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Artist Interview: Libs Elliott

Posted by Brianna Bordihn on

This artist feature is pretty fun because we’re interviewing an artist who has paved her way via quilting, technology and design. Libs Elliott is a new artist on GelaSkins so we thought we’d take a wee moment to get to know her and share some fast facts about her with all of you! Read on to learn more about her, her craft, tattoos and what she would be doing if she wasn’t designing and building quilts!

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Artist Interview: Libs Elliott

Posted by Brianna Bordihn on

This artist feature is pretty fun because we’re interviewing an artist who has paved her way via quilting, technology and design. Libs Elliott is a new artist on GelaSkins so we thought we’d take a wee moment to get to know her and share some fast facts about her with all of you! Read on to learn more about her, her craft, tattoos and what she would be doing if she wasn’t designing and building quilts!

Read more


Artist Interview: Fiona Richards of Cartolina

Posted by Alexander Galtsow on

Get to know the artist behind The Cartolina Collection with our quick and dirty Q&A.....

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Artist Interview: Fiona Richards of Cartolina

Posted by Alexander Galtsow on

Get to know the artist behind The Cartolina Collection with our quick and dirty Q&A.....

Read more


Artist Interview: Brian Viveros

Posted by Dawn Laing on

Here at GelaSkins we like to take every opportunity to tell our fans about the artists we work with. For this artist interview, we bring you Brian Viveros. Here are 10 Questions to give us all a glimpse into Viveros' worold, how he works and how he got to where he is. As part of the introduction, and to celebrate his upcoming show, we are offering y'all 20% off Brian's whole GelaSkins Collection using the code ‘VIVEROS20’ at checkout.

 

The code is valid from until October 8/2017 midnight EST. Shop his full collection here.

 

Read on for our rapid fire interview with Viveros and get all the deets on his show opening October 4th with Thinkspace Gallery (all photos by Birdman) at the Moniker Art Fair

 

VIVEROS

 

1) How long have you been painting?
Viveros: Let's see, I believe I started painting around 2004. I was a bit of a late bloomer. I always drew, but formal painting came later. Prior to that, my work was much more monotone and had a darker more surreal edge to it. I worked primarily in inks, charcoal and airbrush.
      
Viveros strokes
  
2) Did you always picture yourself as an artist 'when you grew up'? Or was there something else you thought you'd pursue? 
Viveros: I did. I always knew I’d do something in the artistic realm. I loved to draw and would set up and stage my toys to practice illustrating my figures. I had a vivid imagination and created my own comics as a kid. I also had a love for the theatrical and would put on live theatre acts and make home splatter movies -  I was always busy creating and thinking of new things to make, create and do. I loved looking at art, books, and comics, but school, proverbial drag that it is, took up a lot of time. Yup, I hated school. I felt that it took away from who I was and the pursuit of my actual interests. One of my early loves and an enduring passion to this day was to make experimental films. Most readers are probably not aware of the underground surreal cinema I’ve been making since 2005, but that is still a deep love of mine that I keep revisiting and exploring.
  
  
3) We talk to a lot of artists who found their first years as a full-blown artist to be a struggle.... what helped you power through those days/months/years?  
Viveros: I’d say being a little crazy and obsessed helped to keep me going, maybe even slightly possessed... HA! I think having an unwavering drive and wanting to break through with my art is what kept me going. You have to put it all out there and just go for it, regardless of the outcome. I felt a hunger and an urge to keep pushing towards that end goal. I’m still going; there’s still so much more I want to do. I used to make these packages of my work back in the 90’s and mail them out everywhere.  A breakthrough for me was when, out of the blue, I sent one of these packages to HR Giger's agent Les Barany who called me and responded! This led to my first real exhibition. I was invited to exhibit with HR Giger and many of my favorite artists, which was unreal. This group show opened the doors to further opportunities and made the pursuit of my art seem feasible and within reach. At that time it was a struggle for me, as I was trying to find my true identity and voice as an artist. I kept asking myself what would make it a signature Viveros, what was me? My early works in 1997 were not even paintings and the Dirtyland world you know now wasn't yet fully formed. I was just using ink and airbrush as media, and the content was more like erotica - a little more hardcore and underground. The characters were still smoking but it wasn’t really me yet, I was young and still searching. It wasn’t until 2006 when I painted my first Dirtyland painting that I found my true direction, calling, and path. When I started painting the things I really knew and loved like the helmets, boxing, Lucha Libre wrestling elements, bullets and reimagined the female figure with all of these pieces that everything just started to unfold and click. People responded so positively, and it just felt like an authentic expression of my interests, compulsions, and passions...and it just blossomed from there into this Dirtyland universe.
  
