Describe the first moment that you truly felt like an artist? When I was a kid, I would arrange my colored pencils that my mother bought for me in a very obsessive-compulsive way. I imagined how each colored pencil is a character within a social hierarchy. It’s absurd, but I knew that I was meant to be an artist in that sense. Would you ever consider doing something less creative? Growing up, I was struggling financially and almost ended up doing something else because of a strong fear that I would not be able to support myself, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else because I feel the need to be honest with my strengths and weaknesses. Chuck Close once said, “Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us show up and get to work.” What are your thoughts on that statement? Awhile back, I used to be in that phase where I just had loads of inspiration but rarely did anything because of fear of not knowing where to start. I think if we just keep making excuses and waiting for the perfect moment and the perfect place, we would never be able to create anything. How would you describe your personal style? I am naturally a deep and contemplative person; I love both light and dark things that are sensual and atmospheric. However, I could also be bold, colorful, and very silly. My style of work tends to be minimal, gestural, and surreal, but I hope it continues to evolve. What have you learned during your art career that you wish you’d figured out a long time ago? I find that being creative means coming up with things that haven’t been explored before and sometimes it’s a scary thing. As humans, we have a tendency to go to a safer place by copying what’s been successfully done, but I realized that nothing new will come from that and eventually things will become formulaic. So, one thing that I wish I knew earlier would be to trust myself more and to acknowledge that you can’t satisfy everyone by being somebody else. At least if you’re being yourself you can satisfy your own mind.
This interview was conducted fall 2014.