CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?
AMC: My work is a combination of various disciplines from printmaking, drawing, mixed-medium collages, painting and textiles to create immersive installations. My art practice centers around the evolving concepts of culture, gender, family and religion. I’m interested in the connection between cultural heritage and personal identity in Orthodox and secular societies. My explorations involve image collection and writing as an integral part of the process; I also use alternative forms of photographic printmaking through pigment transfers, lithography on a variety of fabric and paper.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
AMC: Inspirations can surface from almost anywhere or everything, mostly I’m intrigued by people I meet or find along my journey, their personal stories or appearances. Textiles from all corners of the earth inspire me, also colors and even the smallest detail like a fold or crease on a piece of clothing when light hits and exaggerates it. Other things around me, like architecture from ancient ruins or modern clean slate concrete buildings as well as antique jewelry…the list could go on and on….
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
AMC: I usually begin my process through research and investigation on a subject or concept. Then I begin laying out the theoretical part into the 2 dimensional, either by small studies of collage work on paper or trying out different types of printmaking to decide how I want to execute the project. In doing this I am able to observe and decide what is working, but a very important aspect as I go through the creative process is using this time to freely discover and allow for making happy errors and for enjoying how the story starts to unfold.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
AMC: I would like to awaken people’s curiosity as they look at the artwork and for them to connect to it, if not outright identify with aspects in it, to create a space for them to make up their own stories that feed their imagination.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
AMC: Over the years, in my professional life since I left the fashion design industry and chose to pursue a career in the visual arts, I have reunited with my true self. In the past I kept out of focus the fact that I am a daughter and granddaughter of Spanish/ Moroccan Jews because I wanted to fit into the non- immigrant Canadian society at the time. When I began my first series of artwork is when I realized my culture, heritage and faith were embedded in my DNA, and therefore came out organically in the work. There was no more room for denial, and instead I came to embrace the moment by identifying myself as female Jewish/Sephardic (Spanish-Jew) artist. It was at this moment I understood this was a gift I was given to be an artist, whereas many women before me, within my family were not able to have the freedom of artistic expression. Recognizing this allowed me to create art to express my emotions and reactions to the stories of my family’s history and memories, especially of the women. I created a dialogue between them and gave them voices through my works of art. I realize that I may not be accepted for who or what I represent by all, or even fit into the Jewish community in the traditional perspective. Through my artwork and as an artist I can share a different aspect of my culture and religion without fear of judgement or backlash of anti-semitism. My objective is to raise awareness that we are all humans living on one planet with so much diversity, and to be truly inspired by it.
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?
AMC: Honestly, I have never started any type of artistic project without direction. I almost always have a concept that inspires me to continue to complete the work, but its true, things do change along the way and that’s ok, because as I develop the ideas, I discover new information that might work better or is more aligned than the initial.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
AMC: PATIENCE. Not only with myself but with the medium I am working with and belief in myself.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
AMC: I do think both style and taste are important, however my belief is that taste is something you are born with. In other words, either you have it or don’t and then of course there is always the argument that taste is subjective, which I think is true, because it depends on so many personal factors. Whereas, I think style is something you can develop by with practice and with having consistency in your work.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
AMC: Uff..I would have to say my racing mind, which never stops creating, so filtering through that and deciding which ideas to pursue. Also staying inspired along with the pressure to succeed or live up to the art world standards, critiques and judgements can be exhausting.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
AMC: I love having the ability to take something from reality and interpret it to fit into my creative landscape.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?
AMC: Jean-Paul Gaultier, fashion designer, artist and visionary, inspired me at very young age to become a fashion designer; he made fashion art. Njideka Akunyili Crosby is an amazing female artist whose work I somehow identify with, like how she conveys her family, culture and experiences stories through the mixture of painting and collage.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
AMC: Technology is a power tool for artists and provides us a world with endless possibilities. There are so many developments in digital art and newly created textile and surface design. More importantly, it has opened up more diverse online platforms where artists can share their art with the world and where the art world is more accessible to everyone.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
AMC: Definitely. I view the world in a completely reversed version …helps me envision things in a more transcendental context.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
AMC: Travelling is an essential! When possible, I try to travel at least 3 times a year. NYC and Tel Aviv are some of my favorites. I love their similarities: the diversity of people, languages, fusions of food and architecture and both are situated next to a body of water.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
AMC: I was recently turned on to this book, Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, which has become a favorite.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
AMC: Yes, for sure one of my goals is to become more of an advocate for breast cancer, having survived it myself last year. I would like to incorporate or collaborate with institutions or foundations that align with cancer awareness platforms, and with my art to provide awareness by using the public space to create elusive installations. Elusiveness being one of the many faces of cancer.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
AMC: Sharing stories and opening up new dialogues between the artist and the viewer and among viewers as a collective.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
AMC: Happy Now? By Finneas
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
AMC: Constant state of transforming the realms within and through surfaces, elements, and design.