JENNY GRAY

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

JG: I make contemporary abstract paintings. The reason I work abstractly is because I want to simplify – figures into shapes for example. 

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

JG: I studied design and continuously draw inspiration from typography for aesthetic reasons. I  get content/subject inspiration from human beings, we hurt each other, we hurt ourselves, we are kind, we are compassionate, we are damaged.

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

JG: A painting often starts with a simple “story” I have been thinking about, for example “rising above hurt.” I seldom make preliminary sketches, I start by making marks directly on the canvas that symbolize humans, objects or emotions.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

JG: I want them to see or just feel humanness.

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

JG: I try to be in the studio as much as I can. In order for me to be an artist it means I must live very simply as far as material things go. It also means I have to piece together income as I can with freelance design projects, marketing my own art, selling art online etc.

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?

JG: For me I like to have a direction to start with but not get tied to it, there has to be impulse and intuition while working.

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

JG: I always wanted a gallery to come along and sell my work for me but I just don’t think that happens too much anymore. I have learned you have have to get out there and do your own selling, marketing etc. and all of that takes a huge amount of time.

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

JG: I think the content of a painting is the most important thing. But I think style is very important too for better or worse if you stick to a certain style I think it makes it easier to sell your work in the long run.

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

JG: The money/time balance is one of the hardest things for me right now. If I am earning money from freelance work I am not spending as much time on my art.

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

JG: Making art is something I HAVE to do, but it is the thing I love too.

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

JG: I am always inspired when I see Amy Sillman’s paintings. Ashley Longshore cracks me up, I love her take charge attitude, and what Heather Schulte does especially with cross stitch on newspapers is really great.

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

JG: I don’t use technology in making my art (probably because I have to sit at the computer enough as it is) but technology is useful for selling art and keeping in touch with folks.

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

JG: Yes I think so, I think I am more compassionate than I would be if I did not make art.

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

JG: I do not “love” traveling although I have done a bit. My favorite kind of travel is to a deserted wilderness area for 3-4 days.

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

JG: I loved “Night Studio: A Memoir of Philip Guston” by Musa Mayer, but I don’t really have a favorite book right now.

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

JG: Just to get better and better!

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

JG: Challenging yourself, expressing yourself, being a better human.

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

JG: You Want it Darker by Leonard Cohen

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

JG: Paint is my medium because it allows me to cover, uncover, be expressive and loose, or graphic and hard-edged.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: