JESSICA MATIER

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

JM: I am a contemporary abstract artist for obvious reasons I suppose.

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

JM: My inspiration is a byproduct of a rigorous and disciplined studio practice. I like to read about religion, psychology, history, and some science. That usually helps me work out whatever I’m trying to express. I cannot allow my inspiration to come out of something that is not grounded, i.e. an emotion without it’s surrounding factors.

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

JM: In the beginning of a painting, I try to be as loose and open to new images as possible. It is hard for me to focus on one thing for a decent amount of time. I find myself flitting around the studio and let the gestural images fall out when it feels like an honest moment.

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

JM: I hope people can look at themselves in an honest and revealing light after experiencing my work. I hope it encourages them to preserve their individuality and let those characteristics define them rather than following trending ideas and beliefs.

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

JM: I’m kind of giggling at this because my lifestyle feels like the most un-artistic lifestyle. I squeeze work in when I can and spend most of my day running after my three kids and the dog.

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?

JM: I think every task is unique. There are times when there is a particular notion I need to carry out and other times I am using the process of painting to search for it.

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

JM: It is not all about painting. Most of it is marketing, administrative work, packaging, and shipping, etc…

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

JM: That is a tricky question. Initially, I would say yes given that I am in an aesthetically driven field, however, the meaning behind supreme taste is equally as important.

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

JM: Creating images without any concern about whether or not it is going to sell.

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

JM: It is a gift to see your inner landscape. This is something that only artists can experience and I feel truly sad for uncreative people.

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

JM: There are so many. Kiki Smith, Hieronymus Bosch, Louise Bourgeois.

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

JM: I personally have immense trouble with technology but I think that it has opened up limitless opportunity to create images and experiences for us.

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

JM: Yes, most of the artists I have met share a similar temperament that is very specific. We walk around seeing the under layers of things and people which has its challenges on a day to day basis.

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

JM: Since having kids traveling has given me too much anxiety to actually enjoy it. I am more comfortable traveling around the USA to low key hiking types of places. My favorite city is definitely Rome. I wish I was older when I went so I could really enjoy it.

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

JM: Joan Didion. I read a lot of random nonfiction too. Right now I am reading Mason Curry’s Daily Ritual and Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economic Principles.

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

JM: There are many but to actually execute them is another thing. Right now it’s a lot of painting with a little future sculpture work on the side. I am still looking for the right size container for a silicone mold. It’s been an adventure doing so in the quarantine situation at hand.

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

JM: Being an artist is an involuntary way of existing. If you are, it is best not to fight it. I tried and it almost destroyed me.

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

JM: Me playing Lavender Blue on the piano. I think my dog’s ears are still bleeding.

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

JM: It is not intentional but rather a consequence of my visual problem-solving. Nevertheless, I do approach the work from a design perspective once the first layer of materials is down. It needs to be a technically attractive painting to be looked at for any length of time.

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