Portraits by Alexandra Dillon.

Portrait Paintings on unlikely objects by Alexandra Dillon from Los Angeles, California.
Artist Statement
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a portrait is worth a thousand stories. My characters come to me the way a novelist's characters do: they form themselves through the creative process and tell me who they are. I strive to make each face unique and convey the life that that person has lived, solely through their look and expression.

In my current work, I paint on worn paintbrushes, many which have been donated by other artists. The faces are inspired by Roman mummy portraits, Old Master paintings, and any other source that speaks to me. Each face is unique and not a copy. These fun little paintings have the charm of hand mirrors, reflecting back our deepest selves.

Painting soft faces on the hard tools, like axes and cleavers, underscores our humanity. The intended purpose of each tool, juxtaposed with the portrait, alludes to inner motivations and social roles. The "old souls" on shovels, remind us of mortality and resurrection. Each of my personae has a set of dreams, disappointments, psychology and baggage. In other words, they are us.

An Interview with Alexandra Dillon.


Who and where are you from? 

I am Alexandra Dillon and I was born in Los Angeles, California.

What brought you to Art?

I started making art as a little girl and I never stopped!

How did you come up with the idea to do portraits on paintbrushes?

When a fire consumed the studio of a fellow artist, other artists were invited to make art from the burned remnants for a show. I took the burned paintbrushes. As soon as I painted a portrait on one brush, I knew I had created something special.

Where do you find your objects to paint on?

I comb through flea markets for old tools and other objects. The dresses come from the local thrift stores. Most of the paint brushes have either come from my own studio or have been donated by other artists.

How do come up with the portraits you create on paintbrushes?

I am a classically trained artist, and I can do actual portraits, but I prefer to let my imagination take the lead. My imagined portraits probably resemble people who have lived, now or sometime in the past. My characters come to me the way a novelist's do: they show up and tell me who they are. I don't begin with a fixed idea. As I work on each face, a personality emerges, and I try to imagine what kind of life they lead. They are all strong people who have resolve. I have always been interested in painting the human drama and I strive to make faces that convey a sense of the intelligence, desires and personality of that person. When the piece is done, they tell me their name.

What is your driving force? 

I  just have a need to create everyday.  Otherwise I would be bored.

What techniques do you use to make the art? 

I work in both oils and acrylics, sometimes both depending on my mood.

You call your style “psychological realism” What does that mean?

The psychology I refer to is both the psychology of the viewer and that of the characters I create. The intense gaze of the paintbrush portraits is engaging, and their shape is reminiscent of a hand-mirror. In that way, they become a reflection on self-hood. The tools, as I said are about hidden emotions.
What do you hope your audience will take away from your work?
I hope that people find my work to be provocative, amusing, beautiful and life-affirming. I like taking something that has already had one life and giving it a new one. All the rust, old paint, and other signs of its use, are like the scars we all bear, both psychologically and physically. They show a life that has been well-lived.

Tell us more about your thought process. 

I don't start with a fixed idea, I just start painting and the characters come to me.

What art inspires you?

I love art from all ages, especially the Roman-Egyptian mummy paintings, Baroque portraits, Renaissance and 19th century works. Aside from just loving the style of those paintings, old portraits show us that human beings are essentially the same as they have been for centuries. I like that continuity. And I adore very ancient art. One of my most cherished memories was visiting the cave paintings in Southern France. I am also inspired by outsider and folk art, which comes from such a pure place in the human soul.
Your work on axes, cleavers, locks, and other tools is beguiling. Can you tell us more about that?
AD: I think the juxtaposition of the face on the metal tools points to the unseen motivations of those personalities. Sometimes a pretty face is really hiding a sharp and aggressive emotion, or an eye reveals the feeling of being locked in relationship. It’s the combination of the tool’s intended purpose, plus the portrait that creates the meaning. I'm continuing to explore this area of my work.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why? 

There are so many incredible artists!!! I hate to choose. I like the paintings of  Ryan Mosley They are full of character.

Agnieszka Nienartowicz from Poland.

Portrait Paintings by Agnieszka Nienartowicz from Poland.
Adoration
An Interview with Agnieszka Nienartowicz.

Who and where are you from?

I am Agnieszka Nienartowicz and I'm from Poland.

What brought you to Art?

I have always had the need to speak. Painting turned out to be the best mean of expression for me. I am always amazed how many emotions, thoughts and feelings a painting can hide in itself and how strong can it speak to our soul, spirit and heart.  

What is your driving force?

I just have a need of painting. 

What kind of work you do and why?

My main interest is the human. All human beings, possessing physical and spiritual characteristics, are the living entities, in contrast to places and things, which are lifeless. This vibrating life, soul and spirit hidden in a flesh, pulls me in and makes a reason to penetrate their existence and nature. There is a duality in the human beings, that stretches between body and soul, physicality and psyche, life and death. I try to catch the self-mystery and intimacy in simple situations, gestures and glances, which all causes and specify us as the human beings. Often, I use attributes: objects, sceneries, paintings from the past centuries, which appear for me strange and peculiar in compelling and captivating way. I attempt to go deeply into the mind, to explore human's consciousness and what is happening internally. Intrigued by the moment of boundary between the real life and the painting, in realism I find the way to look at the world in detail and to exploration of perfectionism, clashing with myself and to contemplate in silence, detail after the detai, the complex painting tissue. 

Tell us more about your thought process.