viveros
  
4) Lighter question.... music or no music while creating? If music... who would we find you listening to these days?
Viveros:  I actually like having music and movies going at the same time, So my answer would be "yes, " and  “yes". I guess you can say I’m big on noise and atmospheric sounds, HAAHA! I also like the fan turned on because the motor makes a humming sound that is calming and soothing to me. I drive my wife crazy when all this is going on; it's pretty funny. The music I’m currently listening to is the latest Arcade Fire, Washed Out, Queens of the Stone Age and some weird noise genres my friends send me.    
          
moniker
   
5) Okay, here's a standard question but we know our fans want to know: What inspires your work? How do you go from point A to point B?
Viveros: The inspiration just comes. It's pretty organic. I think about a headgear I like, helmets that I find visually interesting, and I start visualizing a new character based on these  props. Sometimes it's more topical like if a big fight is coming up, I’ll want to do a new boxer. I love going to flea markets, there’s a lot of inspiration there, and I always spend way too much money on helmets and headgear for my out of control collection. Other times, it's just seeing something strange, or even hearing a few words; something someone says can trigger an idea, or a song, a rhythm, or a beat can push me in a certain direction, even a specific scene from a film can lead to a new character. I try to find inspiration in everything, it makes the day fun and keeps my machine gun mind stocked and going.
   
     
6) Can you share some insight into your studio/home life or do you try to keep your artist life and personal life separate?
Viveros: My studio is on the second floor of my home. I just recently moved and am digging my new dedicated space upstairs. I have many windows, providing great light, and much more open space for my mannequins, human skulls, and helmets. It's a beautifully bizarre physical archive, a collection of objects filled with ideas. My studio is a direct reflection of me and is decorated with the elements I use in my paintings. If I’m away too long, it starts to haunt those me and call out to me and brings me back to my happy place.
      
7) What motivates you to create the woman you portray in your work? Is there a single person, moment, or narrative you draw from to create each?
Viveros: I just approach everything with the idea of power in mind but manifest specifically in female form. My mom and wife are very strong and influential people in my life, and sometimes I draw inspiration from them in my thoughts.
  
    
8) Do you have a favorite work? Or series? ..or perhaps something you worked on that you learned from? 
Viveros: My latest series ‘Bulletproof’ would be my favorite thus far. It's a new body of work for my upcoming feature in London at Moniker International Art Fair. I put a lot of emotion into the set. While working on it my mother was battling breast cancer, so it's an intensely personal body of work. It was a rough time, and I wanted the pieces to be that much stronger, that much more powerful. These warriors were metaphoric cancer killers, and I’m happy to say that my mom is now cancer free. I’m super excited to bring my Dirtyland over the pond for the first time. This new series of 12 works pushed me into new directions with some notable and epic firsts. I can’t wait to share them with the UK audience. It's Gonna be EPIC!
     
9) Lastly..... and easy one... if you could only pick one paint color for the rest of your life...what color would it be? 
Viveros:BLOOD RED or RED BLOOD, HAHA!
    
   
"Thank you GelaSkins & Nuvango for this opportunity and to all your readers Stay Dirty." 
    
10) What's next for Viveros? Mr. Brian M. Viveros is heading to the UK with Los Angeles’ Thinkspace Gallery to present a highly anticipated solo exhibition of brand new work. ‘Bulletproof,’ a complete collection of all new works will be on view at London’s Moniker International Art Fair from Oct. 5 to October 8, 2017, and will be the very first time the artist brings his legendary Dirtyland “over the pond.” This dirty dozen of 12 new, never before seen, pieces represents some of his most arresting and beautifully rendered work to date. Stay tuned to his site for release details. 

