An Interview with Audrey Smith by Teseleanu George|
Date of birth:
What is your current location:
Tell us a little about the art styles that you use:
Abstract and surreal collage and assemblage
What are your tools of trade:
Scissors, X-acto knife, Liquitex matte gel medium, acrylic, paper scraps and other found materials
Why did you choose collage:
I’m not sure that I necessarily chose collage, or if it chose me. I’ve always played around with collage, but when I began art school I wanted to major in painting. I took an elective sculpture class one semester, fell in love and wound up majoring in sculpture and ceramics. I thought that I was going to be a sculptor. I graduated from school in 2003 and began to pursue a career as a sculptor, but after about three and a half years of struggling (with artistic direction and logistics of working in clay without a real ceramic studio) I decided to take a hiatus from sculpture. I was determined to keep up creatively with a Moleskine sketchbook. I thought that I would be using it to do sketches and make notes about potential sculpture projects, but I began making collages in this book. Collage just came naturally; it was a very organic process. The next thing I knew I was pursuing collage more seriously and it became my main focus. I think that collage
(and assemblage) marries what I love about painting and sculpture. It just feels like
the perfect format for me.
What other art styles would you like to experiment with:
I would love to learn encaustic painting. I took a lithography class in art school and loved it; printmaking has always been something in the back of my mind. I think it would be interesting to combine traditional collage with printmaking, and perhaps create some handmade books. I’m always thinking of bigger, more involved projects (but I lack the time unfortunately.)
What is your favorite art movement and why:
I think when it comes down to it, Dada. I was first introduced to Dada via the work of Max Ernst when I was in high school. It blew my mind! I was interested in punk and other underground movements then, and Dada just fit right in with all of the anti- establishment music, literature and art that I was exploring. My teen years were during the 1980s and the Dada work I was seeing felt relevant both socially and politically to me. It had a profound effect on me as I developed as an artist.
Who is your favorite artist and how do you connect with his/her works:
This is hard to answer because there are so many, but more recently it is Ray Johnson. I happened upon a wonderful documentary about him called “How to Draw a Bunny.” Ray Johnson was called “New York’s most famous unknown artist” because so many of his contemporaries were big names in the art world, yet he always seemed to remain on the periphery. Ray Johnson created amazing collages and paintings, and was the founder of the New York Correspondence School. He essentially began mail art. I don’t want to spoil “How to Draw a Bunny” for those who haven’t seen it, but the ending of the movie really made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I haven’t had that kind of a reaction to art in a very, very long time. So for me his is more than just an artist whose work I admire; he’s a total enigma and I think about his work and his life constantly.
What influenced you to become an artist:
I think I came by it honestly. My mother and father met while in art school. My father is a career illustrator, and my mother paints traditional watercolor for enjoyment. My mother later remarried; my stepfather is a professional musician and a talented cabinetmaker. So I’ve always been surrounded by creative people.
How long have you been an artist:
I think my whole life so far, but I’ve been seriously pursuing it as a career since I graduated from art school in 2003.
How did your family and friends react of you being an artist:
My family always knew that I would pursue art seriously. My friends are supportive; I have many friends who are artists and/or art appreciators.
Where do you get your inspiration from:
Everything! I am a visual person. I notice the fine details in everything (sometimes unfortunately) and I am viscerally moved by color and form.
What determined you to do collaborations:
I started doing collaborations after opening an account on Deviant Art. First I started trading ATC’s, and that led to collaborations. My first collaborators were Liz Cohn, Laura Tringali Holmes, Margaret Orr, and Richard Leach.
What can you tell us about your first collaboration:
I think it was a playing card collaboration with Liz Cohn. We each sent each other a starter card, and after contributing our portion, sent the cards back to each other. I remember opening the envelope and feeling surprised and delighted with Liz’s additions to my work.
Can you tell us how collaborations influenced your art:
One of the things I learned while studying ceramics was letting go and not getting so hung up on trying to control everything. I think that collaborations have helped to expand upon that notion.
They’ve opened me up to new ideas.
Do you promote/ sell/ showcase your artworks. If you do, how:
I offer original work for sale via http://www.cargoh.com/store/audrey-smith and prints via http://society6.com/AudreySmith. I share my work here: http://audreysmith.deviantart.com/ and http://audreysmithart.tumblr.com/
How the internet did influence your art:
The internet has been great for my art on two counts: First it provides me with the ability to share my work on a variety of sites (social networks, blogs, etc.) Second: There is a ton of art online. And you can talk to the artists, learn about their process, and make friends. I’ve made a great circle of artist friends online with whom I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating and/or trading. We give each other advice and support, and we’re located all over the place.
The internet has removed many limitations that artists used to have to face with respect to getting their work out into the world.
How can people contact you:
View the work of Audrey Smith in LITnIMAGE's Autumn 2012 issue
Click here for Audrey Smith's bio