My paintings are a result of my thoughts and reflections. I wonder how to translate a thought into an image. Then, I make drawings and invite a model to my studio to make a photosession. After this, I make projects - at this stage everything changes and very often it turns out, that my final project is completely different than primary one. And I start painting.

Portraits by Roman Gulman.

Portraits by Roman Gulman.
An Interview with Roman Gulman.

Who and where are you from?
My name is Roman Gulman. I’m originally from Kiev, Ukraine and I moved to Israel when I was 17.

What brought you to Art?
I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. My mom is an architecture engineer and my dad is an art enthusiast and both have always supported my passion for art. By the time I turned 13, my dad had noticed I am not interested in anything but art and has somehow managed to buy a book collection of all the major museums worldwide (Louvre, Versailles, Hermitage, Metropolitan, etc.) – an impossible achievement in the Soviet Union of that time. Shortly after, I started collecting stamps with famous art works of museums, renowned painters, art periods and movements. I would research, ask and trade my stamps with others, in order to complete my collection and as a result, my fascination with art has grown stronger. The images I saw in those stamps inspired me to learn more and continue drawing. In Israel, I enlisted to the “Ascola” High School of Design.

What is your driving force?
After school, I worked as art director on many fashion productions with the leading fashion brands in Israel. Collaborating with top fashion photographers and working with fashion sketches, I learned to look for that moment, that pause, when something deep from the model’s character, his/her personality, suddenly emerges and there is this spark that makes him/her look even better than in reality. 

It is that exact expression that I am trying to capture in my paintings today. This is the message I want to deliver.  

What kind of work you do and why?
My work focuses on portraits. On people. When I paint, I sometimes take my glasses off and see spots and blurs rather than nuances, trying to convey a certain feeling, mood or sensation. My goal is to extract that sincere emotion from within the person I’m painting. That’s why I focus on lines, light and shadows – the way they work together and the composition they create. I also usually add design elements in the background to enhance the character in the center.

In terms of style, you could say my work is influenced by Russian and French impressionists in the color pallet and expressive delivery using layers of paint.

Tell us more about your thought process.
I’ve been working in design for 20 years. 

During that time, I’ve accumulated a lot of experiences and memories. My mind is a collection of images, snap shots, frames, colors, faces, flashes and movie clips that constantly flicker in my head as inspiration. Slowly, I focus on a certain group and pick the image I am going to create. The goal is to deliver that image to a new medium of painting adding layers of expression and depth.

I find people to be the most interesting subject. The face. The changes in expression. Those little movements that render the face completely different.

My strength is in color. When I paint, I feel like I enter a state of trance. I sit close to the canvas and focus to feel the perspective, first drawing without glasses and doing the final accurate additions at the end.
When it feels right, my endorphins run wild. I get nervous and excited like a teenager waiting for a date, with butterflies in my stomach. 

The world of canvas is often too polite to fully express what I feel, so I often also use pastels and graffiti spray to convey my emotions.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?
There are a few modern painters who influence my work. I’ll mention these four:

The Austrian impressionist Egon Schiele – and how he grasps lines, distortions, sexuality. How he deforms his characters, drawing “incorrectly” but it feels so right.

Dominik Jasinski from Poland, and the way he captures faces and uses colors.

Ryan Hewett from South Africa and the way he uses stains.

And the Canadian Andrew Salgado and his colorful technique – also placing the person in front.

Portraits by Enes Debran from Istanbul Turkey.

Portraits by Enes Debran from Istanbul Turkey.
An Interview with Enes Debran.

Who and where are you from?
I am Enes Debran from Istanbul Turkey.

What brought you to Art?
Productivity and the urge to create something of my own first set me on a search and i found the answers in art. In this process i wanted to get away from the chaos that life brings and create a world where i set the rules and listen to the voice of my soul and subconscious.

What is your driving force?
Being an introvert and closing my doors to the outer world and the pleasure i take from 
standing next to a piece of art i created and watching it is what drives me to work.

What kind of work you do and why?
I usually work around portraits because i think it is the clearest thing in which mankind gives away emotions and reflects what is inside.

Tell us more about your thought process.
I don’t really think much before painting. It all starts when i am in front of the canvas. When the absolute submission is ensured, process goes by itself naturally. It wouldn’t be wrong to describe myself as an expressionist. I don’t manipulate the process by following the rules. While fulfilling what the painting demands of me i also try to involve my soul and satisfy its needs too. Only then i can crack the wall between me and the painting and create works of arts that represent me wholly and sincerely.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?
Van Gogh deeply interests me. I think there aren’t many artists who can express themselves in a such transparent way.

Rogowoi Artem a Painter from Ukraine.

An Interview with Rogowoi Artem.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Rogowoi Artem I’m painter from Kharkov region in Ukraine.

What brought you to Art?

Honestly I don’t remember why started to practice art, because it was many years ago and in different periods cause was be different. The first step was be art school, then art college and the finish my learners way was be Kharkov Academy Design and Arts where I was learn restoration of painting. It was important for my life, because I learned painting technology and something technical like fresco and others.So, it’s my metier and I love what I do. 

What is your driving force?

I try to do something what not enough in this world for me. 

What kind of work you do and why?

I mixer few styles of painting and try to create the most beautiful artistic images based on the experience of previous generations of artists and my observations of natural textures and elements. But it’s hard for me, I mean to talk about my paintings because I’m constantly dissatisfied with the results and I want to improve.

Hollow Children a Series by Bjorn Griesbach.