Read more

Artist Interview: Brian Viveros

Posted by Dawn Laing on

Here at GelaSkins we like to take every opportunity to tell our fans about the artists we work with. For this artist interview, we bring you Brian Viveros. Here are 10 Questions to give us all a glimpse into Viveros' worold, how he works and how he got to where he is. As part of the introduction, and to celebrate his upcoming show, we are offering y'all 20% off Brian's whole GelaSkins Collection using the code ‘VIVEROS20’ at checkout.

 

The code is valid from until October 8/2017 midnight EST. Shop his full collection here.

 

Read on for our rapid fire interview with Viveros and get all the deets on his show opening October 4th with Thinkspace Gallery (all photos by Birdman) at the Moniker Art Fair

 

VIVEROS

 

1) How long have you been painting?
Viveros: Let's see, I believe I started painting around 2004. I was a bit of a late bloomer. I always drew, but formal painting came later. Prior to that, my work was much more monotone and had a darker more surreal edge to it. I worked primarily in inks, charcoal and airbrush.
      
Viveros strokes
  
2) Did you always picture yourself as an artist 'when you grew up'? Or was there something else you thought you'd pursue? 
Viveros: I did. I always knew I’d do something in the artistic realm. I loved to draw and would set up and stage my toys to practice illustrating my figures. I had a vivid imagination and created my own comics as a kid. I also had a love for the theatrical and would put on live theatre acts and make home splatter movies -  I was always busy creating and thinking of new things to make, create and do. I loved looking at art, books, and comics, but school, proverbial drag that it is, took up a lot of time. Yup, I hated school. I felt that it took away from who I was and the pursuit of my actual interests. One of my early loves and an enduring passion to this day was to make experimental films. Most readers are probably not aware of the underground surreal cinema I’ve been making since 2005, but that is still a deep love of mine that I keep revisiting and exploring.
  
  
3) We talk to a lot of artists who found their first years as a full-blown artist to be a struggle.... what helped you power through those days/months/years?  
Viveros: I’d say being a little crazy and obsessed helped to keep me going, maybe even slightly possessed... HA! I think having an unwavering drive and wanting to break through with my art is what kept me going. You have to put it all out there and just go for it, regardless of the outcome. I felt a hunger and an urge to keep pushing towards that end goal. I’m still going; there’s still so much more I want to do. I used to make these packages of my work back in the 90’s and mail them out everywhere.  A breakthrough for me was when, out of the blue, I sent one of these packages to HR Giger's agent Les Barany who called me and responded! This led to my first real exhibition. I was invited to exhibit with HR Giger and many of my favorite artists, which was unreal. This group show opened the doors to further opportunities and made the pursuit of my art seem feasible and within reach. At that time it was a struggle for me, as I was trying to find my true identity and voice as an artist. I kept asking myself what would make it a signature Viveros, what was me? My early works in 1997 were not even paintings and the Dirtyland world you know now wasn't yet fully formed. I was just using ink and airbrush as media, and the content was more like erotica - a little more hardcore and underground. The characters were still smoking but it wasn’t really me yet, I was young and still searching. It wasn’t until 2006 when I painted my first Dirtyland painting that I found my true direction, calling, and path. When I started painting the things I really knew and loved like the helmets, boxing, Lucha Libre wrestling elements, bullets and reimagined the female figure with all of these pieces that everything just started to unfold and click. People responded so positively, and it just felt like an authentic expression of my interests, compulsions, and passions...and it just blossomed from there into this Dirtyland universe.
  
viveros
  
4) Lighter question.... music or no music while creating? If music... who would we find you listening to these days?
Viveros:  I actually like having music and movies going at the same time, So my answer would be "yes, " and  “yes". I guess you can say I’m big on noise and atmospheric sounds, HAAHA! I also like the fan turned on because the motor makes a humming sound that is calming and soothing to me. I drive my wife crazy when all this is going on; it's pretty funny. The music I’m currently listening to is the latest Arcade Fire, Washed Out, Queens of the Stone Age and some weird noise genres my friends send me.    
          
moniker
   
5) Okay, here's a standard question but we know our fans want to know: What inspires your work? How do you go from point A to point B?
Viveros: The inspiration just comes. It's pretty organic. I think about a headgear I like, helmets that I find visually interesting, and I start visualizing a new character based on these  props. Sometimes it's more topical like if a big fight is coming up, I’ll want to do a new boxer. I love going to flea markets, there’s a lot of inspiration there, and I always spend way too much money on helmets and headgear for my out of control collection. Other times, it's just seeing something strange, or even hearing a few words; something someone says can trigger an idea, or a song, a rhythm, or a beat can push me in a certain direction, even a specific scene from a film can lead to a new character. I try to find inspiration in everything, it makes the day fun and keeps my machine gun mind stocked and going.
   
     
6) Can you share some insight into your studio/home life or do you try to keep your artist life and personal life separate?
Viveros: My studio is on the second floor of my home. I just recently moved and am digging my new dedicated space upstairs. I have many windows, providing great light, and much more open space for my mannequins, human skulls, and helmets. It's a beautifully bizarre physical archive, a collection of objects filled with ideas. My studio is a direct reflection of me and is decorated with the elements I use in my paintings. If I’m away too long, it starts to haunt those me and call out to me and brings me back to my happy place.
      
7) What motivates you to create the woman you portray in your work? Is there a single person, moment, or narrative you draw from to create each?
Viveros: I just approach everything with the idea of power in mind but manifest specifically in female form. My mom and wife are very strong and influential people in my life, and sometimes I draw inspiration from them in my thoughts.
  
    
8) Do you have a favorite work? Or series? ..or perhaps something you worked on that you learned from? 
Viveros: My latest series ‘Bulletproof’ would be my favorite thus far. It's a new body of work for my upcoming feature in London at Moniker International Art Fair. I put a lot of emotion into the set. While working on it my mother was battling breast cancer, so it's an intensely personal body of work. It was a rough time, and I wanted the pieces to be that much stronger, that much more powerful. These warriors were metaphoric cancer killers, and I’m happy to say that my mom is now cancer free. I’m super excited to bring my Dirtyland over the pond for the first time. This new series of 12 works pushed me into new directions with some notable and epic firsts. I can’t wait to share them with the UK audience. It's Gonna be EPIC!
     
9) Lastly..... and easy one... if you could only pick one paint color for the rest of your life...what color would it be? 
Viveros:BLOOD RED or RED BLOOD, HAHA!
    
   
"Thank you GelaSkins & Nuvango for this opportunity and to all your readers Stay Dirty." 
    
10) What's next for Viveros? Mr. Brian M. Viveros is heading to the UK with Los Angeles’ Thinkspace Gallery to present a highly anticipated solo exhibition of brand new work. ‘Bulletproof,’ a complete collection of all new works will be on view at London’s Moniker International Art Fair from Oct. 5 to October 8, 2017, and will be the very first time the artist brings his legendary Dirtyland “over the pond.” This dirty dozen of 12 new, never before seen, pieces represents some of his most arresting and beautifully rendered work to date. Stay tuned to his site for release details. 

Read more


Artist Interview: Candice Kaye

Posted by Dawn Laing on

As part of theGelaSkins X Microsoft Collaboration, six Canadian artists were chosen to launch the first exclusive collection of Surface GelaSkins and we can't wait to introduce you to each of them! Find out what makes them tick, how they approached this collaboration and their thoughts on art as a career path.

INTRODUCING: Candice Kaye

Candice Kaye GelaSkins

Photo by @ColinWeidelich

Where do you live now / where is your hometown? I was born and raised in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Where do you find your inspiration?I get my inspiration from many sources, including just plain peace and quiet. Travel is a huge source of inspiration for me. I feel if I stay in one place for too long it's hard to grow as a textile designer. Traveling to new countries or cities has a way of clearing my head and in return I'm filled with new experiences, and new people - always teaching me something different. It keeps things fresh, which I feel is important to translate in my work.

