Interview with Shira Sela
q)Please introduce yourself.
a)My name is Shira and I am an Illustrator, designer and artist.
q)Where do you live and work?
a)I live and work in Tel-Aviv area, in
q)How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
a)I draw figures, usually girls, in situations that express certain moods or capture certain atmosphere. I try to show a glimpse into their inner world.
q)How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?
a)I have always enjoyed drawing but I didn't really see myself as an artist until very recently. I was working as a multimedia designer for a few years and in the last couple of years I gradually shifted my focus to art and illustration.
q)What are your favorite art materials and why?
a)I mostly work with pencils, pens, inks and markers, I think that these serve my current style of work best, but I always experiment with new materials so this is likely to change…
I also love old papers, and if I can't find any I sometimes use coffee or tea to stain the paper in order to create the old effect.
q)What/who influences you most?
a)Life and childhood experiences, dreams, nature, the people around me and in particular my husband and family. I am also inspired by many artists, and the internet, of course, is an endless source of inspiration for me.
q) Describe a typical day of art making for you.
a)I would normally spend the first part of the day doing research on the internet or more administrative stuff like answering emails, printing work, packaging orders and going to the post office. I try to save the evening hours to art making where I would make some pencil sketches and if I like what I came up with I would make a tighter ink version of it. I sometimes scan my drawings and try different color combinations in Photoshop, and then paint my drawing either with markers or digitally. I also try to make time to work on my traditional painting technique and experiment with various media.
q) Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?
a)Exhibit, collaborate with other artists and designers and have my art printed on apparel.
q) What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?
a)I love lowbrow art and artists such as Seonna Hong, Stella Im Hultberg, mark ryden, Audrey Kawasaki and Amy Sol to name just a few.
q) How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?
a)This really varies and depends on the particular piece but overall I would say a few days.
q) Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?
a)I am emotionally attached to my pieces but I think that the fact that other people actually want to buy it is very rewarding and this great feeling usually outweighs the difficulty in separating from a piece.
q) Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?
a)Music is very important to me, in fact, being married to a musician, music is part of my everyday life… Lately, I find myself listening mainly to jazz music while working. Recent favorites include Keith Garrett's 'The Köln Concert' and John Scofield's 'a go go'.
a)At the moment I am reading Italo Calvino's 'If on a Winter's Night a Traveler' and I recently finished: 'Love in a blue time' by ' Hanif Kureishi who is a wonderful writer.
q) What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity or the creative process?
a)It's not really a theory but in general, I think that creativity is about curiosity and open mindedness. I think it's important not to be afraid of trying new concepts and ideas.
q) What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?
a)I like to go for walks, read, meet up with friends and listen to live music.
q) Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?
a)Next month, I am going to participate in the Curvy 2009 book and exhibition. The book and exhibition are produced by YEN magazine in
q) Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?
a)I follow contemporary art scenes mostly through the internet. I am a web junky and much of my surfing focuses on art related sites. Current favourites include mocoloco.com, Juxtapoz, and Hi-Fructose.
q) Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it.
a)A: What would you like for your birthday (tomorrow!)?
Q: Mark Ryden's 'The Tree Show' book and a Hi-Fructose Magazine subscription, thanks! :)
q) Any advice for aspiring artists?
a)Do what you love and what comes from the heart but also work hard and practice a lot so you can best translate what you feel into your art.
q)Where can we see more of your work online?
a)On my site: www.shirasela.com