Hollow Children a Series by Bjorn Griesbach from Germany.
An Interview with Bjorn Griesbach.

Who and where are you from?

Hi, my name is Björn. I am a visual artist from Germany.

What brought you to Art?

For me, art has always been a means of self-soothing and a great way to communicate my thoughts.

What is your driving force?

The lifelong exploration of myself and my surroundings.

What kind of work you do and why?

Sometimes I work on contextual illustrations, sometimes I work on personal, more abstract projects.

Tell us more about your thought process.

Depending on the project I'm working on, I usually like to find a balance between visual expression and contextual clarity.

Tell us about the Hollow Children Series.

The "Hollow Children" were part of my Master of Arts thesis exhibition, in which I explored a new generation in a dystopian world where career building comes before character building.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why? 

I can't limit myself to one favourite artist, as I follow and admire artists from all kinds of branches - fine art, illustration, animation etc..

Art by Anahid Hagobian.

Art by Anahid Hagobian.
An Interview with Anahid Hagobian.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Anahid Hagobian, I was born and I live in Montevideo- Uruguay.

What brought you to Art?

I remember that since I was a child I wanted to paint. It is a necessity to my existence. After postponing it and working for 10 years in my graphic design studio, I decided to dedicate myselfcompletely to fine arts.

What is your driving force?

My childhood.

What kind of work you do and why?

At this moment, I am drawing and painting. I paint to recover my childhood.

Tell us more about your thought process

I am very impulsive. My art is very spontaneous. All my work arises from inner processes which occur in my unconscious. I explore forms, beings and unknown spaces in order to re-create my own world.

That search is my passion.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

I like Jean Dubuffet. The first time I saw his works, I saw myself immediately reflected.

14 Portraits by Eugen Varzic.

14 Portraits by Eugen Varzic.
An Interview with Eugen Varzic.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Eugen Varzic. I come from south east Europe (based in Croatia) and I am a visual artistand painter.Beside paintings, I work on art education, my art workshops, on illustration and mosaics.

What brought you to Art?

Love for creation, and peace that it gives me. 
Very early on, as a little boy, I defined myself as a painter. Basiclly, I didn’t like matemathic in school, I was a dislexic child lost in the system.The only world I understood was the one of art. In the very beginning, I painted on paper, benches, walls, but in 1999. I graduated in painting. Today I live my boyhood dream, wrapped up in this crazy time in which we live, and on which I did not count on when I was dreaming

Formal education is, by some, being pushed as an imperative, as an alibi. Going to study art, for me meant leaving the rows (yes, I was a soldier in the war) and throwing away the rifle to take the brush.
Art is the zone where I feel safe when thinking, expressing and questioning.

What is your driving force?

Creating, learning, leaving a trace. I want to do something that is rarely done in art. Something that leaves the observer outside their comfort zone when standing in front of my art, and makes them ask if what they’re experiencing is in fact possible. This is where I try to survive and create.

This idea is what keeps me going, although I must admit, it is not easy. Almost every day I ask myself numerous questions, to which there is the only one answer: creation. This everyday ritual gives me a reason to live. A ritual of constant learning, changing, choosing the toughest path, constantly asking questions, with a clear head and faith.

I think that being a painter is a job where you are the loneliest. It’s a job by which I communicate with the world, and it’s easy to get misunderstood, but at the same time, art frees me from that solitude and confusion. Some vicious circle.

I paint in the same way I breathe. I stay the same, yet am in a constant change. This is how I entered the world of art and remained alone on that path. I’m not some” based artist”, as in an artist from Poreč, or from Istria. I do not belong anywhere. At least, that’s the way I feel, and the feeling is perfect. There is no drawer in which I can be shoved.

My paintings are like painted diaries telling me when I was happy, when I was afraid, when I was painting hypnotically … when I was hungry. When I succeed,I will be happy, not only for myself, but because I will show those who believed that I would, and to those who doubted I can.

What kind of work you do and why?

At the moment I am painting a lot, but in the meantimeI work on drawings that will be usedfor a large mosaic project. While painting I am constantly changing, so in the past year I remained in the sphere of realistic painting, many call it hyper-realistic, but for me hyperrealism belongs to the past. The fact is that I have devoted my time to developing a technique that led me to radical change, and this leaves me questioning many things while I stand in front of my paintings.

When people ask me where does the inspiration for my paintingscome from, there is never one answer.Inspiration is a written word. It’s in history, religion, practically in everything. There’s inspiration in my neighbour, who may inspire me to create five new paintings. In the empty streets and deserted cities. Often at night before bed, I make sketches in my head for future ideas and paintings. The images come by themselves, sometimes they turn into dreams, and sometimes they move onto the canvas. Inspiration is in the history of art. In everything and everyone. Faces are like books. The face meets the tide of life, and before it draws back, I record it in paint. Figuration as an inspiration. Traditional painting as a starting point and as a commitment. Models are my friends, virtual and real. I love beauty and harmony with ordinary things and people.

Tell us more about your thought process.

When the slightest little thing,an empty street, the deep void in someone’s eyes, a song or scenery, maybe some wrong movement or light on someone's hands, stimulates creation I start with reflection first. I analyse what could be the meaning for the picture I'm going to paint, what's the message, which way is the way to its realization. What can be universally conveyed . In my art I like to be more emotional than intellectual. I like to be close to man, in all his virtues and disadvantages. I have high technical and emotional assignments; I hope to keep this one up to the end.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

It is difficult to choose one, especially in today's times when all the shared information influences many; but I would like to point out figurative painting in the Spanish region that’s been present recently, particularly, the art scene that I personally met in Madrid. The names that stood out to me were Sebastian Velasco, Jason Butler, Eloy Morales, certainly Antonio Garcia Lopez and finally Andrew Wyeth; a painter of exceptional techniques that displayed the world around him through creating a kind of poetryfrom solitude, so close and necessary to me.

