Alicia, (ANoelleJay), is an independent Artist and Designer. Brooklyn girls, what else needs to be said?
A few things that I need and use: acrylic paint, watercolors, and natural materials. A little underground. A little masked mad scientist. I’m told I am a little unique.
I was born in Jamaica, the Caribbean island, but I currently live in New York the city. I work in the Fine Arts and in Design and my Caribbean roots show themselves in my nature inspired paintings.
1) Tell us a little about yourself, and your calling as a creative?
I’ve found that creating new art is the best addiction. I would like to think the earth exists for this very reason. Because the process of creating is like a snowball. A pure white ball rolling down a mountainside. I have a forever growing list of paintings on my to do list.
Creating feels like having magical powers. It is not magic at all though. It takes a lot of dedication and spoons full of patience. There are days when I wish I could wave my hand and brush like a wand and *whoosh* create all of my backlog of paintings and imagined items. But the actual feel of the brush on canvas would be lost. Some days I can dream though! It feels like having a race with myself which is the best kind of race but gets more challenging the faster you go.
2) Discuss your process and where you get your inspiration from?
This requires imagination. Another super power move. I imagine what a great painting would look like. It has to be a little dark. A little bright. And a lot of bold. I put down a few big shapes or a few colors. The concepts are sometimes based on an image, place or colors that I have seen. Then I exaggerate it all. Sometimes I sketch it out but other times I experiment first and let the colors mix. Based on the outcome build layers and depth and the final concept. Many of my paintings have layers and layers no one will ever get a chance to see. It is a well-hidden secret but I did get caught once.
3) Describe your workspace? What is the one thing there you can’t live without?
I paint in my living room. Yes, exactly. NYC. Not a lot of space. But it works really well. My paintings flow from the studio space and easel right into my apartment decor. The inspiration bounces… rebounds… and I can easily see my progression and unfinished ideas. However, paintings have overflown into my day job office space and I am starting to consider charging an admission fee and putting up a red rope.
4) Tell us what you do to get creative? Stay creative?
I paint a lot of nature and think about THE CREATION and THE BIG BANG. What it would have been like to see it. The entire planet is a canvas with beauty and images that most of us will never see. I do think that everything already exists on this huge unexplored planet that we live on, so the task I have as an artist is to throw in a splash of imagination and energy and try to create something NEW. I surround myself with a lot of energy and nature and it really fuels my curiosity.
Sometimes I think of places I wish I could see. Other times I abstract into artwork I wish I could create and bring life to. I can’t create life but I can do my best to imagine it through my own eyes. I think the gift I have been given was for that purpose. And hopefully for others to enjoy.
5) When did you decide you wanted to be an artist? And has the internet become a good or bad aspect to life as an artist?
I always had the calling to do art but I made the conscious decision not to build on it. Not to dedicate the time and heart it requires. Because it does require heart and should not be done halfheartedly. I had one big adventure into art a decade ago and it was lovely. I hosted an art show to raise funds for a charity. It was a huge success but I was afraid of it. A few years ago I changed all of that. Painting is a gift. Gifts are given and never taken back even if we are not worthy, so hide it under a bushel I will not. I hope I get to share more of my work with many more people someday.
6) What do you like most about the art world?
The art world is a vastness that reminds me of the universe. Beautiful, immense and a bit scary. The potential for any and everything is there. That is the exciting part about being an artist. Artists have the power to trigger in others the innate desire for the unknown and for beauty. Its a big responsibility that can be underrated.
7) What do you dislike about the world of art?
I dislike the same think that I love. When talking about art many people say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This is why art has a great threshold and infinite possibility, however it can also have a dark side as with all professions and as with all gifts. This is why creating with your entire heart in it is so vital, otherwise you won’t have the building blocks and support necessary to be great despite anything that comes your way as an artist.
8) What is the toughest thing about being an artist?
Staying true to my art. Recognition is something we as humans strive for. Its a societal norm that we have been indoctrinated to achieve. It is important to remember that with art there needs to be a balance between being yourself and true to your skill, working hard to master it, while also making your mark. Even underground artists should not compromise or give up.
9) You have been given a room in a house to paint! Each wall has to be a different colour! Which colours do you choose and why?
Well whose house is it? I will paint it Ombre with various shades of yellow. You only live once.
10) You are being sent to a desert island and are told you can decorate your hut with 5 famous paintings. Which do you choose and why?
This is a tough question. I would pick: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat because it is one of those paintings I saw when I was quite young that made me feel awe and reminds me what patience, dedication and hard work can produce. Sometimes we don’t want to put the work in that is necessary and prefer to take short cuts. We should not always take short cuts. I would also take Poppies by Monet, it inspired my very first “adult” painting. Water Lilies by Monet is also top on the list, I guess I like impressionism! But the other source of my passion comes from Asian artwork. Calligraphy and ink paintings as well as woodblocks always fascinated me. Images like landscapes by Qin Yun inspire me but I do not have a specific painting in mind. It inspired my delve into printmaking which is now one of my favorite techniques.
I have strayed off into my own style that hopefully once in a while represents some of these influences.
11) You are asked to draw an image of your favourite animal as the next painting. Which animal do you choose and why?
A bird, definitely a bird. I have always been fascinated by hummingbirds while growing up. I do have a few paintings of birds completed and still on that to do list I mentioned earlier.
12) You’ve been asked to hold a dinner party for famous painters. Which 4 would you invite? What would b on the menu?
This is a tough one but I will be vague and selfish. Since I don’t have the strongest art training I will pick Monet, Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Katsushika Hokusai. This will be a paint night event though and I will ask for art pointers.
13) What’s your message to the World?
Do what you love. You can’t always do ONLY what you love, but you should make time to do a little of what you love everyday. Maybe luck will be on your side and you can do more and more of it over time. Maybe you won’t be so lucky, but if you never try you won’t find out. We only get to do this once, as far as we know anyway.
14) Which is your favourite POD, and why?
My favorite POD? Difficult to say but I am really excited about ModifyWatches. They are new and so am I so it feels like a good match. Also my artwork as statement pieces on someone’s wrist? Wow.