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Gory Exercises in Creativity, Interview with Cassandra Sechler

Artist interview with horror film director Cassandra Sechler


How do you express your creativity? How did you become interested in your creative practice?

I have various outlets for my creativity. I love being involved with film/camera work, photography, spfx makeup, lighting, wardrobe, painting, design, sculpture, writing, acting, drawing, poetry, just to name a few, with my main interest in writing, directing, and photography.

When I first saw King Kong as a child, I became interested in filmmaking and acting. Fay Wray screaming fascinated me at the age of 3, and I asked my mom, “Can I be her when I grow up?” My mom, said, “Yes, she’s an actress. You can be an actress. You can be whatever you want.” Of course, I found that I prefer being behind the camera, but from an early age I found I was obsessed  with the cinema and wanted to be creatively involved with it. I mean, come on, screaming in front of the camera as a job? Hell yeah. My dad also taught me how to draw and paint when I was very young, which I am grateful for as drawing is my favorite method of brainstorming for projects.
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How do you decide if an idea is viable? Do you act on all your creative ideas?

Even if I had all the money in the world I wouldn’t act on every idea I had. Some of my ideas are ridiculous! Often my ideas that are rooted in genuine interest and passion come from my dreams and nightmares. I know that they are worth doing 1) because I feel it in my heart, gut, and loin, and 2) because I can make them happen no matter the team or budget. Budget is always a concern but never something that holds me back. I make things happen because a voice and feeling inside my body tells me that a thought/story/feeling I have is worth trying to tell the world.

Elliot Official Teaser Trailer from Dreams for Dead Cats Productions on Vimeo.

TEARFUL SURRENDER Promo Animation by Dominik Litwiniak from Dreams for Dead Cats Productions on Vimeo.

Tearful Surrender Teaser 1 from Cassandra Sechler on Vimeo.

What are you working on currently?

Currently, I am working on two feature length projects: Elliot and Tearful Surrender. Elliot is a dystopian sci-fi/horror film, and for that I’m the Assistant Director, key Makeup Artist, actor, camera operator, and lighting designer on the project. Tearful Surrender is an erotic horror trilogy where I am acting as writer, director, cinematographer, costume designer, and much more. I am working on the art of wearing as many hats as possible on both projects! I am also in the middle of writing the script for my next feature film.

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On the set of Elliot

 

 

 

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Elliot still, Copyright, Cassandra Sechler, 2016.


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Elliot Official Teaser Trailer from Dreams for Dead Cats Productions on Vimeo.

How have you made it financially possible to focus on your creative work?The expression “don’t quit your day job” rings true here. I work two jobs to pay rent, bills and support my art. I am the lead director at Dreams For Dead Cats Productions, a DIY art/film collaborative here in San Francisco, co-run by filmmaker/musician Craig Jacobson. Together we work as freelance photographers/videographers/editors/actors/you name it, with the goal being to help bring zero/low budget projects with a soul to life and promote underground artists. I also have my day job as a graphic designer/Administrative Assistant/social media coordinator for a non profit called the Friends of Sharon Art Studio.

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Tearful Surrender concept art, Copyright, Cassandra Sechler, 2016.

Most all of what I do creatively is self-funded because I want final say in my work with no outside producers. I’ve had a couple projects partially financed with crowd-funding and donations, which has been a great experience, and still allowing me to have final say in the project.

What are some of your influences?

My biggest influences are my dreams/nightmares and feelings about life, social issues, and various existential crises I want to confront. I’m also influenced by my favorite artists, such as David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, Cindy Sherman, Charlie White, Francis Bacon, Kenneth Anger, and many others. My influences are constantly evolving, often stemming from my subconscious.

Elliot-Concept-Art-colorfulElliot concept, Copyright, Cassandra Sechler, 2016.

How do you record or remember and respond to your dreams? Do you keep a dream journal?

I’ve kept dream journals since I was a teenager. Remembering my dreams and being inspired by them has been important to me for many years. When I was a child I would awake from hideous nightmares screaming and crying. My dad taught me to love my dreams AND my nightmares. He reminded me of how much I love horror movies and that nightmares were FREE horror movies. He told me to always write down my most vivid dreams and to remember my nightmares and make them into art. So, yes, I keep a dream journal/sketchbook and write/draw about anything that stood out in a dream of mine. I have many recurring dreams, issues and fears I must confront in both my dreams and my art. It’s a beautiful and inspiring ordeal to deconstruct such dreams.

There are macabre, dark themes running through much of your work, can you describe how they enable you to express your vision?

When I see people smiling, laughing, riding bikes through the park or having a picnic with their families and being “happy” I feel that it’s such a lie. Just call me Holden Caulfield. For me, it is much more honest to portray unhappiness, dark thoughts, and macabre imagery. I want to talk about death, sickness, sadness, sexuality, etc. It’s healthy. People who smile all the time without a care in the world frighten me. Macabre is beautiful. Macabre is honest.
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Tearful Surrender concept, Copyright, Cassandra Sechler, 2016.

For the uninitiated, could you talk about the intersection between sexuality and horror? Tell us about the erotic horror anthology you have in the works.

Sex and death have always been of interest to me. They are so close to being the same thing, and are so beautiful, sad, and fascinating to me. Sexuality and horror tie together so well because both are intense, sometimes violent, dangerous, dark aspects of humanity and psychology. What makes them so entertaining is that they are so revealing of all of our fears and thoughts about mortality and the self, both worth examining and fantasizing about.

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Tearful Surrender is an erotic horror trilogy that explores the fantastical facets of love, death, eroticism, and the unknown. Filled with lust, the hunger for blood, the mysteries of immortality, demons, zombies, necrophilia, and copious amounts of blood, each story uses nature, sexuality, and violence to represent the sadness of what it is to be immortal. With this film, I want to examine the terrors and desires of the unknown, the unforgiving qualities of love, the struggle to understand these desires, and the acceptance of fate of inevitable death alongside the pains of longing. Each story examines the heartache and frustration of what it is to be an immortal monster in this lonely world.

What challenges have you faced in your creative work?

Besides funding challenges, which are always an issue for DIY/micro budget films and projects, I would have to say that the biggest struggle has been finding like-minded artists to work with who are as passionate about art but can leave their ego at the door (AKA trustworthy, honest, hard working individuals…sounds easy but it’s not). It’s been a challenge to stand your own ground with making projects that are tough to swallow while so many others are making pictures for the sake of distribution or recognition. It can be daunting to know what you’re doing may only appeal to a limited amount of people, but you also have to recognize you’re still communicating with people on a subconscious level no matter what size the audience, and hopefully connecting with people in a way that stimulates meaningful conversation.