Dark Art by Wojciech Sosidko.

An Interview with Wojciech Sosidko.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Wojciech Sosidko. I’m from Poland. I was born in Kołobrzeg – a tourist town at the seaside in the North of Poland. Now, I live and work in Poznań.

What brought you to Art?

I do art because of Władysław Hasior.

What is your driving force?

Hate.

What kind of work you do and why?

It depends- it's a process, it's organic.

Tell us more about your thought process.

In the beginning there is a concept, inseparable from the material with which I intend to create it. The work that I begin to reminisce to a certain point of careful craftsmanship: I go into the studio, pull the canvas, ground it, prepare the material. I think it is extremely important to prepare everything yourself as much as possible to influence what is going to happen in the very act of creation.

When I have a solid effect of my work, it is never the final form. I see the possibility of change, redefine, change, and shape what is going on until I feel that I am no longer able to give more of myself to the work. My work is a long and multi-stage process, often full of rebounding, rebellion and destruction of what has already been established.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

Mixed Media Art by Claudio Parentela from Italy.

Mixed Media Art by Claudio Parentela from Italy.
An Interview with Claudio Parentela.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Claudio Parentela ….I’m 55 years old….I’m an Italian visual artist and a journalist free lance…I live in South Italy in  the ancient Magna Graecia….in a small and beautiful city called Catanzaro…

What brought you to Art?

I paint, I draw, I make collages, I write, I draw and I read tarots .... I draw weird comics .... since so many years ... since the far 1999 .... I chose to do this beautiful '' work '' because it makes me feel free .... it makes me feel well. ... it makes me aware of my limitations, it opens new worlds new doors, inside and outside of me. I feel like a great mixer, full of sounds, colors, voices, laughter’s, people, gestures .... I have drawn only in white and black for 15 years ..... then the color called me .... I started using 10,1000 different colors and to create with everything that I had under hand .... I love the strong contrasts, full of delicate and extreme emotions   .... I love the absolute contrast between white and black …and the 1000 shades that divide and unite the black and white .... I do a lot of photographs .... I love to photograph everything I like and that attracts my attention .... I like to dirty my photographs, to color them, to scratch them, to mix them with my drawings, with my ideas, with my heart.

What is your driving force?

So difficult and easy at the same time to answer…..many many things….different ,similar things inspire me continually every day to create….music….absolutely… first I need of good  music ….my cigarettes….and if it’s possible a good beer….My muses/ my inspirations vary every day…..Ghedalia Tazartes, Diamanda Galas, Shirley Horn, Patty Waters, Ornette Colemann, Sun Ra,Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Moschino, The Incapacitans, Alan Vega&Suicide, Hercules and Love Affair, Can, The Irrepressible ……much much fashion….underground comics…..my books…… Aurobindo and the Mother, Sai Baba, Tarots, Kundalini Yoga, Carolyne Miss, Alesteir Crowley…….my friends….their laughter’s….my garden with my cats and my beloved flowers….my wife….and our love!

What kind of work you do and why?

This is my wonderful ,fantastic work…. I could not do another work ... it makes me feel alive, real, myself, free .... the freedom is the only way for me to be in this wonderful world…. Art is the only way for me to be in this world, to feel free

Tell us more about your thought process.

I have new ideas in the morning ... in the afternoon ... in the evening ... at night ... always ... all the time ... I need only of good music, of my cigarettes, of a good glass of wine red .... and the magic happens every day ....surely because I love my work, because I created it and I create it continuously with joy and patience... I always create my freedom, this is the magic. It is a wonderful adventure, difficult, hard, full of surprises, full of splendid gifts ... every day. I find and create my style every day, I change my colors, my brushes, my pens, my papers every day. I reinvent myself every day. I like to experiment continuously .... I love experimenting. I love fashion .. .underground comics, my books, my cats.I draw and I paint continuously, every day. Continuously .... I read everything, I love to read ... I listen to everything.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

I love Joel Peter Witkin ... his works / photos are pure light ... light in the flesh, perfection in the compositions, order in the horrendous chaos, beauty in the dark unconscious, precise idea in the turbulent emotions

15 Stunning Paintings by Bore Ivanoff from Paris.

 État de transe sur Champs-Élysées, Publicis Drugstore, Paris 8ème, huile sur toile, 61x46cm. 2016.
An Interview with Bore Ivanoff.

Who and where are you from?

At this period of my life I am comfortable to be known as Bore Ivanoff, an artist based in Paris, in France since almost 20 years, I am born somewhere in South-Eastern Europe 50 years ago.


What brought you to Art?

Well, whenever this question, even in quite different forms, comes to mind, or someone else asks me, it always brings a different answer ... Point one, and definitive reason which brought me to art is pretty mystical [...] I admit that one of the main reasons is that, there is nothing else that brings me more self-satisfaction and feeling of achievement than my artistic creation. Or, perhaps because my other dreams and life plans did not work out back in the time, so, Art had become the only option, and the only activity that saved me from the boredom of life, and had gave me the confidence of a value and superiority... a thirst to continue to live.


What is your driving force?

