmade Paper composed of pigmented cotton, linen and abaca pulp; embedded with lace, sequined fabrics, velvet ribbon, fake fur, feathers, appliqués, chains and found insect wings.

    What draws you to create with a medium in particular?
    The medium is very often what guides me. I work with materials that I like, I’m attracted to or find interesting. It can be anything from a gorgeous textile I picked up at a market, a crochet flower made by my mother to an ordinary object salvaged from trash on the street.

    How does the medium help to depict your ideas?
    I usually start with a general, vague idea and as I combine materials, the materials themselves show me the way. It is a lot of trying out of different material combinations and then paying close attention to what happens, until I find what works.

    Untitled (Basket and Watches), 2014
    14”H. x 11”W. x 3”D (36 x 28 x 7.5 cm)
    Basket, Polyurethane foam, concrete, fabric, faux fur, beads, watches, chains, beads, artificial moss, Swarovski crystals and flocking.

    Why do you use the colors/forms/shapes/textures/patterns that you do?
    Because I love them! I like to work with textures and colors that I love, find interesting and make me happy. I also employ textures and materials associated with body adornment, joy and celebration, such as sequined fabrics, metallics, jewelry, rhinestones, feathers, beads, etc.

    Alto, 2012 23” H x 22” W x .6D Polyurethane and Polystyrene foam; concrete, wood, glass mosaic, paint, fabric, fiberfill, rhinestones, notions, beads, artificial plants and moss.

    Who/ what do you draw inspiration from creatively? Whether it is musical, visual, literary, religious, etc sources?
    I draw inspiration mainly from Nature, but also from many different contemporary artists such as, Kiki Smith, Olga de Amaral, Rina Banarjee, Marisol, Doris Salcedo as well as, artist friends such as Elena Herzog, Rachelle Mozman and Esperanza Cortes. In the past year, I’ve become increasingly interested in anti-colonialist, indigenous philosophy and their ways of relating to nature and the world around us, through for instance, the writings of Robin Wall Kimmerer.

    Crop Laborer- Green, 2018 29” H x 20” W Handmade paper composed of pigmented cotton, linen, and abaca pulp; embedded and finished with sequined fabrics, lace and gouache.

    What do you do to pull yourself out of a creative block?
    I would say I try to avoid creative blocks by keeping a work routine. If I take a long break from working in the studio, which sometimes happens, I find it’s easy to get stuck and creatively blocked. One strategy that works for me is to work on several works at the same time, so you always have something unfinished to get back to, after a long work interruption.

    What is the desired effect that you hope for your art to have on its viewers?
    I hope for the work to bring joy and wonderment to the viewer, while also bringing awareness to social and environmental issues that we may not like or want to confront.

    Portrait of the artist Lina Puerta in front of one of her mixed media works.
  • Amrit Singh Sandhu
    Hello Ji, Sab Theek?
    2020
    Oil on canvas
    78”x 60”

    Name: Amrit Singh Sandhu 

    IG: @amrit_artworks;

    Current Location: Brooklyn, New York Country of Origin: India

    Website: https://amritartworks.wixsite.com/55555

    What inspired you to begin creating art?
    I’ve been passionate about art since as long as I can remember. As a kid watching my father, who is also an artist, create things with such passion and dedication made me pick up brush to paint even before I learned how to write. I think my father and being surrounded by his art has been my biggest source of inspiration. 


    To what degree does your cultural background/heritage influence your work?
    I think one can never be separated from their heritage because it is a part of their identity. In my work, even when I’m not trying to depict that aspect, it still is visible through the subject matter and characters in my paintings that are mainly inspired by my family and my society back in India. Having spent so much time away from home, I respect and acknowledge my culture and all the beautiful things my country has to offer more than I did before. I try to use Indian elements and resources to enhance and connect with that part of my identity.

    Man Sitting On The Sofa
    2019
    Oil on canvas
    40”x 30”


    What draws you to create with this medium in particular?
    I’m a painter, I love paint—the way it has a life of its own. You don’t control it, you follow wherever it takes you. With its rich pigments and textures, its limitless abilities excite me and keep me curious, which as an artist, is the most important thing.

    Her Name is Masi
    2018
    Oil on canvas
    40″x 30

    How does the medium help to depict your ideas?
    The freedom that paint has allows me to break away from my initial “plan” and follow my intuitions. A painting can only be made when you’re painting it and it needs space to evolve and transform. It helps me to be in the moment to translate my thoughts and vision or sometimes surprise me with something unexpected and adventurous!

    Why do you use the colors/forms/shapes/textures/patterns that you do?
    The colors and forms that I use help me to be playful and experiment with spatial aspects of reality that I depict in my work. I think complimentary colors are very powerful and I try to push those ideas forward. Textures and patterns enhance the movement within the frame and also allow me to bring a touch of my culture through the different Indian textiles I use as painting surfaces.

    Guava Tree
    2020
    Oil on printed fabric
    60”x 48”

    How would you describe the current trajectory of your work?

    Right now my work is kind of all over the place as I’m figuring things out. I’m trying to experiment more than following a single style, which I think is a great place to be in. It’s important for one’s thoughts and practice to keep evolving and getting out of your comfort zone is the key.

    Who/what do you draw inspiration from creatively?
    Life and living beings inspire me. Aspects about color or design that I’ve learned in school, you can see nature already do that, whether it’s the patterns of leaves, changing colors of the sky or how animals move and think—beavers build dams, ants communicating with each other and so much more. It’s just so magical and inspiring.

    Lady And A Painting
    2020
    Oil on canvas
    36”x 24”

    What do you do to pull yourself out of a creative block?
    I think having a creative block is as important as being in the zone to create. It allows the mind to step back to reflect on the things already created and also teaches patience. I’ve been facing too much of that recently because of this stressful year and it can get frustrating. To get out of it, I try to take a break and read, go to museums and observe as much as possible because you never know when an idea is going to pop up. Sometimes making studies of my favorite artworks also helps.

    What is the desired effect that you hope for your art to have on its viewers?
    I want my art to translate the intentions and thoughts behind each piece as well as give room for interpretation and connection with the viewers. I want to reach that stage one day when the viewers stop and wonder out of curiosity and intrigue “How is that painting doing that!” But I need to make a lot of bad paintings to be able to create a good one.

    The artist with one of her works

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