CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?
ZP: It has been described as ‘dark art nouveau,’ which I quite like. I have drawn much inspiration from the art nouveau movement over the years but also a lot from urban art movements, like graffiti, street art, and skate culture so maybe ‘urban art nouveau’ is more suitable. It is always tricky to put words to the imagery.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
ZP: It has really varied over the years, however, the natural world has always been a constant wellspring of inspiration that I tap into. These days I am also finding inspiration from many contemporary artists and from a handful of friends of mine. Artists such as Pat Perry, Joshua Mays, Swoon, Aryz, and Joao Ruas.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
ZP: It typically works in two distinct ways. Either the piece will appear to me quite clearly, in a dream for instance, and I will simply bring it into being, or else, it involves a process of construction and development. In that case, I’ll usually start by writing down a concept for a piece and then work out the image in a series of sketches.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
ZP: Ideally, I want people to discover in my work a heightened sensitivity to beauty and a gentle state of contemplation. I want people to walk away with a slightly altered perception of their own sense of being. Pretty loft goals, I know.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
ZP: Currently, I’d say it’s not very out of the ordinary. I have a studio in Barcelona where I spend the better part of the day painting, drawing, and working on whatever else needs to be done. And every week I try to get in a bit of life drawing, time with friends, and time in nature.
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?
ZP: I actually think both are extremely important. Most of my work begins with a direction and has a particular set of steps in order to finish; however, I also always make time to work on other pieces where I move primarily from intuition. I will often start a painting or drawing by throwing a cup of paint or ink onto a blank slate and then building from there. I think that both processes are important to keep a healthy practice.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
ZP: The importance of just showing up and putting in the work.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of the highest importance?
ZP: I think style is important for sure, but, these days, the message behind the work is most important to me. I find there are many artists that have good taste but have nothing to say and therefore not much to contribute.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
ZP: To avoid over-criticizing your own work. There is no critic quite as harsh as yourself.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
ZP: The freedom and the playfulness of being able to make whatever you’d like.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artists that inspire you in any way?
ZP: Big time. As I mentioned before, Pat Perry, Swoon, Joshua Mays, Aryz, Joao Ruas, and also, Alex Kanevsky, Sainer, Mucha, and Klimt.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
ZP: It’s both great and challenging. On the one hand, technology allows us to produce and share our work in ways that were unheard of just a few decades ago, which, I’d say, is a beautiful gift. However, technology, and social media, in particular, can be a deadly poison to making authentic work that has gravity and relevancy outside of the platform. I guess you just have to move with caution and be in tune with something deeper than the surface of the screen.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
ZP: In a sense. I feel that creatives do see things differently and tend to move through a world that is woven with magic and poetry; however, I think that this experience is inherent in everyone, more of a natural state of being human. It only needs to be uncovered and cultivated in those who have lost touch with it.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
ZP: I do love to travel! But I’d say that I actually love everything between cities more than the cities themselves. I tend to love natural spaces more than cityscapes.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
ZP: John Steinbeck has always been a big one for me. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins is also a favorite.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
ZP: Nothing specific, only to keep expanding and evolving.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
ZP: I see the role of the artist as someone who weaves new visions into the tapestry of the world, who has the power to present or reflect on what it means to be human, and to offer this in such a way that allows others to move into a sense of communion or community.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
ZP: Currently listening to The Conversation by Dictaphone
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
ZP: “I offer you fragrance and a sweet face to call you back to life’s beauty. Take time to notice me and I’ll let you fall in love again with life. That is my gift.” – Wildflower