For me Paris it’s the kind of place that offers the right combination of inspiration and pain and suffering to keep me stimulated and painting.

As well I think, or more precisely I feel, that my personal driving force is a kind of explosive coctail which triggers my artistic inspiration, and which can be defined as ; my terifinig horror of boredom in combination of my boldness and my irresistible drive of self-fulfilment, self-observation, self-analize, an advanturism and aspiration, toward the victory over new, and as much more « impossible » and sophisticate challenghes as subject matters, to be translated on the canvas, and shared with the spectators.

What kind of work you do and why?

I always had that dificulty to call my art creation, work, in the pure and trivial sense of the word…
I simply want to experiment how far I can push reality to the other side where the “real” is still recognizable, but becoming totally abstract, building that tension until they are just one and the same. For me personaly, it is more like a kind of pleasure, a kind if drug addiction, a ritual, which makes me feel special and build these amazing bridges with the rest of the world… It, makes me feel so glad that my artworks are touching the souls and the minds of so many people around the world.

Definetely, for me this is an attempting an escape from the banal, conventional view of reality, transforming subjects into spellbounding icons, enchanting the viewer- through a total transcendental perception.

Tell us more about your thought process.

In my recent artworks I am aspiring to create a dialogue steeped in conceptualism and transmitted through realism, turning the perception of reality in on itself ; to a universe where, though the « real » is still recognizable,it manifests as subtle  abstraction.
With technical mastery, with intimate choice of specific subjects, with creative imagination and artistic research, I visibly and subtly « dematerealize » and « de-realitize » everyday scenes, transforming and, recompose them into a fantastic reality.

Which is re-enforced by the joint integration of color, content and iconography, giving to my figurative compositions a larger conceptual aspect, which represents a collection of mesmerising artworks.

All of mine artworks are exclusively executed in the oil on canvas technique, hand made without any technical devices employed in the process of creation.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

For me, one of the living legends of Modern Fine-Art is the great American artist, the magician Don Eddy. I believe that once you see his artistic creation, you will undoubtedly fall under the magic of his art.

10 Lyrics by K.K. Foster from New Jersey.

10 Lyrics by K.K. Foster from New Jersey.

An Interview with K.K. Foster.

Who and where are you from?

My name is K.K. Foster and I am 34 years old and live in New Jersey. I am a lyricist and artist. I am also a full-time teacher at a private school for children with language-based learning differences. 

What brought you to Lyrics Writing?

When I was about 12 years old, I started to really get into writing poetry. My older sister was a beautiful writer (and still is) and rarely did I get to read her work, but when I was lucky enough to, I was blown away by her ability to describe feelings and emotions, painting these pictures in my mind as I read. I wanted to write like she did, and so writing became another hobby of mine that I loved and worked at. Around the age of 14, I started trying to write song lyrics. I have always loved to sing and listen to music because it has always evoked so much emotion for me. I find that music is incredibly universal and no matter what you are going through or what you are thinking or feeling, there is a song out there that you can connect with. I want to be a songwriter who writes those lyrics.

What is your driving force?

I would have to say that my driving force is that lyrics and art and love are a huge part of who I am. Writing lyrics has been a way for me to express myself, either when I wasn’t sure how to verbalize what was in my head or my heart, or when I just wasn’t ready to express something. From the first set of lyrics I’ve ever written, I’ve always said that my biggest goal in life is to have one song out in the world that people can listen to. I wanted to write something meaningful that people could connect with. I love music and I love the way a song can make me feel. I wanted to make others feel something with my words. I love love, and I write what I feel, think, or see. Over the past several years, my focus has been on writing lyrics and drawing the heart and eyes, two things that fascinate me. I’ve done some small drawings for people throughout the years, and it has always been an amazing feeling when someone likes something I’ve done. In addition, I’ve co-written two songs with an acoustic duo; one is on their YouTube channel, and titled “Happy.” These songs have been performed at bars, weddings, and on the local news. So my continued driving force is to share my heart and soul through my lyrics and hope that someday they can become that song that someone falls in love with.

What kind of work you do and why?

I write song lyrics, lyrical poetry, and I draw. As I’ve mentioned, I write because it’s a form of self-expression for me. Drawing provides the same feeling. It is this wordless opportunity for me to share my thoughts and feelings, or to simply relax and escape for a few moments. I love pencil sketch and ever since I was young, that has always been my medium of choice. As a lyricist and artist, I am always looking to be challenged and inspired by other’s work, and appreciate the many talents that exist around this world. I do this work for myself, and I hope someday I can collaborate and write songs with singer-songwriters. I would love to create something that others find meaning in or can connect with. The world is a big place, but it would be amazing for someone to read or listen to something that I have written and feel connected, knowing they aren’t alone in this world.

Tell us more about your thought process.

My thought process when I write is generally inspired by something I am feeling or an experience I’ve had or witnessed, to my hopes and prayers for the future. I find inspiration all around me, from a noise to a word someone says, or a scene from show on television. Nature, music, human interactions and emotions - all of these things can excite something in me and so I write down a quick lyric. Sometimes it turns into a full set of song lyrics while other times, it remains a short lyrical poetry piece. 

Please share with us the one modern Lyricist whose work you find Interesting and why?