Your artwork is very flora/fauna inspired to me, has it always been so, or is this a style you’ve developed over time?I have a sentimental attachment to the Rose. It was the first flower I taught myself how to paint while studying textile design in New York City. My work was definitely not as realistic as the others in my class. However while teaching myself I adopted my own style and trusted it. I pair flowers that would otherwise not be paired together in a print, while experimenting with unconventional colours, and scale. It organically became my style over time.

Did you go to art school? If so, where? If not, what made you choose your direction as an artist and jump right in?The dream was actually to become a professional dancer. I grew up in the studio. It was and still is a space I feel most myself in. I picked up photography while studying Sociology at Ryerson University and dancing for the Raptors Dance Pak. I started blogging and discovered other tumblr accounts. I fell in love with street style photography, fashion, and New York City. That was seven years ago now. With no true desire to design clothing, I applied to the RCC Institute of Design and Technology for Interior Design. I enjoyed making sample boards more than the actual structure of the interior. The thought of textile design as a career didn't dawn on me until I was in Paris and walked into a fabric warehouse. It was love at first sight. I applied to The Fashion Institute of Technology for textile design in New York City, and the rest is history.

Photo by @briewilliams

What was the scariest thing you’ve done to date as it relates to your professional art career? Some artists have told us they have completely changed styles only to revert back to a previous style… others have told us they left a comfort zone of sharing in their small town and trying to make the leap to a bigger city, bigger market.I think the scariest thing to date was truly trusting in myself as an artist and fully going for it. It has been a very interesting journey to get to where I am today. Doubt definitely will play a factor when no one can see your vision the same way you can. I had to give myself permission to go for it, and jump head first in faith.

What is your favourite medium?Watercolor

For this featured collection you created a piece on the Microsoft Surface, for the Surface. How was this different than your everyday art practice, if at all?When Microsoft introduced me to their Sketchable app I discovered brushes that I've been wanting to learn on Photoshop. The Sketchable app is so incredibly user friendly. I discovered a whole new style that has given me variation to my work. Some of the prints for Microsoft were created completely on Sketchable.

Custom Projectfor Tropical Hotel St. Barth

You recently traveled halfway around the world to Australia. Given the tropical vibe of so many of your works, did you fly home from that adventure inspired with new themes or ideas? If so, can you share your thoughts with our readers?Yes! Australia was incredible. There is nothing I love more than a 24 hour journey across the world. I stopped in Bali for a week before heading home and fell in love with the laid back surfer vibes. I'm approaching my newest collection, Collection N 25, with a looser hand. This new collection is surprisingly inspired by love. You can expect red roses combined with the tropical rainforests of Bali.

What’s next for you? Any upcoming shows?Candice Kaye Design will be working on a couple new commercial projects that will be opening this summer/fall. There are exciting collaborations coming up as well. Also I'll be experimenting on new interior surfaces such as table wear, fabric, table tops, and tiles in the future!

You can shop Candice Kaye’s GelaSkins collectionHEREAs a special gift from now until May 7th midnight (EST) enjoy 30% off of Candice's collection using code: CANDICEKAYE30

For more Candice info & good times… roll on over to these social spots to find her:

Instagram handle:@_candicekaye_

Where can people find you on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/candicekayedesign/

Anywhere else they should look?CandiceKayeDesign.com

Read more

Artist Interview: Candice Kaye

Posted by Dawn Laing on

As part of theGelaSkins X Microsoft Collaboration, six Canadian artists were chosen to launch the first exclusive collection of Surface GelaSkins and we can't wait to introduce you to each of them! Find out what makes them tick, how they approached this collaboration and their thoughts on art as a career path.

INTRODUCING: Candice Kaye

Candice Kaye GelaSkins

Photo by @ColinWeidelich

Where do you live now / where is your hometown? I was born and raised in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Where do you find your inspiration?I get my inspiration from many sources, including just plain peace and quiet. Travel is a huge source of inspiration for me. I feel if I stay in one place for too long it's hard to grow as a textile designer. Traveling to new countries or cities has a way of clearing my head and in return I'm filled with new experiences, and new people - always teaching me something different. It keeps things fresh, which I feel is important to translate in my work.