Have you ever reached an impasse where you thought the project had become impossible? What changed your mind?

Roadblocks. Issues. Nightmares. Anxiety. Of course! With low budgets, sometimes a little voice inside pokes you and asks you if you really want to continue and if something is “worth it.” It’s a bigger voice, filled with integrity, pride, and passion, that speaks up and yells, “I want to do this, and nothing will stop me!” When I have a vision, setbacks, funding issues or not, I keep going, because the light inside of me can’t be pushed out by fear or any other anxiety in the air.

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Photograph Copyright Cassandra Sechler, 2016.

Are you more motivated by intrinsic interest in a project or extrinsic accolades and rewards, or both? What do you do if you don’t get the response you want after completing a project? Do you care more about your audience “getting it” or about keeping true to your vision?

I never get involved in or write a project in the interest of the genre or a specific audience, nor do I care about money when it comes to the future of a film. Instead, I make something because I want to, and because something inside me compels me to do so. I don’t make films for attention, I make films to tell a story that burns inside me with visuals. If the audience doesn’t “get it” they can go back to playing games on their phones, and forget about it. What’s important to me is that my team and I collaborate on an idea and bring a concept to the screen that we’re happy with.

WIREBOY from Cassandra Sechler on Vimeo

Do you think artists should starve?

I think an artist should pay one’s dues but not starve inherently. I know I definitely literally often “starve” whether it be sacrificing meals or whatnot to make things happen when filming a project out of pocket. That’s life. I personally like sweating and bleeding to be able to make my art. It makes life worth living and a concept worth sharing. But…inherently?  Maybe not. Everyone should be able to see the fruits of their labor and starve a little less in life, especially if their work is good!

How can people view and stay up-to-date with your creative work?

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Photograph Copyright, Casandra Sechler, 2016.

I always post news about screenings, art shows, and what I am working on via my personal site as well as my production site  where people can sign up for our newsletter and find links to related social media accounts.

What are some ideas you are still mulling over, or planning to tackle in the future?

In addition to Tearful Surrender,  I have an erotic web series called Windows that I am writing and producing, as well as another two feature films with Dreams For Dead Cats Productions (a dark romantic comedy, and a dystopian science fiction fantasy film).

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Finally, and maybe most importantly, what are your Halloween plans?

I celebrate Halloween ALL year! However my specific Halloween plans are to carve a Jack-O-Lantern, dress up in costume (this year I shall be a mix of Sylvester Stallone’s and Brigitte Nielson’s characters in Cobra), eat junk food, make goodies to share with my neighbors (it is my Christmas after all), enjoy a few cocktails, tell ghost stories/read scary stories, and watch horror movies by the light of my Jack-o-Lantern until I pass out. It might sound simple, but there’s nothing I love more than curling up with my boyfriend and watching a movie, especially on Halloween…and ending the night with John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN of course!

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Bio:

Cassandra Sechler is a DIY filmmaker, makeup artist, curator & visual artist based in San Francisco, California who mainly works in the experimental/erotic/fantasy/horror genres. With a background in conceptual art and psychology, Sechler provides her viewer with expressionistic, cinematic works that are both personal and poetic, confronting them with an alternate reality filled with beauty and despair.

Want to recommend we speak with a creative person you know? Get in touch.

Past installments of our monthly artist interview series:

Tommy Kim, writer, has a “willingness to make connections between ideas no matter how strange.” (Interview #20)

Annie Tucker brings creativity into translation (Interview #19)

Keep on pushing, painting–creative interview with artist Forrest Solis (Interview #18)

Interview: Oh So Young reveals her approach to art (Interview #17)

Conjuring Creativity with intermedia artist Cherie Buck-Hutchison (Interview#16)

Contact WPP to schedule a documentary photo session

Willow Paule Photography on Facebook

Willow Paule on Twitter

Source: New Stuff

Writer Tommy Kim, “Makes connections between ideas no matter how strange”

Enjoy this interview with creative writer, Tommy Kim.

Do you consider yourself “creative?” How do you express that creativity?

Depending on the crowd, the word “creative” could either be a flattering comment on one’s unique view of the world, or it could be meant as a pejorative, as if one is unmoored from reality and doesn’t have the awareness to tie one’s shoes. I’m a mixture of both extremes. I do consider myself creative but not in my aesthetic exceptionalism—swiftness of mind, vastness of artistic knowledge, etc.—but through my willingness to make connections between ideas no matter how strange and unexpected. If you listen to Wu-Tang Clan, you expect a certain brash, rumbling poetry, but how wonderful was it in “Can It Be All So Simple” to hear, amid the narrative of drive-by shootings and urban despair, the beautiful, achingly-nostalgic voice of Gladys Knight haunting the background. These startling connections, to me, are what creative people have an aptitude for. I don’t even know if it’s aptitude, on second thought. I think creative people can’t help make these connections. They’ve been inured by the demands of conformity from childhood on, and many have been called “weird” or “awkward” because of their inability to make the easy and obvious connections many other people are so willing to make. What’s wrong with plaid mixed with polka dots? Also many creative people have had torturous childhoods with wedgies and taunts brutalizing them for being a way they could not help.

This willingness to make connections, sometimes in the face of social pressure, is what I define as “creativity.” My expression of this concept comes through in my day-to day-life, from parenting to cooking eggs. It’s a more cohesive experience when you don’t partition your profession and your creative pursuits. Since I’m a writer, the same enthusiasm and willingness to listen and feel when writing a scene also plays into the relationships I have with my students.

 

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Wacky Teacher

Was creative practice and pursuit a big part of your upbringing? Was your family interested in creativity?

For me, creative practice was regimented into typical Asian stereotype pursuits like studying violin and piano. I was horrible at these instruments. I once persuaded my piano teacher to skip the lesson and watch the 80s BMX movie, RAD. It wasn’t until I discovered drawing that my mother took my creative life seriously. I came home after elementary school and flipped open my sketchbook, copying Spiderman and X-Men for hours until I had to go to sleep. This love for drawing carried me into middle school, when I had to ride my bike five miles to get to my drawing lessons.

