ANSLEY GIVHAN

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

AG: I currently work two-dimensional- painting and drawing. I use a combination of many different mediums; working on both canvas and paper. I create images that blend representation and abstraction.

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

AG: Experimentation really excites me at the moment. I am very curious about the interaction of material, and the process of painting itself. Layering and combining different mediums often leads to really interesting conversations on the surface.

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

AG: New ideas typically come during the act of painting or drawing. What I discover in the process informs the direction for my next painting. I have a lot of things I want to try, so usually I just pick somewhere to start and respond intuitively.

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

AG: I’d like to present viewers with a new way of seeing and responding to the world. If the work brings forth some sort of emotion- negative or positive, I would be happy with that!

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

AG: I try to paint everyday. I think that is the most important thing! It’s not all glamorous, it’s really just dedication and hard work.

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?

AG: I usually start with some sort of idea- a technique I am wanting to try, a color or composition I want to play with, or a concept I want to explore. When I feel stuck, I often assign myself some sort of project with a set of parameters such as a limited palette or size.

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

AG: Experimentation and making “bad art” is key.

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

AG: If you make honest work, then style will come naturally. I don’t force anything or try to be something I’m not.

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

AG: Self-doubt.

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

AG: I feel very grateful to have a consistent form of emotional expression. Creating as an act of releasing emotion helps me remain balanced and rational.

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

AG: There are too many to list.

AG: Katherine Bradford, Matisse, Paul Klee, Ida Kohlmeyer, Alex Katz, and Arshile Gorky… to name a few.

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

AG: Technology isn’t going anywhere, so why not utilize it?

AG: I often photograph my paintings to help solve composition problems. Taking a picture of a piece I am struggling with helps me step back from it, as it appears very small on my phone screen. Putting a black and white filter on an image of a painting immediately tells me where the piece lacks contrast.

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

AG: Yes I do, but we all function together. It’s really important that everyone has different perceptions. I admire people who see things differently than I do.

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

AG: I’ve actually traveled quite a bit this year- to Australia and Italy. I embrace being out of my comfort zone and experiencing new things, but I also find it distracting and overwhelming at times. My studio is my home, and the most comfortable place for me to be and create.

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

AG: I am a visual person, so I mostly read art books. I love looking at the pictures and the tactile quality of the paper. The quality of the information in books is far greater than anything you find on the internet. Some of my current favorites are Frida by Ishiuchi and Matisse in the Studio. I’m also reading The Secret Lives of the Surrealists, which is very fascinating- highly recommended!

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

AG: I came to art a little later in my life, actually very recently in my early twenties. I had an influential professor that told me that I could really be a serious painter if I worked hard enough; that encouragement changed my life. I hope I can do that for someone someday.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

AG: I couldn’t tell you the last song I listened to, but lately I’ve been loving Belgium based artist Angele. Also any French dream pop ❤

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

AG: Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. -Pablo Picasso

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