What neighborhood do you call home? What is your favorite thing about your neighborhood- extra points if it's a hidden find!
I recently moved from Mars to Shaler, about ten minutes from the Ross Park Mall. I wasn't a fan of this area at first because I really prefer more natural environments. But after being here for a month now, I'm starting to really like this area because it's so close to everything. I'm about fifteen minutes from Coffee Buddha which is one of my favorite places to get coffee, relax, and work on my art so I can't complain.
Tell us about your art. What medium do you work in?
I mainly focus in pen illustration. I love the consistency that is achieved when using a pen, rather than using a brush or something else. I don't mind using water colors or inks to color in my pieces, however I've been digging markers for color lately because they're just easier for me to control.
How often do you get to create art and share a little bit about your process. Do you get inspired and run to make prints or is it often a slower process of working on a piece over a period of time?
I get to create art every day, which I'm grateful for. I work a job delivering pizza at night, just as a way to fund my artistic endeavors. That leaves my mornings and afternoons pretty much open to create. Lately, it seems like there will be an event that occurs every month or two that inspires me to start working in a new theme or direction. Though it may be hard to make the connection from looking at it, I think most of my work is in some way influenced by experience.
I've been focusing on making more original pieces lately because I feel they are more personal than prints. I like being able to sell someone a one of a kind product that won't be reproduced.
However, prints are very necessary because I won't always be able to create original work at the rate at which it sells. I print all of my digital prints in my own house. I like to use recycled sketchbook paper because it has a really nice aesthetic but is also of high quality and has some weight to it.
Who are some Pittsburgh artists (past or present) who inspire you?
Anyone who has taught me is an inspiration. My high school art teacher, Erin Sloane, is the person who really opened my eyes to the idea of working as an artist and she always pushed me in a creative sense which is something that undoubtedly benefits me to this day. I'm really grateful for that. Jason Forcke from the Pittsburgh Glass Center is a really cool person as well. I took two semesters of a high school glass blowing class from him. He's a really good example of a successful working artist, to me at least. I remember seeing some of his commission pieces on the shelf at the glass center just after being finished, and then those same pieces in an exhibit at Phipp's a while later.
You started doing art high school with the encouragement of friends and your art teacher - how do you see your art evolving from where it began?
Most of my growth as an artist occurred in high school, thanks to my teacher and being around all the other art kids. My work has definitely matured so much since then, the biggest step being the ability to work with a specific theme in mind. I used to just draw things because they were pleasing to look at, and sometimes I still do. Though now, I often find that I'm trying to convey a certain feeling or spark a certain thought with my work, which is nice. I feel like it has more purpose when I create things in that head-space. Aside from thematically, I've been trying to continuously improve technically, just from seeing other artists and being envious of their ability.
Tell us about what you'll have to sell at Sept 28th's Neighborhood Flea.
I hope to have a decent range of items for the flea. Currently, I plan on having a few of my larger mixed media pieces along with four or five runs of different 5x7 prints I've made in the past. I'll also have an assortment of small original pen pieces that I've been drawing here and there for the past few months. Most of these pieces are somewhere between 4x6 and 7x7, so they're great for someone who wants an original piece but doesn't want to drop the amount of cash they'd be spending on a larger piece.