My mother has the exuberance of an an artist and she took that impulse and imbued it to her spiritual life as a missionary. I inherited her ecstatic view of life, and I also inherited the quiet, studied silence of my father, whose own lineage is filled with village ceramicists and philosophical makkoli sippers. Being a first generation American, my family’s expectations for me were typical: to study medicine or law. I had zero ability in either. I was surprised at my mother’s indifference when I announced that I was abandoning my medical studies and flinging myself into the frightening world of business. “I’m proud of my son. He’s handsome and went to UCLA.” If only she knew about my academic probation and absence of forethought (I once spent money on a new hockey stick instead of groceries…I had to flip couch cushions to buy dinner—a bean and cheese burrito).  

When I graduated with an MFA in creative writing my mother and father, who were divorced by then, both came out to the ceremony in Asheville, North Carolina. I’m not sure how much they understood my relationship with writing, but in the end, they loved me and wanted to support me.  

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Tommy and his mother

How have your nationality, ethnicity, or location influenced your creative work?

I’m a first-generation Korean American, although the way I grew up, the sequence should actually be American Korean. I hated the Koreans at my school, not because they had any hostility toward me, but because they were indifferent to me. I was not of their group, and I wasn’t truly settled into the white group. This resentment provides a fruitful energy in my work. There is a hint of self-loathing in my writing, especially when it comes to being the arbiter of the “Korean American Experience.”

I read Asian American literature, and it felt like high school all over again with its rebellious little squads against white hegemony. There are cliques that alienate other Asian American writers who don’t share the same over-educated Millennial aesthetic of characters pitying their sad lives inhabited in G-Chat and kale juice. These writers are indignant when they are marginalized onto the distant shelf of Asian American Lit, yet they fall into the same pattern of exclusion when they deem their writing the authoritative source about the Asian American experience.

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Dad’s Family-Grandfather

 

 

 

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Tommy’s mother is buried here

And there is a certain Asian American aesthetic used to depict the first generation experience, an aesthetic that I find pandering, one that is refined with Latinate words and mellifluous sentences describing the scent of kimchee. I have a greater affinity with Jewish American writers like Philip Roth.

Literary styles styles in Los Angeles are as vast as the number of neighborhoods in it. I grew up in the South Bay, while my cousins grew up in the San Fernando Valley. Both experiences were Korean American, with the recognizable struggle of disavowing one’s culture in order to assimilate. And of course there is the guilt of not fulfilling your parents’ expectations of inhabiting one’s cultural traditions. It’s a mess.

Where do you “find” your ideas? How do you decide if an idea is viable? Do you act on all your creative ideas?

These days my ideas find me. I trust in the ineffable. When I went to my cousin’s wedding last summer, I noticed how my aunts, who are in their 70s, still held on to their childhood grievances. And the matriarchal hierarchy that played out was clearly on display, as my most assertive aunt was holding a palm frond to shade her face while the other aunts helplessly looked on, a little bit embarrassed at this dinosaur leaf blocking the view for those behind us. But arguing with her would certainly draw attention away from the real reason we were there–the connubial bliss about to ensue.

This image of a waning generation, of timeless sibling complexity, was charged with life as the afternoon sun set on us. Their gloriously dyed perms had a golden sheen in the waning sunlight. I knew I wouldn’t have many more of these moments with them. There was a novel in that image. Once I’m finished with my current projects, I will start this one, using the point of view of a Korean matriarch.

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Dino Leaf

My main current project started with a single line, “Joseph Kim spent all day reconciling numbers with the aim of arriving at nothing.” This first sentence somehow had the entire saga of this man’s life embedded in the diction; the helplessness of balancing one’s life against the cosmic backdrop of meaninglessness. Or was it meaningless? This sort of existential argument at the beginning of the story begs for evidence, and you can enact that evidence through the playing out of conflict within the character’s life.

I’m obsessed with relationships of siblings (I have none), and I wanted to see what would happen if a prodigal daughter suddenly showed up (and, with a baby) after three years of silence. This story would allow me to write about a man taking care of his grandmother after his parents die, a story of inherited guilt that I always wanted to explore.

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I’m looking for an explosion. I’m using metaphors about combustion because you want the conflicts, pre-craft, to be volatile. Should I be the one telling this story? What will this story reveal about me as a human being, as an artist? Are the questions driving the story about family, love, suffering, existence, profound enough to carry me to the end of the project? All of these questions guide me to the decision to act on the creative idea.

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Does working as a teacher help you access creative energy for your own personal projects? Or is teaching a creative practice in its own right?

There is a preachy doctrinaire in me that almost dares students to defy me. I tell them that failure and suffering are necessities to an authentic life. Think of me as a softer version of Tony Robbins. Just last week in class, I showed a video of a skateboarder trying to clear a flight of stairs, a task that would certainly break bones if the skater landed incorrectly. The man falls once, twice, and finally, after snapping his board and screaming at the universe, he lands it. Imagine if he quit after the first painful fall.

The population I teach has had their own painful falls. Many of them are undocumented or have had difficult lives of poverty and family instability (over 80% are “Title I,” meaning they get free lunches). Mostly they are Latino.

One way to practice creativity with my students is to offer them alternative narratives from the awful mess they see all around them, in the media and their own families. How will they disavow, sometimes painfully, the tyranny of their past without losing the integrity of their culture? For instance, a student from my school who gets accepted to a “UC” will have pretty shitty odds of finishing college. The lack of academic, financial, and emotional support and the isolation they experience in an all white/Asian environment can be overwhelming. Partly this difficulty is driven by a certain kind of narrative of assimilation-as-white-wash that all first generation folks struggle with. The complex code switching and, at times, the inherent shame that comes from disavowing your culture in order to fit into the academic world can be a struggle. Say a student writes an outstanding dissertation that gets accepted for publication. Can her abuelita read the thing?

I ask my students, “How can you choose the proper narrative to incorporate into your own complex story?” Like my students, I am struggling to craft the proper narrative to match my sense of reality, allowing the contradicting desires of confluence and separateness to bring forth a story annealed by that pre-writing conflict.

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Student Editors

Do you consider yourself an artist? What makes one person an artist and another, not? Do you think artists should starve? (i.e., inherently?) Do you think our society supports artists, and should it?

Artists give. This is not a new idea. The Gift by Lewis Hyde explores this perspective about art. Considering art not as a commodity that is used to exchange one good for another, but as an expression of generosity that can help us engage in dialogue, and make a connection that is timeless and somewhat spiritual. I think those who create in this spirit of generosity are artists.