Your artwork is very flora/fauna inspired to me, has it always been so, or is this a style you’ve developed over time?I have a sentimental attachment to the Rose. It was the first flower I taught myself how to paint while studying textile design in New York City. My work was definitely not as realistic as the others in my class. However while teaching myself I adopted my own style and trusted it. I pair flowers that would otherwise not be paired together in a print, while experimenting with unconventional colours, and scale. It organically became my style over time.

Did you go to art school? If so, where? If not, what made you choose your direction as an artist and jump right in?The dream was actually to become a professional dancer. I grew up in the studio. It was and still is a space I feel most myself in. I picked up photography while studying Sociology at Ryerson University and dancing for the Raptors Dance Pak. I started blogging and discovered other tumblr accounts. I fell in love with street style photography, fashion, and New York City. That was seven years ago now. With no true desire to design clothing, I applied to the RCC Institute of Design and Technology for Interior Design. I enjoyed making sample boards more than the actual structure of the interior. The thought of textile design as a career didn't dawn on me until I was in Paris and walked into a fabric warehouse. It was love at first sight. I applied to The Fashion Institute of Technology for textile design in New York City, and the rest is history.

Photo by @briewilliams

What was the scariest thing you’ve done to date as it relates to your professional art career? Some artists have told us they have completely changed styles only to revert back to a previous style… others have told us they left a comfort zone of sharing in their small town and trying to make the leap to a bigger city, bigger market.I think the scariest thing to date was truly trusting in myself as an artist and fully going for it. It has been a very interesting journey to get to where I am today. Doubt definitely will play a factor when no one can see your vision the same way you can. I had to give myself permission to go for it, and jump head first in faith.

What is your favourite medium?Watercolor

For this featured collection you created a piece on the Microsoft Surface, for the Surface. How was this different than your everyday art practice, if at all?When Microsoft introduced me to their Sketchable app I discovered brushes that I've been wanting to learn on Photoshop. The Sketchable app is so incredibly user friendly. I discovered a whole new style that has given me variation to my work. Some of the prints for Microsoft were created completely on Sketchable.

Custom Projectfor Tropical Hotel St. Barth

You recently traveled halfway around the world to Australia. Given the tropical vibe of so many of your works, did you fly home from that adventure inspired with new themes or ideas? If so, can you share your thoughts with our readers?Yes! Australia was incredible. There is nothing I love more than a 24 hour journey across the world. I stopped in Bali for a week before heading home and fell in love with the laid back surfer vibes. I'm approaching my newest collection, Collection N 25, with a looser hand. This new collection is surprisingly inspired by love. You can expect red roses combined with the tropical rainforests of Bali.

What’s next for you? Any upcoming shows?Candice Kaye Design will be working on a couple new commercial projects that will be opening this summer/fall. There are exciting collaborations coming up as well. Also I'll be experimenting on new interior surfaces such as table wear, fabric, table tops, and tiles in the future!

You can shop Candice Kaye’s GelaSkins collectionHEREAs a special gift from now until May 7th midnight (EST) enjoy 30% off of Candice's collection using code: CANDICEKAYE30

For more Candice info & good times… roll on over to these social spots to find her:

Instagram handle:@_candicekaye_

Where can people find you on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/candicekayedesign/

Anywhere else they should look?CandiceKayeDesign.com

Read more


Artist Interview: Meet Claire Desjardins

Posted by Dawn Laing on

As part of the GelaSkins X Microsoft Collaboration, six Canadian artists were chosen to launch the first exclusive collection of Surface GelaSkins and we can't wait to introduce you to each of them! Find out what makes them tick, how they approached this collaboration and their thoughts on art as a career path. 
GelaSkins Claire Desjardins

INTRODUCING: Claire Desjardins

Where do you live now / where is your hometown?

