What are your influences?
My influences span from movies, music and painting to psychology, spirituality and day-to-day experiences. My earlier influences came from film, but at around the same time I was exposed to painters such as Salvador Dali and Renee Magritte whose work had a tremendous impact on me. For about 3 or 4 years I would hole up in my room and study works by Vincent Van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Jean Michel-Basquiat, Henri Matisse, Caravaggio, Pablo Picasso, Milton Avery and Jackson Pollock among many others. Recently, musicians such as Aphex Twin and John Frusciante have profoundly impacted and spurred on the way I express myself. Film directors such as Paul Thomas Anderson, Michael Mann, John Carpenter and Danny Boyle have always had a special place in my heart. My art professor, Adria Pecora has had a tremendous impact on me during my stay at Paradise Valley Community College. Her versatility, talent and insight as an artist really helped me improve as an artist. She has a way of approaching the creative process and articulating the ideas behind the process that I really admire and look up to.
What is the most difficult aspect of your creative process?
I think that one of the more difficult things about the creative process is not over-thinking it. I have noticed that having expectations for my art is something that does not work for me at this point in my journey. If I approach the canvas with a specific idea that is already mapped out, I struggle to maintain interest. At this point, the creative process has a mind of its own and if I am fortunate enough to organize all of these things in my head without forcing it at the right time, I am truly satisfied. The old cliché “organized chaos” rings true for me. Part of the creative process is relaxing into the frame of mind where thoughts fade and you loosen your grip on control. When you reach that point, the creativity just pours out. So, the difficult part is relaxing and going with it, not against it.