I’m not immune to the vanity and self-aggrandizement that artists need for some sort of external validation. (But during these moments of egoism, the need to share and communicate act as a corrective so that I crawl out of my selfish space and engage with the world. This engagement through the work is what defines someone as an artist but I don’t think starving validates you as one. Deprivation of some sort can help an artist, but so can having supportive friends and a stable home life. I would rather not starve.

There are residencies and grants that provide support for writers. There are opportunities to receive support. But like any task worthy of your efforts, one has to fight for the resources to succeed. Artists cannot shy away from this conflict.

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Mimetic Desire

 

What challenges have you faced in your creative work? How do you stick with it when the going gets tough?

Self-doubt is challenging. Again, I sometimes look for validation outside of myself. That’s a recipe for trouble in any situation whether artistic or with my relationships. Many times I feel like a fraud, but mainly because of Rene Girard’s idea of mimetic desire. I see friends wildly succeeding, and I ask the pernicious question of “why them and not me?” I begin to twitch with desire for their consuming ambition and seriousness. My friends are publishing and selling books.

The irony is that I get out of this bind by reading novels that seem to champion my tastes, which are a combination of absurd humor and vicious tragedy. I turn to art that asserts a legitimacy to my tastes (works by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Philip Roth) when I’m doubting myself. I turn to other artists to help me out of my own limitations.

 

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Dosteovsky, an Influence

Are there any ideas you wish you had time to act on but haven’t yet? Do you think it will become possible to act on them in the future?

All artists will bemoan their scarcity of time. Unless you’ve severed yourself from human connections, this struggle for time will always exist. I’m happy that I have the need and will to write. I can always make the time to work.

What are you working on currently?

I’m working on finishing a draft of a novel that takes place in Los Angeles and Seoul. Currently, I’m working on line edits for it. Also, I’m a quarter of the way into the first draft of another novel. There is a third novel in a drawer somewhere that takes place during the Korean War. An excerpt will be published in The St. Petersburg Review next month.

Tell us something we don’t know about you yet:

My students want to print a T-shirt for me with the following print: “It doesn’t matter. We’re all going to die.”

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Dia de los muertos altar in the author’s classroom

Bio:

Tommy Kim graduated with an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College, and is working on a novel set in the  Korean War years. He lives in Highland Park with his wife and daughter and teaches high school English in Glassell Park. He loves cooking French toast using King’s Hawaiian Rolls for his wife and can’t wait until his daughter can eat solids so she can enjoy his cooking.

Eye-Rolling-Kim-writer-interview

Want to recommend we speak with a creative person you know? Get in touch.

Past installments of “How you do dat dere?”

Annie Tucker brings creativity into translation (“Interview #19)

Keep on pushing, painting–creative interview with artist Forrest Solis (Interview #18)

Interview: Oh So Young reveals her approach to art (Interview #17)

Conjuring Creativity with intermedia artist Cherie Buck-Hutchison (Interview #16)

Contact WPP to schedule a documentary photo session

Willow Paule Photography on Facebook

Willow Paule on Twitter

Source: New Stuff

Annie Tucker re: artistry in translation and Indonesia’s “crazy brilliant diversity”

Enjoy this interview with translator and dancer, Annie Tucker.

Annie, did you grow up around people who valued creativity and creative expression?

Yes, very much so. My dad had a day job but was always sculpting in his free time, mostly wood and stone, usually abstract animal and human forms. He still creates striking pieces, and is currently working on a series of wood reliefs inspired by biblical themes, from fish and crosses to a really incredible piece in which a man is having his sight restored. My mom loves music and when I was a child, she often played records and sang at home and in choirs, and has now has become a prolific knitter. Her whole side of the family was creative—my grandmother’s beloved brother was an abstract expressionist painter. My grandmother painted her whole life, and fostered creativity in her five children, so one of my mom’s brothers became a landscape painter and the other, a poet and writer. Throughout my entire family, creative expression was valued and encouraged, seen as one of the most important things you could do with your time and your life, and those values were passed down to me and my sister.

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Dancing as an adult

How did you become interested in dance? Writing?

I think I’ve been interested in both for as long as I can remember. As a child, I was always dancing around, and I loved reading and writing from a very early age. As a kid, I would write and illustrate my own “books,” pieces of paper that I would staple together.

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New Friends Through Dance

Tell me about your work in Indonesia around dance and disability and dance and creative expression with Tia Setiyani, the Yogyakarta based activist.

When I was in my early twenties I was dancing, teaching dance, and choreographing. I lived in Indonesia for a while, and studied Indonesian dance. Then, through my dance work back in the states I started teaching mixed ability classes. Then I spent a year in the Americorps in New Mexico, and the dance organization I got hooked up with, Keshet, was very committed to equal access to the arts. I got very interested in the healing potential of art, particularly dance and music, rather than their purely aesthetic value, or just as performance.

When I went back to grad school I decided to do my dissertation on the interpretation and treatment of autism in Java, and a large part of my research ended up focusing on therapeutic gamelan, which is an Indonesian percussive orchestra.

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Here in the states, for many years I have also been affiliated with a dance non-profit called Evolve, and some colleagues there were getting into the Mettler approach to creative dance. This was a comparatively new technique for me, but it was incredibly appealing because it was accessible to anyone and everyone—it is freeform, improvisational, and interactive. I joined Evolve on a trip to Vietnam in 2014, where they conducted workshops with social workers and young women who had been rescued from human trafficking.

I thought it would be awesome if we could do a similar thing in Indonesia, so in 2015 we went to Yogyakarta and with the help of the hard-working activist and social organizer Tia Setiyani, we conducted workshops with all different kinds of folks—at PLUSH, which is an LGBTI and ally group; with dance students at ISI Yogyakarta, the performing arts college; Balance Yoga studio; Bina Anggita, the school for children on the autism spectrum. I had done my research at previously; even a collective of women workers at the market. We danced with over 100 people, from preschool age to grannies over the course of two weeks! It was an amazing and joyful experience.

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Activist Tia Setiyani rocking out

I think the wonderful thing about creative dance is that its fundamental principle is that art-making, in this case, dancing and dance-making, is for everyone. I think sometimes people can get into a mindset that art is only valuable if it is professionalized, or that there is a certain type of person that is “creative,” or that it has to be your full-time thing to be acknowledged. Dance is especially challenging because we have so many, often really hurtful, ideas about what kinds of bodies should be allowed to be seen and move freely, or can be considered beautiful or worth watching. Creative dance helps people reclaim the joy of spontaneous movement for themselves, explore their own creativity.

