I came across Vanity aka Velour's work on the Afro-punk website. A community of, primarily, peoples of African descent who like and appreciate rock/punk/ alt-culture outside the realms of norms contemporary people of such background. Her art is whimsical and enthralling to behold even in photographs. I decided to ask her a few questions about her self and her craft of art.
Kaos Blac: Who are you and how would you describe yourself?
- Velour at work on a piece.
First off, thank you so much for your interest in my work. I appreciate any acknowledgment ^-^
Ah, describing myself...that's a hard one. My given name is Vanity and I think I'm just now starting to live up to that name haha. I like to define myself by what I produce- not just my artwork but intangible qualities as well. I'm an artistic experimenter and major procrastinator. As for the rest, you'll have to get to know me and come to your own conclusions. What I see in myself is often extreme. To tame that, I've tried to see myself through the eyes of those closest to me to help me be balanced and honest about my good and bad self, heh heh, so you could ask my friends as well. But, I would prefer you just get to know me ^-^
Kaos Blac: How did you start making your art?
- Photo's of #7, by Velour
Velour: Ummm...as long as I can remember I've been doodling. When I was in 1st grade, I made a sketch kit. It had crayons and little pieces of paper in a pirate lunch box. I invited kids I sat next to at lunch to draw little pictures on the tiny pieces of paper. I wish I would have kept them. When I was in 8th grade, I would draw friends names in a beautiful graffitti style- colors and roses with awesome lettering. I used to do pencil drawings of my siblings. I have lots of memories drawing and painting. I've just always done these things.
Kaos Blac: How did a piece like "The Hated Jellyfish" come about?
Velour: Hahaha everyone goes straight to that painting and it's, in fact, my least favorite ^-^ I hate it.Love turned pain. It was my ex's head, heh heh heh, if you look at it you can see his hairline. I took a picture of him that perfectly reflected what I saw in him. It was strong. His face conveyed the intelligence, calmness, and strength I loved him for so I wanted to paint it. I put lots of color into it because when he thought he really THOUGHT. His mind was always racing, thinking and producing and creating and I so I painted what can't be painted.
He was embarassed by the painting. He irritated me for weeks to 'fix' it and take his face off of it. I did it in tears- covering over my inspiration with a stupid jellyfish! I hated it.
Of course, the breakup didn't encourage me to love it anymore haha.
Kaos Blac: What I also like about your art is that it has depth and three dimensional aspects. How do you come up with those, what sparks the idea behind them.
- #5, by Velour
Velour: The downside to painting is that it's only 2 dimensions. So the easy fix is to add the other dimension. When moving holograms with color become more easily available I'll be all over those creating. That's where I want art to go. Sculpture movie paintings. I'm just now learning how to mess with, integrate mixed media. It's all an experiment.
What sparks my ideas? um um um.....lots of thinking. I mentally paint and repaint an image in my mind many times over. I imagine it hanging on a wall. I imagine it in black and white. I think of it tiny and large. I put the image outside laying in the grass. I put it in a dusty closet. I paint it on an odd shaped canvas. I invert the colors. I just imagine the hell out of the image. Then I put it on a canvas and all that thinking is wasted haha. Of course, like other artists I also get inspiration from other artists, friends, and my environment.
Growing up my uncle David was/is an artist and he had and still has a huge impact on my life artwise. His room had pieces all over the place and he would show me the things he was working on and always had some awesome music playing in the background. He opened my imagination up to the whole world of creative thinking. I love great music and I am an artist because of him.
I'd like to incorporate some typography in my future work. I'm not great with words so I've hesitated working with 'words as visual art' but since I've read ''The Sentence is a Lonely Place'' my love for written words has been reignited. I'm also looking into electronics in my work. Lights, moving parts, interactive stuff. I'm scared of electricity and soldering but I'm sure I won't be able to stay away from that for long. I have to experiment with it, procrastinator or not =).
Kaos Blac: Where can people find more of your work?
- #2, by Velour
Velour: I'm putting together pieces to go up in coffeeshops in Austin. Local art is a big thing here so I'm hoping to get some love from Austin ^-^.
Right now I'm only posting to my flickr page. http://www.flickr.com/photos/velourchip/
Basic Blac the Zine
Read the Digital copy below, just click.
Basic Blac#2 Summer 2010