I have constantly amazed and in awe of the talent that exists in the world of music and songwriting. It is honestly hard to pick just one as there are singer-songwriters who have been a part of my journey since I first started trying to write lyrics. One of my favorite singer-songwriters is Sara Bareilles. Her lyrics and her music are beautiful. When I hear her sing or read her lyrics, I feel like I am part of an experience. Each song is a story unto itself. I have found that she has a way of capturing emotion in a way unlike anyone else. Another singer-songwriter that inspires me is Andrew McMahon. His songs are detailed and emotive, always expanding my mind as to what it means to write a song. Further, Missy Higgins is one of my favorite singer-songwriters because her songs are unique and take you on a lovely journey filled with emotion and perspectives that feel relatable and real. She writes songs with passion and that is conveyed in her lyrics. Finally, another huge inspiration for me is Ed Sheeran. His songs feel like love and the human experience brought to life through music and words. I feel like every word he puts into a song has a specific purpose and evokes a memory or feeling in the listener and that is truly incredible. What I admire about all of these artists is that their work is so visual and their lyrics are written with so much imagery that each song is a gift to experience.

15 Beautiful Birds Illustrations by Daniel Merac.

15 Beautiful Birds Illustrations by Daniel Merac.
Great Egret
An Interview with Daniel Merac.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Daniel Merac, I’m a visual artist and an industrial designer from Colombia, who loves traditional illustration, nature, indie rock music, comics, guitars, daydreaming and birding.

How you got into this?

Back in 2015 while I was about to graduate as an Industrial designer, I decided to take a drawing challenge called Inktober, which is now very popular among the traditional art community and consists on making an ink drawing for every day of October. Little did I know that entering this challenge was the first step that would take me on the journey of finding this wonderful passion of creating art. The experience with Inktober awakened my desire of creating hand-drawn visual pieces, which had been hibernating for long. I think it was put to sleep during university, right after my days of school when I couldn’t help but draw on my notebooks during the uninteresting classes, which were actually quite a bunch, so I had plenty of time to practice my doodles back then.

This feeling for creating and drawing grew on me exponentially during that drawing challenge, so that when it was over I felt that I needed more of that, and through practice, I slowly found the determination to follow that unexpected artistic path. It shocks me to think that if I hadn't tried Inktober that year, who knows how many time would've passed before I figured out about this passion. That’s why I always recommend this challenge to every artist or an aspiring one, whether they’re willing to get into art or they’re already experienced creators, it teaches consistency, resolution, and it lets you focus on your own voice as an artist.


What is your driving force?

Rock music and nature are the elements that make my nest, meaning my home or as a friend would say, my bonfire, that thing that lights up your being and keeps you warm while you’re in the middle of the dark.  They give me calm, shelter, inspiration, and along with art, they allow me to express in a much more comfortable and fluent way. My recent connection with nature is slowly transforming my vision of life and also my plans and dreams. One of those dreams that motivates me to create more, is to be able to give back to nature and help to restore and protect the environment and its wonderful but endangered fauna.


What kind of work you do and why?

My work revolves around the creatures that inhabit nature, they are often the leading characters in my illustrations. I draw them because the process is greatly enjoyable and also I do it to put them in the spotlight so people can have the chance to know these species exist, and later on develop more empathy towards them, possibly taking action when it comes to protecting them and their environment.

I work in traditional and digital mediums, but for my illustrations, I really prefer to work with my hands. A pencil and a fine liner are just enough. On the other hand, for making animations of my drawings I do have to rely on my computer. I also enjoy drawing stories, places, and people, although since I got into birding around June of this year, I haven’t stopped drawing birds. These winged creatures really captivated me, and therefore my recent work is full of them. I just can’t help it. Also, I happen to live in Cali, the city with the highest amount of bird species in Colombia. 561 in total. So I guess that explains a bit my love for birds.

Tell us more about your thought process.

The symbolism and meanings of species of fauna and flora across the different cultures captivate me just as the forms, textures, colors, and sounds of each creature. When I’m planning a new illustration or a series I like to look into those elements and combine them in a piece that may resonate with someone. Through this, I just aim to help a little bit to strengthen the link that people have with nature.

When it comes to my visual style, I think indie rock and post-rock have had a huge influence on it. The loudness and sounds of this music are present in the textures of my illustrations, the messy lines, the noise of the pointillism, and the high contrast. Just as these genres do, my artwork is in constant change, I try to keep in mind that there’re always new things to explore, learn and improve. This constant variation of style and subjects is key to me because it helps me to keep the process interesting and exciting.


Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

I love the art of illustrator and concept artist J.A.W. Cooper, I admire the bond she has with nature and the way she translates it into her artwork is truly amazing. I definitely recommend checking out her illustrations.

Figurative Blue Paintings by Zrinka Budimlija.

Figurative Blue Paintings by Zrinka Budimlija.
An Interview with Zrinka Budimlija.

Who and where are you from?


My Name is Zrinka Budimlija and I am originally from Zagreb, Croatia but I live in Cologne, Germany. I paint, but I am also an author and sped much of my time writing.

What brought you to Art?


I have always been creative. Even as a kid, I would rather draw or write poems than anything else. As a teenager I went to an art school and afterwards I studied art in Zagreb and Cologne. I can spend hours painting or writing. It is the best way to spend my time apart from being with my family. 

What is your driving force?


Love of beauty and knowledge, that is something I would call my driving force. It is important to me to understand people, and to find beauty in the way we interact, even if it does not always seem beautiful. There is a poetry to life, and I am keen to find it and try to capture it in my work.

What kind of work you do and why?