Plus the program allowed me to interact with Indonesians in a whole new way, which profoundly impacted me. It created the sense that in the dance space we were communicating with one another more directly without cultural boundaries—while some of our respective dance traditions were surely reflected in our movements, it seemed like we were exchanging a shocking range of human emotions and experiences. Of course, part of it was that we didn’t have to contend with verbal language. Part of it was that I wasn’t doing research, but playing creatively. And part of it is that I have found that while their contemporary fine art can be really wild, many Javanese people often prefer to be a bit reserved in their social interactions and through this dancing I felt like they were opening the floodgates to really intense experiences and expressions. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it!
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What are you working on currently?

I’ve been doing a lot of translation recently. My first major project was Beauty is a Wound, by Eka Kurniawan, which was an unexpected experience in terms of how I just was translating it just for fun, on my own while procrastinating on writing my dissertation not knowing where it would go. Now it has received such a warm reception in the literary world; it’s incredible. That project led to some others.

I translated Cigarette Girl by Ratih Kumala, which was a fun historical novel about the clove cigarette business, complete with forbidden love and secret recipes. I just finished up one manuscript, Nirzona, which was a really fascinating novel about post-tsunami Aceh by Abidah El-Khaliquey, filled with dense references to Indonesia’s political situation but also Sufi mysticism and philosophy and Yogyakarta university culture.

Also, I have just started on Eka’s third novel, the working English title of which is Love and Vengeance: Repaid in Full, and it’s totally different than Beauty, a kind of Tarantino-esque romp filled with contract killers and truck drivers and underground fighting rings in West Java. I’ve got another potential short story collection by a writer from Northern Sumatra coming down the translation pipeline, too, and will be working on Eka’s next novel O, which is about a monkey who falls in love with a dangdut music star.
How did you decide to translate Cantik itu Luka or Beauty is a Wound? Had you ever translated anything before? What’s the process like translating from Indonesian to English and was there room for creativity?

I am a huge bookworm, and I learn about many things by reading about them. The first time I came to Indonesia, in 2001, I naturally wanted to read Indonesian literature, but there wasn’t that much available, either in translation or even in Indonesian, because at that time the publishing industry was much more underdeveloped than it is now. Everything was out of print; it was really hard to find books to buy. So that was the first time I got the idea that I should translate a novel. I even started working on one, Ayu Utami’s Saman, but I never made contact with her and the book was translated by someone else and published, which is all well and good because I don’t think my language skills were up to the task at that time.

When I went back to Indonesia for the dissertation research in 2011, I still had the idea in the back of my mind. Through Wawan Yulianto, a translator I had met in 2001, I was affiliated with a group of writers and translators and started doing some small projects. And of course I was translating interviews and such for my research. But Eka’s book was recommended to me as something I should read–by multiple people–and when I read it I was completely blown away—the book was hilarious, tragic, violent, satirical, and it offered this unhinged version of Indonesian history since the end of colonialism. It was really political, offered a biting take on political violence and sort of poked fun at local moralistic literary conventions, but at the same time, it was filled with outrageous scenes and supernatural thrills and memorable characters that I thought you wouldn’t have to necessarily know anything about Indonesia to enjoy it.

It is interesting to translate Indonesian into English for a number of reasons. First, there are no real tenses in Indonesian, the verb stays the same and then gets modified like something is “already” done or “will” happen, but it’s often difficult to know. Plus, Indonesians are loose about time: if something is in the past they might use the word for “yesterday” even though it isn’t technically yesterday, or just use a word that means “a while ago.” So especially in this book, which jumps around through time quite a bit already, that was an interesting challenge.

Second is that the sentence constructions in Indonesian are often passive: people don’t always do things, but things happen. People don’t scream, but a scream is heard. I had to make decisions when it best served the story to use a more active English construction, taking the passive construction as a less intentional aspect of the language, and when to treat it as a key part of the meaning and the culture that needed to be conveyed.

Annie_translates_in_museum
Translating in an Indonesia art gallery

There was a lot of room for creativity in word choice. It’s difficult to explain, but I feel like even written Indonesian is a little bit performative, more like oral tradition—sometimes things are suggested but aren’t totally spelled out, because you as the reader are expected to actively fill in the blanks. So I want to try to capture that performative quality by filling in blanks for readers who might not be used to language that is so fast and loose, adding detail or clarifying tone without changing the writing. Also, I think English literary convention is much more strict about repeating words. I remember even as an elementary school student, we were encouraged to use synonyms instead of repeating the same verb. So I get to choose a variety of words when the author had repeated the same one, again in order to add detail or clarify tone.

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Beauty on Display

Can you share an interesting passage from the book where you were able to exercise your creative touch?

I think creativity in translation can often be found in small-scale problem-solving. Eka can be a bawdy writer. In Beauty and in the book I’m currently translating, one of the problems that comes up a lot is how to translate the Indonesian word “kemaluan.” This word is like a catch-all phrase for genitals—I think genitals would be the most accurate translation, as the word can refer to male and female. But genitals sounds super clinical, it sounds a little clinical in Indonesian but not as much so. So I had to make choices. Here I will quote the work of Tiffany Tsao, who wrote about the book, because she captured clearly the process that I went through in one instance. This is from her piece In Suspicion of Beauty: On Eka Kurniawan:

[T]here were also points where I initially found the translations ‘awkward’ – but on reflection saw that they made perfect sense because of the way they conveyed something of the original that may otherwise have been lost. For instance, the following passage is from Beauty is a Wound, in which two lovers reunite after being separated for over a decade:

‘Do you still want me?’ asked Ma Iyang. ‘My whole body has been licked and splattered with a Dutchman’s spit, and he has stabbed my privates one thousand one hundred and ninety-two times.’

‘I have stabbed twenty-eight different women’s privates as many as four hundred and sixty-two times, and I have stabbed my own hand countless times, and that’s not even counting the privates of animals, so are we really all that different?’

‘Privates’ [‘kemaluan’], one might translate as ‘genitals’ (awfully clinical) or ‘penis’ or ‘vagina’ as the case may be (though the original ‘kemaluan’ refers not just to penises or vaginas, but includes the whole ‘down there’ in general). Literally, the root word of ‘kemaluan’ is ‘malu’ or ‘shame’ (hence, most likely, the rationale behind the urgently advancing ‘shame’ in Tucker’s translation I mention above).

