Amy Royce [amyroyce]
How and why did you begin to be creative?
Everybody starts out that way. I just think I'm lucky that I got some kernel of encouragement to follow that path. I think some of it has to do with the DIY mentality and always feeling somewhat of an outsider. Finding my own way, my own niche, was always a goal, and I think artists have to be creative (and stubborn) to do that.
"To give birth to ideas." Is this only an expression, or are there really parallels between giving birth and creativity?
For me, every work of art simultaneously produces feelings that are both painful and life-giving. I feel the wrenching contractions of both my own passage through the birth canal and in turn the act of giving birth to an idea.
Does spirituality contribute to your creativity?
Yes - when I can get out of my own way, it feels as if the work is creating itself and I am the proverbial 'vessel'. This is a very liberating feeling, so I am always reaching for it when I'm in the studio. That's the challenge though: to find a release from the suffering that the mind often tricks us into. Ironically, the creative process is pretty much the ONLY situation I can find this level of peace, and I think that's why I do art.
It is possible to fall in love with a bad idea simply because it is yours. How do you avoid this?
Oh yes, but to avoid it would be to deny the beauty of the exploration and experimentation in creativity that I love, which in turn makes me vulnerable to my (or others') judgement of what is perceived. It doesn't take into consideration the context or value of the idea in the history of my artistic development. I think 'bad' is good!
Your biography in four lines.
I'm an encaustic painter and sometimes printmaker who was born in Southern California in the 70's. I now live in Central Oregon and I make colorful abstracted art that is influenced by movement and emotional expression of the human figure. Oops that's 3 lines...
Do you upload your work to the web? If so, where could we see it?
What role does technology play in your creative process?
Encaustic painting is an ancient process, but in this day and age calls for a lot of technological equipment: my studio is filled with crockpots, buffet warmers, torches and heat guns, irons, carving tools, brushes and anything else i can find secondhand. I love the alchemy of creating art with beeswax, resin and pigment and the experimental nature of making my own paint to do it.
When and how did you begin to see yourself as an artist?
I always wanted to be an artist, but there wasn't a clear idea of what that meant in my mind. It simply was. I was an artist! The peace and escape I felt when I was alone in my room drawing horses was all that mattered, not who approved of it or bought it or represented me. Now, as an adult, I sometimes struggle with what it means to be a professional artist at all, when all I want is to escape into my studio and lose myself in the creative process.
How should a work of art be evaluated?
Does it move me in some way shape or form? If the artist is communicating from the heart, the work has value, even if I don't like it.
Must an artist reinvent him/herself everyday?
Depends on the perspective/definition of 'reinvent'. I have this image of the poseur just trying to get famous by continually making up shit to get a reaction. Doesn't feel authentic to me. On the other hand, you gotta keep it fresh or you'll burn out and make the same painting over and over again.
Is art necessary?
Is a frog's ass watertight? (from some movie I saw as a kid)
Does it pain you to let go of a piece you have sold?
For a few moments, I feel the pain of the birth of that piece and the work it took to create it. Then, I let it go and know that I've made room (literally and figuratively) to create more and better work.
In art, there is no guide. How do you know what the next step is?
Art is very process-oriented for me. I like to think of it as a 'call and response' process, where I respond to the work in a give-and-take way until it's 'done'. Sometimes I don't know if it's done and it ends up feeling unsettled so it ends up in storage for a while until I can resolve the piece months, sometimes years later. When a piece works for me I also find that the viewer ends up seeing and feeling the echoes of that conversation.
What are your professional goals? Where do you want to be in five years?
I'd like to be partaking in more educational opportunities like residencies, fellowships and workshops so that I can continue to explore who I am as an artist.
Bend, Oregon, USA