SARAH MATTES

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

SM: Across mediums I would say that my style is playful and pensive. I think those two states balance and feed one another in my work and aesthetic.

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

SM: From the surreal and the everyday. In my drawings and illustrations I am inspired by the wildness of a place and the quiet moments within that space. I am interested in how the trace of an experience or interaction, both extraordinary or common, becomes a part of that place and memory. With my dance performances I focus on the movements of routine and task, and how they are particular and beautiful. I love the personal systems that an individual develops in order to move through their day and I like to highlight that in my choreography.

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

SM: It varies, but usually the work comes from me doing something that I didn’t think would be the work. Once I have been led to the project I dive into it and through repetition start to figure it out and make it into something substantial.

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

SM: That there are moments of complete and total bliss in simple instances everyday. If my work could help people find pleasure in the magic of things that are sometimes overlooked I would feel very happy.

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

SM: I’ve always made many different types of art in all different types of spaces and places. I am a new mom of twins so my lifestyle is very different now than it was before. I would say I am more focused and decisive now, and also that I am coming to my work with an entirely different state of mind and set of daily experiences that are specific and wonderful.

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?

SM: I’ve debated this many times in my own head and the real truth is I think it doesn’t matter, what matters is that the work gets done, every day. I think the only plan really should be to make sure the work is happening and as long as it is you will learn things that take you to the next step. Even if you go in with a plan it will change and that’s the beauty of practice and process. I used to play competitive soccer and I think I learned a lot from sports that I apply to my art. The plan is to practice, the process is the work.

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

SM: Always be sincere and dedicated. If you keep making your work you will be happy, successful and people will like it. It sounds simple, and it is and isn’t all at once!

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

SM: Not sure what this means exactly…but I think if by personal style you mean making the work that is true to you and only you – then yes!

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

SM: Discipline, perseverance and self promotion.

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

SM: The fact that I am always learning. Making art allows me to explore my interests and ideals and share them with people. The fact that you can make something and someone else can connect with it in a similar or even completely different way always amazes me.

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

SM: There are a lot of artists that I love and inspire me constantly. The artist I am most inspired by is my husband, Maximiliano Ferro. We’ve collaborated on many projects and his energy and sincerity is unbelievable. He is able to manifest his wonderment of and appreciation for life in his work and share that with people. For me, that pure intention is the real beauty of making and sharing art.

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

SM: I think it can be really useful but it’s not necessarily always the best path. I make digital drawings sometimes and I enjoy the process but I also like the immediacy of colored pencil on paper. I think technology is great in that it allows people to connect and network with others – the fact that you can find an audience and community from around the world through the internet is amazing.

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

SM: I feel like everyone has an interesting and particular inner world and perspective, but maybe sometimes people aren’t confident or sure of how to express it. I am really happy that I figured out that I needed to make things from a young age because it has definitely shaped how I experience everyday life. I am definitely never bored!

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

SM: I love traveling. I have been pretty nomadic for quite some time and every time I get to a city for a few days I think – yes, I’d love to live here! My husband and I both teach so we have moved around a lot for different visiting professor positions at schools and we both really love new places. We moved to Miami a month ago and are enjoying settling in here, I always find a lot of inspiration for drawing in this city.

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

SM: I love Italo Calvino, particularly the books The Distance of the Moon and Six Memos for the Next Millennium

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

SM: I am currently working on a children’s book that I would like to get published. A goal of mine for 2020 is to do more mural projects. It is really wonderful having work in public spaces and seeing how people enjoy and interact with it.

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

SM: To explore, to share, to highlight the life that is constant, available and wonderful.

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

SM: Sai by Kanda Bongo Man

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

SM: The lights and the shadows are the immaterial that makes material visible.

CHECK OUT MORE ON: SARAH MATTES

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