We had the special opportunity to work with local artist Joy Kinna and interview her on her process of art making! Art and any creative process is so intimate and personal and we're really excited to share our Abel X Artist Series with you!
Starting with Joy Kinna!
Q1 What is most exciting about art making?
When I start a piece - the messy stage and I'm in process and paint is everywhere and something has worked on the canvas. It's all about continuing these moments. There's a lot of variables in this stage, a lot of unknowns about how the piece will dry, a portion of my work is always out of my control. It's like I am recreating these accidents.
Q2 When do you feel like you've discovered something new? How do you know when you're on the edge of a new discovery?
When it feels different or like something I want to keep exploring, like it's caught my full attention. Recently it has been new mediums that are making me excited again. You try it, some things you might let go, some things you continue to run with - it's very process driven and intuitive. I just keep going until it feels right to stop.
Q3 Describe the evolution of your process?
Drawing was my love, until I took an abstract art class. I loved drawing, but there was a level of perfectionism, endless need to get better, it felt more stressful somehow. There was an aspect of pressure in the process of drawing, which I don't feel when I am painting.
Q4 What do people not know about art that you want them to know?
That it can be accessible. There's this prestigious, untouchable feeling sometimes with art / artists as if you are not able to interact with the work if you are not an academic or wealthy. But art is for everyone and it's okay to engage with art subjectively.
Q5 Do you dream about painting?
I have moments where I wake up in the night and my mind is spinning with a new idea for my work. I day dream often and have my work on my mind whether I am in the studio or not.
We also loved making this custom dress for her, inspired by her artwork!
Q6 What do you think is important about art training vs. self taught art making?
It depends on your work, there's value in training and the community aspect of getting other eyes on your work for sure. But I do believe you can still do that in a self taught setting. Both have beautiful strengths and weaknesses, really.
Q7 How does nature inform your inspiration?
Nature is my largest source of inspiration. There is endless beauty in the world, pockets of breathtaking beauty, but also "mundane" moments happening in nature 24/7. Whether it is the colour of the sky, the layering of the clouds, a ripple in a stream. When we slow down and take note of the world around us, colours, patterns, textures, sounds - it's pretty remarkable. Water influences my work a lot. My dad was born in a small fishing town in Norway and the water was a way of life - it feels like my love for it is in my blood. We spent lots of time on the water as a family growing up and to this day as I raise my own family.
Q 8 What does art do for you?
I love the experience of art in space. It has the ability to make you feel more at ease, calm and peaceful. It has the ability to strike conversation as it interacts with the space it is in and the people around it.
Q9 What do you think you bring to your art?
I bring myself into my work, my experiences. I find with motherhood, I am showing up in the studio as a mother, as someone who is experiencing interruptions like every other mother and that becomes part of my work, part of my process. The art I made in my early 20s is different from the work now because so much of my process is wrapped up in my experience and expression. When I was pregnant my work was vastly different, physically I couldn't reach as far. I had a day bed that I spent half of my studio days on, near the end I would be exhausted, in a bit of a haze and those paintings were created out of that experience. Now being eight months postpartum I'm ready to bring a different energy. Bring on a ten foot canvases!
Q10 Why is privacy important?
Privacy is huge. It gives you a space without other people's eyes on your work, which is really important. Your discovery and artmaking is intimate. On one hand, the beauty of social media is that you get to share your process with people, the downside is that it is easy for people to get inspired and start "borrowing" a little too much from you and your work. Some might take it as flattery, but speaking from experience it isn't flattering for the art maker. There's an invitation to feel inspired etc but it's a balance in finding what's truly yours in your process. If you're making strong work it should look like your own. You make your own discoveries and keep exploring those.
There's an aspect of my work that feels sacred and I don't have to invite everyone into that space and as the artist you get to decide what is shared. I think keeping moments of the process private is really important.
We couldn't agree more! So grateful to you Joy!
Learn more about Joy's exceptional work by visiting: www.joykinna.com