I live in Gore, Quebec, which is one hour north of Montreal, in the Laurentians. We live in the woods.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration is all around me, in my day-to-day. I try to represent what I see and feel, not to reproduce it. When I was younger, I loved scuba diving. I was wowed by the electric colours of the fish, coral and sponges and I think I have always kept a bit of that with me. I love colour and repeated patterns.

Cobblestones Claire Desjardins

Your artwork is very abstract, has it always been so, or is this a style you’ve developed over time?

Ever since I’ve been a working artist, my artwork has been abstract. As a child, I followed the teachers’ directives, and we made whatever it was that the class was making. I often created the abstract version of it, though. I’d explain it by saying that I was creating the feeling I get about something. I have abstract pieces dating back to early childhood. There are elements of what I did then, that I still carry with me.

Claire Desjardins GelaSkins

Did you go to artschool? If so, where? If not, what made you choose your direction as an artist and jump right in?

I did not go to school for art, despite my parent's encouragement to do so. I was afraid of becoming a cliché “starving artist”, as I had seen so many do. Instead, I took a rather convoluted path toward busines and later got a corporate job, designing application interfaces for mobile devices. My substrate was measured in pixels, and my hands remained clean, as I manipulated my work with a keyboard and mouse. I painted on weekends, only, which I really enjoyed. Pretty soon, I was selling paintings through social media. When I got laid off from my day job, I thought that it would be a good time to try my hand as a full-time working artist. The stars aligned, and I was picked up by a couple of art galleries almost immediately, and I also started licensing with a large retailer. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, and my new career took off. I have never worked harder, and I have never been happier!

What was the scariest thing you’ve done to date as it relates to your professional art career? Some artists have told us they have completely changed styles only to revert back to a previous style… others have told us they left a comfort zone of sharing in their small town and trying to make the leap to a bigger city, bigger market.

The leap from a regular, corporate job to becoming an artist, and trusting myself to make the right decisions was terrifying. It was a sink or swim situation, and fortunately, I swam. I am still driven by fear, to this day (what if the success suddenly goes away?). Fear is what makes me work as hard as I do, though I am learning to trust in the universe, slowly but surely.

What is your favourite medium?

Trusty acrylic paints are my all-time favourites. I know how to manipulate them, so that they give me the desired effects. Every so often, they surprise me, too. I like not knowing what to expect from my art. I love surprises, and I try to respond to the stray marks that the materials and tools may create. It’s a dialogue.

For this featured collection you created a piece on the Microsoft Surface, for the Surface. How was this different than your everyday art practice, if at all?

Well first off, it’s a lot cleaner to use: no paint under my fingernails! I’m a very messy painter in the studio, and I’m also quite spontaneous. I love how the Surface allows me to to continue that spontaneity. I am using different tools to achieve the designs I want, but I can still create gestural lines and forms, and the on-screen colours are brilliant and exciting to me. I love how I can capture ideas on the go. I travel quite a bit, and when I’m confined to an airplane seat for 5 or so hours, it’s really nice to be able to play around with ideas. I always used to feel that travel time was lost time, because I couldn’t really make art. I would often have ideas, but if I didn’t draw or paint them somewhere, they’d be lost. That is no longer the case. I also like that I can now create mockups for larger paintings. This is something that is useful for commissioned pieces, as it allows my clients to envision the way I perceive their request, before starting a large format piece.

What’s next for you? Any upcoming shows?

I’m getting ready for ArtExpo NY(April 21-24, booth S112). It will be my first time at that show, and I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I think I always get a bit nervous before a show, as I wonder if my artworks will be well received or not. Hopefully, they will be.

SHOP the Claire Desjardins collection HERE and if you want to learn more about her you can find here: 

Instagram handle: claire_desjardins_art (https://www.instagram.com/claire_desjardins_art/)
Anywhere else they should look?
Photos by David Glickman

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Artist Interview: Meet Claire Desjardins

Posted by Dawn Laing on

As part of the GelaSkins X Microsoft Collaboration, six Canadian artists were chosen to launch the first exclusive collection of Surface GelaSkins and we can't wait to introduce you to each of them! Find out what makes them tick, how they approached this collaboration and their thoughts on art as a career path. 
GelaSkins Claire Desjardins

INTRODUCING: Claire Desjardins

Where do you live now / where is your hometown?

