ARMANDO MELENDEZ

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

AM: My artwork style could be categorized as abstract expressionism.

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

AM: Quoting Picasso, there’s no such thing as inspiration, but hours and hours in front of the canvas, paper, pencil, brush… until you unearth some treasures out of your imagination. But nevertheless, I draw my inspiration from my daily life events, my film mind movies, my meditations, my emotional highs and lows, my kids (I have triplets), books, travels, and so forth.

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

AM: I believe in my gut feeling all throughout my creative process. I very seldom know where a piece is going, I love to experiment. I do work a lot with the elements, water, sand, and sun. I would say all of my pieces have an experimental approach.

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

AM: My work aims to be interactive with the viewer. Hoping he gets a soulful lift, refreshing the mind and soothing the heart.

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

AM: I wake up early morning, start my day with 2 hours of meditation. Heading directly to the canvas or paper I’m working on. My workshop is filled with half way pieces in progress, so it is easy for me to get working on any of them.

AM: I’m quite disciplined and set on the hours. I always trust my intuition and feeling of my inner voice. I work from 8 am until 6 pm. Even on Sundays.

AM: My finding is on the controlled accident of the process. I fully trust the process. My books are also a big inspirational vitamin, films too. Pain and pleasure goes into the mix.

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?

AM: I always go by instinct. Thoughts are traitors in art making. Feelings and emotions nope, they will always hide me.

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

AM: Gratitude. It’s just such a privilege to be an artist. To be open and see outside the box. To open your mind. To be challenged by every line, color or stroke.

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

AM: Yes. It’s your building of a personal mythology.

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

AM: In the very beginnings, money. Later, art critics and dealers. Once you’ve done with them, the world is yours. Art is an ongoing adventure, filled with all kinds of scenarios. Yet, you still have to go out there and conquer the world.

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

AM: Freedom, and living a contemplative life.

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

AM: Willem de Kooning. I Remember, while living in NY, visiting the MET and saw this wonderful huge masterpiece simply called woman, I was awestruck. That did it for me. Always wanted ever since to become an artist. Also, another big hero of mine is the Japanese 16th century master printmaker Kano Sanraku, wonderful skilled gestural master.

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

AM: Definitely, technology in art is a must nowadays. It also comes in handy for social media purposes, I got this interview precisely because of it. And I’m really honored by this distinction.

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

AM: Being an artist has only one privilege over all of the others, such being making your own language. It’s like out of nowhere, there’s a new code, a new language that only belongs to you, now being given to the universe. So, by making it and giving it away, it becomes universal. It actually is a very profound Buddhist approach. To give, to serve others. You become fulfilled. Very close to happiness.

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

AM: Love to travel. It is one of my favorite sources of inspiration.

AM: New York is my city, that’s where all my friends of the New York Academy of Arts are, a school we were all fortunate to attend. I’ve travel all over the world. The actual pandemic has put a pause on this.

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

AM: Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way. And Italo Calvino, Les Amours Difícil.

AM: Both authors are dreamlike writers, I’m addictive to their narrative. I get a lot of mental and creative scenarios from them.

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

AM: Thanks to this pandemic and the uniqueness of its global impact, I had the chance to reinvent myself and my art work. My goal has been to post a daily art piece, as early as of March 2019. A sort of dairy. A thermometer of my inner being.

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

AM: Being an artist means to me winning the jack pot.

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

AM: Leonard Cohen, Dance me to the end of love. Pavarotti Turandot, Nessun Dorma

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

AM: Dare to be different. Dare to dream your dream, and realize it. Don’t be afraid. Say yes to life. Say yes to art.

CHECK OUT MORE ON: ARMANDO MELENDEZ

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