About Colleen Wilcox
Q&A with Colleen Wilcox :
If you had to describe your style, what would it be? If you were to explain what your work was all about to someone who has never seen it before, what would you tell them?
When you were young would you have guessed that you would someday be creating art for your livelihood? What were your interests as a kid?I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. People suggested the idea of art school to me but I ended up majoring in communications (and I actually fell away from art for several years). At the time I didn't see art as a viable career option. After a few years of soul-searching I decided to give being an artist (for my livelihood) a shot and now I couldn't imagine my life differently.
How would you describe your creative process? Do you pre-conceive your works, or do most of them come to life during the process?Sometimes I allow myself to experiment without an obvious plan and just let a piece come to life. If I am doing a commission or creating something specific, I know in advance the basic elements that need to be included and will often use a pencil sketch as a base. Even if I have a plan there will likely be surprises as I go and the painting still has a life of its own so to speak. No matter what I am painting, I have recently begun emphasizing to myself the importance of being in the right mindset before working- relaxed, clear, and open.
You live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Has the city and culture of Honolulu deeply influenced your work, or do you consider yourself someone who operates independent of your homes customs and aesthetics?Living in Hawaii is the absolute number one inspiration for my artwork. There are really no words to describe the beauty of this place- which is perhaps why I try to paint it instead. I am constantly in awe of the changing colors of the ocean, shapes of coral, tropical flowers, etc. I usually don't paint while out in nature, but instead I spend time observing it by going to the beach, surfing, or maybe walking in the park. I later feel inspired to express those daily experiences into paintings.
What other artists in the world, past or present, have inspired you?I like Gauguin, Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, and in general the styles of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. I love artists of Hawaii like John Melville Kelly, Frank McIntosh, Arman Manookian, Charles Bartlett and other guys that were doing a lot of the ad posters and graphic design here in the first half of the 20th century. I also am drawn to Japanese woodblock print styles like Hokusai.
What do you see as the purpose of your artwork? What do you hope people see and take away from your work?I try to create art that is a representation of my love for the beauty of nature and my love for Hawaii. But more so I think it is about capturing a moment, a mood, or a feeling that someone may have while experiencing something beautiful. For example: looking at an awesome sunset or pretty flower can allow someone to feel joyful, alive, and connected in that moment. That is the essence I hope to "bottle up" and express in one of my pieces. If someone can connect to my artwork and have that experience every time they view it, then I have succeeded in its true purpose.
What are some of the most memorable things people have told you about your work?I have been told that my artwork makes people feel happy, uplifted and inspired - which is pretty much as good as it gets for a compliment!
*All original artwork and images are the property of Colleen Wilcox. Any unauthorized use or reproduction is prohibited © 2016 Colleen Wilcox
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