The paintings that I now paint are predominantly blue. I choose a limited palette of blues, whites and blacks. The inspiration for the paintings comes from old photos, either from my family, or photos that I find on flea markets. In my work I use abstract elements along with realism. This way I can split the moment shown on the photo from the space around it which allows me to try to evoke an imagined inner impression of the past moment.



Tell us more about your thought process.

The way I think about the paintings and the photographs that preceded them is non verbal. I try to let my feelings steer me in the way I choose the motifs and the way I paint them. This is an excellent way to meditate and escape the tyranny of verbal and logical thinking, that is so highly valued in the western society. When I think with my feelings, I get this visceral response to what I am painting, and that shows me the direction I am supposed to go to. 

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?


I find the work of Pascal Fendrich very intriguing. In his work he searches to find the gaps between perception and reality. 

Abstract Paintings by Corinne Natel.

Abstract Paintings by Corinne Natel.
An Interview with Corinne Natel.


Who and where are you from?

I’m Corinne Natel, an abstract artist from London, UK.

How you got into this?

I was creative from a young age and enjoyed painting. I came to a crossroads at degree level between choosing to study Fine Art or Media Production. I thought I should study Media Production. I went on to work as a web designer which was quite creative.

After a few years of working I knew something was missing. I started painting again and knew that was the missing piece! I then got the opportunity to leave my job and do some freelance web design work and this enabled me to have the freedom to paint more and develop my art career. Painting is my ultimate passion and I feel lost if I don’t paint for a while!

What is your driving force?

To create and be a successful artist! I am lucky to have the freedom to be able to create art. It’s a great feeling to be doing something that I love and also so rewarding when people connect to what I am doing. I love how painting makes me feel a sense of freedom, escapism and is the ultimate form of expression. I enjoy how I can go on a journey when painting, from a blank white canvas to creating something new. I feel complete making art and I know that I am supposed to be doing this, that it is my purpose (dharma).


What kind of work you do and why?

I specialise in abstract mixed media fluid paintings. Currently I am working with resin and inks. My main inspirations are nature, fashion, travel and media. I am always inspired by the seasons and time of year and this usually reflects in my work and also colour investigation. I aim to create vibrant and emotive works.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I use a lot of negative space in my works. When I was studying my art teacher introduced me to the works of Alberto Giacometti, who is one of my ultimate inspirations! I learnt so much from his pieces which focused on investigating space and how this worked in relation to his subjects. I'm always looking for the space in my work. It's creating the balance between matter and space that allows the painting to flow and breathe.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

I love the works of  Karin Vermeer for the stunning technique and colours and also Julia Benz for beautiful use of colours.

Faces by Mayro Toyo.

Mix Media Art by Mayro Toyo.
An Interview with Mayro Toyo.

Who and where are you from?

I'm Mayro Toyo, Venezuelan based in Argentina. I have a graphic design background and I draw since I was a child with attention deficit disorder, about 6 years old. Always been attracted to colors and cartoons. My environment wasn't favorable because I grew up in a industrial/oil country and people wasn't too connected with the art but I kept the faith and the thirst to learn from the greatest artists.

What brought you to Art?

Im not sure what is is I would call it natural force, I've always thought that I was born for this.

What is your driving force?

Love, when people get connected with my work there's an interchange of positive vibes, love and gratefulness. Some people think that peace is the goal and they go do war instead of doing  art, I can't get that.

What kind of work you do and why?

I mix painting and drawing because both are my strengths. I work with acrylics because of the immediacy and the oils because of the texture (I try not to mix them in the same canvas). I like pastels because I can draw freely and I like the trace I can get.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I like the interesting faces, the human expressions, the subtle gestures, face and body, my exploration goes through the human fragility, the sensible point where I can intervene it like unexpected with colors, abstract shapes. In some way I like handle with the oposites things and make them coexist in the same canvas.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

Cesar Biojo, because in some way he mixes oposites figurative and abstract.

Street / Pop Art by Jeremy Wolff.

Street / Pop Art by Jeremy Wolff.
An Interview with Jeremy Wolff.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Jeremy Wolff, I am from New Jersey but reside in Manhattan, New York City. I have always been a city boy.

What brought you to Art?

I have always had a keen eye for art. I was always intrigued by all aspects, whether it was sculpture, classical paintings, glass windows from churches and temples. I was fascinated by the creative process. As a kid, I always signed up for wood shop or pottery as electives at day camp. I loved the feeling of finishing something and people being impressed or blown away that I had done it. That feeling still exists in my work today.

What is your driving force?

Success. I want to be as successful as possible using my skill, what I feel I was meant to do. I look at my art as an opportunity to become a true entrepreneur. To allow me to do things I would have never thought were possible. To meet and talk to people who i otherwise would never be able to talk to if it werent for my art. It is really an awesome and humbling feeling when you really stop and think about it that way as a big picture.

What kind of work you do and why?

I'd say I do a Street/Pop Art that has a contemporary feel to it. I like my paintings to be a collaborative effort with my clients. A lot of the time we speak and work together to create the piece that, for one, they will love, but also, make sure it's still in line with my message and overall feeling of my art.

Tell us more about your thought process.

My thought process for most things I do are in terms of whether or not this will advance my career or not. At first I was always a yes man, yes to everything. I had to get my name out there. But now I have been way more selective in terms of the projects I take on.


What do you have planned for the near future.