Thus ‘he has stabbed my privates’ could be ‘he has skewered my privates’; ‘his penis has stabbed my vagina’; ‘my genitals have been pierced by his’; ‘his shame has impaled my shame’ etcetera. One could even omit the genitalia entirely: ‘I’ve been run through one thousand one hundred and ninety-two times’. Or if one wanted to go for something skewery in feel, but more identifiable as a sex-related term, one might replace ‘stabbed’ with ‘penetrated’. Almost all of these options are a bit awkward around the edges—but Eka’s usage deviates from the idiomatic in Indonesian as well. Arguably rendering it unconventionally in English does justice to its unconventionality in the original. What Tucker’s ‘stabbed my privates’ does have going for it is its evocation of battle—the play on the double meaning of ‘privates’ and the obvious war connotations of ‘stab’—which taps into the mingling of love with violence that recurs throughout the Beauty is a Wound.”

In each circumstance of the word I am trying to remain true to the original—there are, after all, plenty of slang words for genitalia, particularly in Indonesian dialect, that Eka didn’t choose to use—while trying to maintain true to the spirit of the usage in the passage and the overarching themes or intentions of the book. So here I used privates but as she mentioned elsewhere I might use “shame” which is very old-fashioned in English and yet sometimes best conveys the tone, I might use “penis” or, especially in this third novel, I might pick another slang word.

beautyisawound-book-eka-kurniawanIt appears to me, that much of your work is collaborative in nature. What do these collaborations feed in you?

Well I think in certain ways I am an odd duck because I can be a real loner and I really like working independently, but I also think that I am empathetic and a good communicator, so I think I often have a good intuitive sense and I really enjoy making people feel like they have been seen and heard. I took the Myers-Briggs personality type test once, and I don’t remember the letters corresponding to my type but the test said it was rare, and that my two ideal jobs would be either a therapist or a writer.

So translation is perfect because I work mostly on my own, unless I’m asking the writer a clarification question or something, but the whole time I am trying to think what their intentions were, the type of feeling they are trying to create, what they are trying to say, and that combination is somehow perfect. Also, having spent so much time in Indonesia and having fallen in love with its crazy brilliant diversity, and then coming back to the States where people know almost nothing about it, it is very satisfying to feel like I’m sharing a little bit of what I love, and through that exposure giving back to a place that has given me so much.

At this point in my life, dancing with people has become a healing diversion for me. When I was younger I wanted to be and then was professional, getting paid for my work, and that was exciting but also I had a lot of self-criticism and judgment and frustration, trying to improve technically and dealing with ongoing injuries. My attitude towards myself as a dancer was challenging, but I really loved working in the studio with others when choreographing; that was a real joy.

I would say this new creative dance approach, which is really more focused on communication and self-liberation, is refreshing, both a very different experience than dancing was in the past, but also a break from my current professional/creative life which involves sitting in front of a computer for most of the time. I really believe we need to move and feel with our bodies to fully inhabit ourselves and the world… before I went back to dance, during grad school, I took up ceramics. If I hadn’t had that tactile, nonverbal break while finishing my dissertation I think I would have gone insane.

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Sanity-saving Ceramics

How have your nationality, ethnicity, or location influenced your creative work? Has living abroad influenced your outlook?

I think traveling certainly influenced my outlook on creativity, because it introduced me to the creativity of the natural world and humankind in general! There is not just one way to live, one way to create, one thing that is important in shaping a work of art or even a life. Leaving the New York metro area, where I grew up, in my early twenties to live in places like Indonesia and New Mexico introduced me to an incredible diversity of natural and cultural beauty.

Creative activities, like writing, translation, or dancing together, can act as a bridge to open up people’s eyes to first appreciate new and different ways of being-in-the-world and then to see the similarities amidst those differences.

Are there any ideas you haven’t had time to act on yet but want to yet? Do you think it will become possible to act on them in the future?

I think that while I have really enjoyed many different creative collaborations, it has been difficult for me to fully honor my own individual creative work—to put myself out there, to claim space for what is solely mine. That will be a goal for me in the near future, particularly with my own creative writing. I have some short stories and am working on a book-length piece of fiction inspired by my time in Indonesia. Hopefully I can get some of this published.

But I also had a baby in April, so as a first time mom I have also become totally engrossed with introducing my daughter to the world. Work and creativity (and sleep!) are coming in short snatches of time—15 minutes here, a couple of hours there—and usually with a baby napping in a sling on my chest.

 How can people view and stay up-to-date with your creative work?

I have thought about the idea of a website but I haven’t made one yet. I’m not super-social media active, but if I get a website or a twitter account or blog or something together, I’ll check back in with you! Eka’s third novel will be coming out with New Directions, probably next year, and Nirzona will be coming out with Amazon Crossing in November of this year. If you’re interested in creative dance in international communities, my colleague will be going to Lima this summer, and a few Indonesians will be coming to Arizona as well, and I think there will be updates about this on the Evolve website.

Tell us something we don’t know about you yet:

I am very mild mannered in general but get really crazy on LA Freeways. I curse people out and cut them off, and flip the bird all the time.

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A younger dancing Annie

Bio

Annie Tucker is a translator, writer, and educator specializing in contemporary Indonesian culture, literature, arts, and health. After working as a dancer and choreographer in her early twenties, she received her PhD from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. Her dissertation addressed the treatment of autism in Java with a particular focus on the therapeutic use of traditional arts and the philosophies of development embedded within them.

She is an adjunct lecturer for UCLA’s Disability Studies minor and a writer for Elemental Productions, an independent ethnographic film company making documentaries about Indonesia. Her translation of Beauty is a Wound has been recognized by a PEN/Heim Translation Award, the World Reader’s Award, and is a New York Times Notable book of 2015. She continues to support accessible dance programming in various ways, most recently through the international creative movement programs run by Evolve Dance. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

Want to recommend we speak with a creative person you know? Get in touch.

Past installments of “How you do dat dere?”

Keep on pushing, painting–creative interview with artist Forrest Solis (Interview #18)

Interview: Oh So Young reveals her approach to art (Interview #17)

Conjuring Creativity with intermedia artist Cherie Buck-Hutchison (Interview #16)

Interview: Andy Faulk makes some damn dreamy portraits (Interview #15)

Contact WPP to schedule a documentary photo session

Willow Paule Photography on Facebook

Willow Paule on Twitter

Source: New Stuff

Looking for help in Phoenix–exhibit and community conversation

(Although this did not happen in the timeframe hoped for, I hope this exhibit and community conversation can take place in the future. Please get in touch if you would be interested in helping in some capacity.

