Art Presence interview

1/  Which 3 words best define how you would like your art to be perceived?
Compelling, expressive, serene
 
2/ What creative challenge have you faced and overcome that has transformed your art practice?
To keep going; to keep making and exploring; to know that bad days are just a waypoint in a longer process, and tomorrow will be different.
 
3/ What tools do you use as part of the preliminary stages of your process? ( research / journals / sketchbooks / notes/ drafts / photography etc...)
For paper cuts and collage I work intuitively, spreading paper fragments across the table and seeing what catches my eye and what colours sit together.  For work on canvas I tend to sketch ideas before starting to paint. I love sketchbooks and find looking back over old ones really interesting. Recently I have been sketching on large sheets of paper and I also like to draw on an iPad for speed of working out ideas and compositions.
 
4/ How do you usually start an art session - any habits or rituals ?
I start with a coffee and an intention for the day. If I have a commission to work on I will focus on that or if it is work for myself I will see where the mood takes me. I tend to leave something from the day before to finish so I have something to come back to. I find it makes starting easier. I go to the studio pretty much every day unless I have admin to do. I don’t have a computer or wifi in my studio as I find it too distracting.
 
5/ How do you deal with doubts and fears?
In the most general sense, I know that if I didn’t have doubts or fears, it would be because I wasn’t working with my whole self and wasn’t making myself vulnerable - so I’m glad of them, in theory, even though they’re uncomfortable to experience. I try not to take rejection or knock backs personally, and actually I destroy a lot of work so that insulates me, in the sense that I have no harsher critic than myself. I am making myself stop doing that, though. I find that when I come back to work that I hated, sometimes months later, it’s not what I thought; often there is the beginning of something useful.
 
6/ With what intentions do you infuse your art making? (what is the core message/meaning behind your work)
Human connections, how we sit together or fail to connect. Reworking and finding new from old, looking at life through a different lens. I love colour and the element of touch. I want my work to have a feeling of lightness about it even if the feeling is intense. I’d like to imbue a sense of calm or serenity. Sometimes work is an abstracted view of something I have seen or wish to.
 
7/ Where do you draw your color inspiration from ?
I have a long held love of colour charts. I love how those little coloured tiles sit together. I find films inspiring, the colour palettes within beautiful cinematography has me reaching for the pause button to soak it in. I have a board on pinterest of colour combinations which appeal to me. From a photograph of washing hanging on a line, to a Irving Penn food photograph, to an interior with bright furniture.
 
8/What brilliant piece of advice were you given on your creative journey and would be happy to share?
Nothing is worthless if it’s true to you.
 
10/ What do you like about your work,
what do you dislike about it?
Certain pieces I love and hold close. Usually there is something about the colour combinations and the balance. Work I like less is when I can see the energy is off, that it feels flat, even if no one else can.
 
11/ What do you tell yourself to keep out of procrastination?
Start! I know it’s easier said that done. I sit in the limbic space a lot
 
https://www.artpresence.net/home/caroline-popham
October 14, 2021
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