I live in Gore, Quebec, which is one hour north of Montreal, in the Laurentians. We live in the woods.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration is all around me, in my day-to-day. I try to represent what I see and feel, not to reproduce it. When I was younger, I loved scuba diving. I was wowed by the electric colours of the fish, coral and sponges and I think I have always kept a bit of that with me. I love colour and repeated patterns.

Cobblestones Claire Desjardins

Your artwork is very abstract, has it always been so, or is this a style you’ve developed over time?

Ever since I’ve been a working artist, my artwork has been abstract. As a child, I followed the teachers’ directives, and we made whatever it was that the class was making. I often created the abstract version of it, though. I’d explain it by saying that I was creating the feeling I get about something. I have abstract pieces dating back to early childhood. There are elements of what I did then, that I still carry with me.

Claire Desjardins GelaSkins

Did you go to artschool? If so, where? If not, what made you choose your direction as an artist and jump right in?

I did not go to school for art, despite my parent's encouragement to do so. I was afraid of becoming a cliché “starving artist”, as I had seen so many do. Instead, I took a rather convoluted path toward busines and later got a corporate job, designing application interfaces for mobile devices. My substrate was measured in pixels, and my hands remained clean, as I manipulated my work with a keyboard and mouse. I painted on weekends, only, which I really enjoyed. Pretty soon, I was selling paintings through social media. When I got laid off from my day job, I thought that it would be a good time to try my hand as a full-time working artist. The stars aligned, and I was picked up by a couple of art galleries almost immediately, and I also started licensing with a large retailer. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, and my new career took off. I have never worked harder, and I have never been happier!

What was the scariest thing you’ve done to date as it relates to your professional art career? Some artists have told us they have completely changed styles only to revert back to a previous style… others have told us they left a comfort zone of sharing in their small town and trying to make the leap to a bigger city, bigger market.

The leap from a regular, corporate job to becoming an artist, and trusting myself to make the right decisions was terrifying. It was a sink or swim situation, and fortunately, I swam. I am still driven by fear, to this day (what if the success suddenly goes away?). Fear is what makes me work as hard as I do, though I am learning to trust in the universe, slowly but surely.

What is your favourite medium?

Trusty acrylic paints are my all-time favourites. I know how to manipulate them, so that they give me the desired effects. Every so often, they surprise me, too. I like not knowing what to expect from my art. I love surprises, and I try to respond to the stray marks that the materials and tools may create. It’s a dialogue.

For this featured collection you created a piece on the Microsoft Surface, for the Surface. How was this different than your everyday art practice, if at all?

Well first off, it’s a lot cleaner to use: no paint under my fingernails! I’m a very messy painter in the studio, and I’m also quite spontaneous. I love how the Surface allows me to to continue that spontaneity. I am using different tools to achieve the designs I want, but I can still create gestural lines and forms, and the on-screen colours are brilliant and exciting to me. I love how I can capture ideas on the go. I travel quite a bit, and when I’m confined to an airplane seat for 5 or so hours, it’s really nice to be able to play around with ideas. I always used to feel that travel time was lost time, because I couldn’t really make art. I would often have ideas, but if I didn’t draw or paint them somewhere, they’d be lost. That is no longer the case. I also like that I can now create mockups for larger paintings. This is something that is useful for commissioned pieces, as it allows my clients to envision the way I perceive their request, before starting a large format piece.

What’s next for you? Any upcoming shows?

I’m getting ready for ArtExpo NY(April 21-24, booth S112). It will be my first time at that show, and I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I think I always get a bit nervous before a show, as I wonder if my artworks will be well received or not. Hopefully, they will be.

SHOP the Claire Desjardins collection HERE and if you want to learn more about her you can find here: 

Instagram handle: claire_desjardins_art (https://www.instagram.com/claire_desjardins_art/)
Anywhere else they should look?
Photos by David Glickman

Read more