Hello Phoenicians! I am searching for help putting together a community exhibit and event around incarceration and prison re-entry. I am looking for someone with good research and communication skills, someone who could contribute by doing some detective work by phone, and possibly in person. There is a time crunch and this event should take place before the beginning of November, 2016.

Working on this project would be a good way to learn more about resources in our Phoenix community, get to know more about needs for those re-entering society from prison, and a way to learn about the intersection of art, community and re-entry and the justice system at large. Send me a message if you want more information, or want to express your interest. Please share widely with your circle; I hope to find someone soon! #‎reentry #‎prisonreentry #‎intersection #‎socialjustice #‎art

Photo Copyright Willow Paule Photography, 2017.

 

Birth is not beautiful but keep pushing, interview with Forrest Solis

I loved conducting this interview with Forrest Solis, who has made autobiographical, figurative paintings about her difficult birth experience. I hope you enjoy this as much as i did!

Was there a point in your life when you realized that you are a creative person or an artist?

At five years old I attended a Montessori school, as part of the curriculum different subjects were taught at different tables. Within the first year they recommended I leave Montessori for a more traditional school because I would never leave the art table and they were concerned that I would not learn any other subjects. So you can see I was deeply interested in art since the beginning of my life.

 

I would say that I fully committed to art when I attended the Chicago Academy for the Arts High School, which had a rigorous art program of three hours a day on top of our regular academic classes. I commuted by train one hour each way from the Northwest suburb Arlington Heights to Chicago. Often it was dark when I left for school and when I returned home after 7pm. My mother would pick me up from the train with a plate of food in the car because I was starving by the time I met her each day. The level of commitment this schedule demanded of me helped to firmly establish my future dedication to the arts.

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L&D Day #2 Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 43 x 57 inches Copyright, Forrest Solis, 2015.

Forrest, could you talk a bit about your paintings for your exhibit L+D, the oral histories centered around experiences of motherhood, and how you decided to tie the two together?

In 2011, I gave birth to my son, August. The experience profoundly impacted me and became the inspiration for my series L+D. A dramatized narrative of my labor and delivery, L+D is also an abbreviation for Life + Death, Love + Devotion, Loss + Damage, and Light + Dark. In birth, all of these juxtapositions exist simultaneously. While almost always depicted and described as “beautiful” and “natural,” the actual process of labor and delivery can be anything but. In my case, it was a horror show. L+D focuses on birth trauma – laying bare the gore, pain and violence involved in bringing new life into the world.

 

Throughout the process of conceiving and carrying a child, selfhood and autonomy are strained and stretched, culminating in the cutting of the umbilical cord. Through the lens of birth I explore the horror of abjection, the breakdown between self and other.

 

Unfortunately, many women feel denied the opportunity to share and interpret their own birth experience, leaving mothers with a profound sense of isolation. In Birthing And Medicine In Crisis, author and internist Dr. Alfonso Vergara wrote, “We have created a ‘code of silence’ and a don’t-ask-don’t-tell attitude about birth.” This attitude can be very damaging, and yet outside of the “wonderfuls” and “amazings,” new mothers receive, we rarely give the birthing process, and the women that go through it, the attention that it deserves. In response to the often one-sided story surrounding birth, I founded Creative Push.

 

Creative Push is a multimedia art and oral history project that promotes a variety of interpretations of birth experiences through storytelling and the visual arts. We record women’s birth stories, connect those stories with artists who are inspired to make original works of art in response. The story/artwork pairs can be seen and heard on the project’s interactive website.

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L+D Day #6 Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 66 x 43 inches Copyright, Forrest Solis, 2017.

Medical research understands women’s labor and delivery experiences as quantifiable data. In contrast, I am interested in women’s subjective memories of their experience, altered and transformed by a heightened emotional and sensual state of being. The Creative Push artists communicate the intangible experience of birth through material form. L+D is a manifestation of this process of visual interpretation.

 LD 1

How did you find the exhibition space?

The L+D exhibition space is the abandoned surgical wing of a defunct children’s hospital, which has been repurposed for storage and office space. Adriene Jenik, ASU School of Art Director, showed the space to a small group of faculty including myself as potential studio space for our graduate students. We quickly decided against the space as studios because of the lack of natural light, the floor to ceiling asbestos tile and the fact that it seemed haunted. I had been thinking about creating a series of paintings about my labor and delivery for a couple years before I saw the space. Once I set eyes on the space everything clicked and I instantly envisioned L+D.

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I noticed that your paintings had details from the room you exhibited them in. Did you paint at the exhibit location or take photos as reference?

For the paintings, I took reference photos of me in the space to paint from. I was given some props including a syringe, hospital gown, oxygen mask and other miscellaneous objects by my friend who works at a local hospital. I ordered a couple baby dolls from Ebay, bought colored light bulbs, spotlights and a ton of plastic tubing from Home Depot, mixed up a large batch of fake blood and I was set for my photo shoot. The paintings are based off of my memory and meant to appear a bit surreal, mixing real and dreamlike elements. Some of the things are based on observation and others are imagined. For example the mannequin was not pregnant and did not have a real vagina, likewise the baby doll did not have an umbilical cord.

LD_Day_7_in progress

L&D Day #7
Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 64 x 43inches Copyright, Forrest Solis, 2016.

 

Is this your first collaborative project?

Creative Push is my first collaborative project and L+D is my first multimedia installation. I am far outside of my comfort zone and it has been extremely rewarding. I discovered that working collaboratively means being willing to allow for change. Although I had an original vision for the project, through collaboration the project grew to be more nuanced and richer than I had originally conceived. I imagine collaborating is difficult for those that have a fully defined set vision for a project, but because I was so outside my comfort zone I was hungry for the input of my collaborators. This feels like the most important and impactful work I have produced thus far in my career. I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.

 

It sounds as if you enjoyed the process.

I immensely enjoyed working collaboratively. I am lucky to have such a great team. They each bring something different to the project and each of their contributions is invaluable. Ashley Czajkowski, an exceptional artist in her own right, has taken on the role of Creative Push’s audio technician and story editor. Try to imagine the difficult job of taking 2-hour audio interviews and editing them down to 20 minutes of compelling storytelling. She has to remove all my questions and the interviewee’s verbal stumbles, reorder the content so that it is somewhat chronological, all the while maintaining the original meaning.