Art Basel is right around the corner. I have A LOT planned and hope I meet as many people as possible. I have my own solo show booth at Spectrum Art Fair- Booth S1105. I will also be painting a Lamborghini which will be around for everyone to see and take pictures with during Basel week.
Also, I have my first Solo Show Exhibition scheduled for Thursday, March 1st at Contra Galleries, in Chelsea, Manhattan, New York CIty.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

A Couple Modern Artist that I look up to are guys like @Kaws and Jeff Koons. Both of these guys are on the global spectrum of art and it various mediums. They are really people that inspire me to never be satisfied with where I am at right now. Still so much to accomplish.

Dark Surrealism Paintings by Paul Yunin.

Dark Surrealism Paintings by Paul Yunin.
Soulmates 87x61cm (34x24in) Oil, hardboard.
An Interview with Paul Yunin.

Who and where are you from? 

Paul Yunin, a painter from Russia, working in St. Petersburg. 

What brought you to Art? 

By education I am an engineer. I was brought to art by the love for the muse about 5-6 years ago. But I was completely immersed in painting only in 2016. The creative half won engineering in me. I originally started working in interior painting, painted on demand, but then realized that I was closer to being an artist rather than a craftsman. 

What is your driving force? 

I have a desire to talk to the audience, I have something to say. Also, I have a need for experiment and a search for new ways of expressing an idea. Starting my work, I do not know what I will end up with. I direct the brush that gives birth to images on the canvas which my subconscious suggests to me. The inspiration for the plots is my relationships with people, nature, maybe even with God and also with other forms of art.

I prefer Renaissance artists: Leonardo Da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, etc. When painting my work, I mostly use the scumble technique of painting. It unites me with Renaissance artists, with symbolism and some mysticism of their artworks. It is worth noting such kings of dark art as Zidzislav Beckinsky and Hans Rudy Giger. If we talk about cinema, the works of Trier, Kubrick, Tarkovsky and other directors, similar in spirit are close to me.

What kind of work you do and why? 

I paint in the genre of dark surrealism. But I'm not trying to stay within the frames of the genre. Rather, on the contrary, I am trying to avoid stamps that have developed in different kinds of dark styles of world art. I don’t have a goal to depict a horror story, cause anxiety in the viewer.

Tell us more about your thought process. 

At the beginning of my work, I'm tuning in to the wave of maximum openness of soul and sincerity. I trying to paint my surreal artworks truly, as Friedrich Nietzsche had said "writing with own blood". My task is to convey the light and darkness of my own experiences, feelings, thoughts as accurately as possible with the help of non-verbal images, and if I may say so - of the archetypes. I don’t write extramundane worlds. I paint what is here and now, trying to pack the prose of reality into a bright poetic form. Behind the gloomy atmosphere of my works there are hidden the revelations of the subconscious, deep, perhaps vulnerable sensuality, religious mysticism and even lyricism. Behind thorn spikes, suffering of heroes and unearthly matters there is spiritual nakedness, liberation from the burdensome conventions of the surrounding world and striving for truth, at all cost, whether it is pleasant or cruel.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

Alexander Kostetsky (Russ. Александр Владимирович Костецкий, Ukr.Олександр Володимирович Костецький;, November 14, 1954 in Kiev – January 4, 2010 in Kiev) was a Ukrainian painter and sculptor. His name has various transliterations into English and variants include Aleksandr Kostetsky, Alexander Kostecky, Alexander Kostetski and Aleksandr Kosteckij. His artist stile is Magic Realism.

Figurative Paintings by Victoria Selbach.

Figurative Paintings by Victoria Selbach.
An Interview with Victoria Selbach.

​Who and where are you from?

Victoria Selbach, born in Pittsburgh PA, moved to NYC after high school and have lived in NY ever since.

How you got into this? 

I have always loved seeing and building images.


What is your driving force? 

The light and my connection to women.


What kind of work you do and why? 

I am primarily creating powerful images of women. This journey allows me to explore the diversity and makeup of who we are, uncover how we see ourselves, confront how we are seen and excavate the legacy of what we carry and then pass on to the next generation.

Figurative Paintings by Lou McCulloch.

Figurative Expressionism Paintings by Lou (Ella) McCulloch from Medina, Ohio, USA.
Bullied girl
An Interview with Lou (Ella) McCulloch.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Lou (Ella) McCulloch and I am from Medina, Ohio, USA, a rural town south of Cleveland, with a small village atmosphere.

What brought you to Art?

I have always thought of myself as an artist.  It is in my DNA, with both grandmothers accomplished artists.  One grandmother, who I never knew, was a fine artist who painted in a traditional style.  My other grandmother painted anything around here with a method similar to grandma Moses.

What is your driving force?

My driving force is my sanity.  I love to see that first splash of color on paper-to see what is in store for me from my muse.  I was trained as a watercolorist in art school, so that medium is the most reflective in my work.

What kind of work you do and why?

I am a ‘Figurative Expressionism’ artist. I do my background first-whether it be acrylic, ink or graphite, then I generally set it aside until I start to see figures in it.  I let the canvas or painting speak to me.  I seldom have an idea in mind for a drawing, unless I have been inspired by a vintage image I have seen. I have always been fascinated by old photographs and even wrote a book about them.


Tell us more about your thought process.

I frequently have paintings in various stages of completion.  I will survey my drawings or paintings each day and see which one needs attention.  my feelings for that day are often expressed in my work.  I also like to experiment with new supplies.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

Marc Chagall is a modern artist that I have always admired.  He has a dream-like quality to his paintings and finds figures in the shapes and color patterns.  His work is also mainly based on emotional association.