CHANTAL ANDERSON

chantalandersongoldCH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

CA: My work is broken in to two parts: cultural preservation studies of places I’ve been and people I’ve met, and editorial and commercial work. I try to bring the spontaneity and candidness of my documentary work into every commercial or editorial project I work on.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

CA: I pull most of my inspiration from daily life; I try to live my life with open eyes. There is plenty going on all around us all of the time.

CH.89: Can you talk a little ­bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

CA: My documentary projects can happen quickly, and then other times evolve over months and even years. I’ll visit an interesting place on a road trip and decide to return a year later, or meet someone in the street and photograph them right then and there. Or I’ll have a topic in mind that I’ll obsessively be turning over in my head for months before I set out to work on it.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

chantalanderson0030CA: I think people are endlessly interesting. If I can frame even the smallest story as interesting-which every story is- then I’ve done well.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

CA: I love to dance, shoot hoops, or go on a long walk right when I wake up and I try to get out of the city as much as I can. Most days I take pictures as I travel around the city, running errands and meeting people, and if I’m lucky I have a free afternoon to spend at the park. Business is a big part of my day-I’m usually on my computer for three or four solid hours doing emails, editing, and other business stuff. I love to spend my evenings drinking wine with friends and brainstorming ideas, and you could easily catch me still up at 3am editing.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

CA: I definitely believe in preparation, and stowing away ideas, locations, props, and scenes for later use. But! I find the majority of my best work is impromptu and I always end up going off script, no matter how much I’ve planned it out.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

CA: I’ve really learned the importance of trusting my own intuition. Throwing other people’s ideas of my work out the window, and just keeping in tune with myself.

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

CA: In many ways that’s what makes us unique and sets us apart, but there are a lot of things in this world that could be considered the most important.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

CA: I suppose the hardest thing would be working alone– and needing to constantly motivate myself internally.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

CA: Seeing an idea come to fruition- not all visions end up being realized, so it feels extra special when they do.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

CA: There are so many. Right now, James Turrell’s experiential studies of light really get me. I also love Dan Flavin, William Eggleston, Uta Barth, Laura Letinsky, Andrew Wyeth, and Francesca Woodman.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

CA: It’s undeniable but comes at a price: I love that I can work up an image in seconds instead of spending hours in the dark mixing chemicals, but I also have a real affinity for tactile practices.

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

CA: I’m not sure… When I’m feeling creative, it’s definitely different than when I’m just hanging out, talking about normal things, or watching a movie. I guess I can relate to both ideas. There are a lot of ways to view the world.

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

CA: I love traveling. One of my favorite places on Earth is a Greek island named Hydra. There are no cars, and everyone gets around by donkey. Donkey!

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

CA: Some of my favorite authors at the moment: Richard Brautigan, Douglas Coupland, David Sedaris, Susan Sontag, and Elisabeth Bumiller.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

CA: This year I’m working on curating a show here in Los Angeles, and publishing a photo book about my solo travels through the Rocky Mountains.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

CA: How bout- the freedom to experiment.

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

CA: It’s evolving.

CHECK OUT MORE ON: CHANTAL ANDERSON

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