 

Kyle Larkin is our website designer and the most patient person I know. He has done an incredible job of making real an abstract idea. Kim Larkin has taken on the role of public representative; she produces Creative Push’s social media and newsletter and Rosie Schipley is the Creative Push podcast producer.

 

Did anything unexpected happen?

Mostly, I’m surprised by how generous people are with their time. I am incredibly grateful to the women who have taken time out of their busy lives to sit down with me and open up about one of their most personal experiences. I am also happily surprised by the support Creative Push has received from ASU and the community at large.

 LD 3

Could you discuss the symbolism of the doll that was being operated on in some of your paintings? How was your birth experience?

The L+D paintings are not meant to be factual per se, but instead they are subjective. They make visual the physical, psychological and emotional experience I had giving birth. For example in the paintings I am always alone and all the supporting characters are dolls or mannequins because throughout the process of giving birth, even though supportive people surrounded me, I felt isolated in my experience. Perhaps partly due to the epidural and because my body wasn’t the body I was familiar with and doing things that I wasn’t in control of, I felt like my body was an object disconnected from my mind. In my paintings I tried to portray this feeling of disconnection and isolation.

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I think your paintings appeal to me because of their realistic and lifelike style yet surrealistic subject matter. How have you found your definitive style?

I have always been a representational figurative painter and have made work inspired by surreal and magical and grotesque realist literature, film and theory. I’m continually learning how to paint better and embrace my natural painting sensibility rather than emulate other artists. I expect to continue to grow as an artist and refine my painting skills along the way.

 

What do you learn through working as a professor?

By working as an art professor I have the wonderful opportunity to be surrounded by, talented and creative young people, which means I get to see the world through their young eyes, with a fresh perspective. They keep me on my toes and expect that I stay current and up to date on issues in contemporary art. They help motivate me to keep growing and learning and to keep reaching further with my work.

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L&D Day #3 Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 57 x 42 inches Copyright, Forrest Solis, 2015.

What are the top three things that have helped you grow as an artist?

  1. Seeing paintings in person; nothing can substitute seeing the real thing. You can learn a lot from the surface of a painting rather than just the imagery. Some would say the difference between a picture and a painting lies in the surface.

  2. Looking at the world through a creative lens, no experience is too ordinary to make art out of. I am a self-portrait painter and depend on my life experiences for inspiration.

  3. Being willing to financially invest in my art, sacrifice elsewhere in order to work with good materials, quality frames, et cetera. If you are investing a significant amount of time into your artwork then it is worth investing in the materials too.

Have you faced challenges in your creative work? How do you stick with it when the going gets tough?

Honestly balancing early motherhood with being a professor and professional artist has been the biggest challenge. When August was younger he was clingier with me, but now that he is almost 5 years old things have gotten much easier. My husband Eric can enjoy spending more significant blocks of time with him, sharing his interests in cars and other mechanical tinkering. One of the most difficult things has been getting over the guilt I used to feel for the time I spent in the studio. Now Eric and I have figured out a better system and are in a much better place.

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What are you working on currently? What are your creative goals for the next 5 years?

The Creative Push project is ongoing and will be my life’s work. By the fall our goal is to have 100 birth stories and 50 works of art. In January I am applying to an NEA/NEH grant to take the project national. I envision traveling the county recording stories in each state and connecting those stories with local artists, and training people to continuing the project after we have left.

I am also currently painting a large-scale rendition of Courbet’s painting, Sleepers. Julia Friedman, Art Historian and Courbet Scholar, and I are posed as the two intertwined figures in the painting, representing an allegory of “art” and “art history” in bed together and the complicated relationship between the two. Recreating the original painting has been a profound learning experience. Now from first hand experience, I know just how distorted Courbet’s figures are. This painting has taken months to paint and is one of the most ambitious works of art I have made to date. The painting will be shown in September at the Jamie Brooks Gallery in Costa Mesa, California.

sleepers
Work in progress, The Sleepers Copyright, Forrest Solis, 2016.

What inspires you? Which artists do you admire and why?

There are many amazing figurative artists out there, but what really inspires me is the artwork of my colleagues at ASU. In particular, the paintings of Anthony Pessler and Henry Schoebel, the ceramic sculptures of Susan Beiner and Kurt Weisner and the photographs of Betsy Schneider. These artists are true perfectionists and have taught me that when it comes to making art nothing is “good enough.”

What’s your advice to someone looking to grow in their own creative practice?

I would suggest experimentation and not letting fear of failure get in the way of doing what you want to do artistically. I make work that that is challenging to the viewer and, quite frankly, not commercial. If I considered what I assumed people would think I would be stifling my uniquely creative vision. True success only comes when you are being honest and true to your vision.

Tell us something we don’t know about you yet:

Although I paint self-portraits and use my body in my imagery, for most of my life I have been extremely self-conscious about my body and a bit self-loathing. The process of painting myself from life has really helped me get over my body image issues. Only now, in my adult life, have I begun to embrace my figure and feel confident.
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Bio:

Through self-portraiture, Forrest Solis explores the numerous personal and political contradictions of modern life. Examining the past and taking an honest look at contemporary culture, Solis creates work that plays with a mix of emotional and intellectual responses, with no one prevailing point of view. Her thematic source material is varied, incorporating elements of Sigmund Freud’s notions of the uncanny, along with ideas drawn from Jacques Lacan, Mikhail Bakhtin and South American literature, which explores magic and grotesque realism.

In her large-scale figurative painting series L+D, Solis creates the allusion to horror film stills using Hitchcockian compositions and cinematic lighting, while her series Lessons belies our nostalgia for simpler times, simultaneously attracting and repelling. Solis continually surprises and provokes with new interpretations of self, which are ever-changing and in a constant state of flux. Paintings by Forrest Solis are in the Kinsey Institute permanent collect and the Newt Walker collection, among others.

woman_standing_with_baby_painting
L&D Day #5 Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 76 x 57 inches Copyright, Forrest Solis, 2016.

Want to recommend we speak with a creative person you know? Get in touch.

Past installments of this creative interview series:

Interview: Oh So Young reveals her approach to art (#17)

Conjuring Creativity with intermedia artist Cherie Buck-Hutchison (#16)

Interview: Andy Faulk makes some damn dreamy portraits (#15)

Coaxing and Coaching Creativity with Quinn McDonald (#14)

Contact WPP to schedule a documentary photo session

Willow Paule Photography on Facebook

Willow Paule on Twitter

Source: New Stuff