Monday, February 24, 2014

15 Questions for Johannah

  • 1. Where are your family roots from? My mom’s side of the family is from the Detroit area, and my dad’s is from Pennsylvania and North Carolina. His NC roots go back to the founding of Winston Salem. Both of my parents moved to Miami when they were teenagers and went to the same high school (but not at the same time). Ironically, they met in NYC.
    2. How have your parents/guardian influenced you? Many of my family members are artistic, so I was surrounded by art my whole life. Being creative and productive was encouraged and expected. Our giant History of Modern Art book was one of my favorites as a kid. Also, growing up in Sarasota helped a lot. The Ringling Museum was free on Saturdays, so our dad would take us often.
    3. Can you remember your earliest childhood memory of happiness and that of fear? I remember being an infant lying in a crib, so my memories started really early on. I think I was happy in my crib. I have many childhood memories of fear and insecurity, but one of the first involved a nightmare about a man with two faces. It was very disturbing.
    4. Is there something in your life that you feel very passionate about? I feel very passionate about animal welfare. I became a vegetarian at age 13 after dissecting a fetal pig in biology class (YUCK). I’m a big advocate for animal rescue as well. If I won the lottery, I’d buy a farm and fill it with rescued dogs!
    5. If you could be any animal, what animal would that be? plant? and insect? why? I’d probably be either a bird or a dolphin. Being able to fly or swim would be amazing. It might be nice to be a vine, to extend myself over a large area. Not sure what insect I’d be. Maybe a bee.
    6. What is it about being an artist that keeps you satisfied for it to be your career? Well, I’m an art teacher and a painter. I don’t think I’d be satisfied with just one or the other. I like the interactions I have with other people at work. Painting alone in a studio can be very isolating. Also, I don’t make enough as a painter to pay the bills. I like painting, because it feels good to create and to share my work with others. Sometimes I think of all the stuff I’d like to do around the house and yard, and I get bummed out, but honestly, I’d rather have too little free time than too much of it.

    7. What is your process? medium? and influences? My process: Get an idea, go look for reference material, make a mock-up in Photoshop, transfer it to my panel, and paint! The actual painting part is pretty technical. All the creativity is in the planning. I was a printmaking major in college, so that’s the kind of workflow I’m used to/comfortable with. I don’t like to leave too much to chance. I paint with Golden OPEN acrylics. I love them. My influences range from surrealism to photorealism, from pop art to low brow stuff. I’m a big fan of craftsmanship. I like art that takes a lot of skill/time. Maybe this comes from all those years looking at oil paintings at The Ringling!
    8. Can you tell us something that you just learned that intrigued you? I learned that dogs process information and may feel emotions in a way that’s similar to the way humans feel them. That’s pretty intriguing!
    9. What is your perception of how people see you? I try not to think too much about how other people see me. I’m kind of shy and introverted, so if I thought too much on that, I would probably never leave the house. Other people have told me that I am charismatic, or good at small talk, or whatever, but I don’t see myself that way at all. I kind of feel like Log Lady w/out the log most of the time. Maybe I should get a log.
    10. What are you listening to these days? I listen to a lot of stuff, but right now mostly The Shins, Miike Snow, MGMT, and other folky stuff like that. Also like Santigold, The Sounds, Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And 90s indie rock: Jawbreaker, J Church, Fifteen, etc. Oh, and classic rock of course. Always!
    11. What's the best and worst decision you ever made? Best decision? Marrying my husband Adriaan. He’s the most important thing in the world to me, and he’s completely changed my life for the better. The worst decision? Hmmmm. Maybe not pursuing my masters degree. Although, if I had got to grad school, everything would be different now, and I really like my life the way it is.
    12. Can you narrate to me your proudest moment? I think my proudest moment was when my 2011 solo show at Bold Hype was made available for presales. A lot of work sold before the show even opened, which was very nice! I try not to feel overly proud of stuff, because I see what pride does to people (it makes them insufferable), but I was happy and encouraged for sure.
    13. What do you find most ridiculous about life? All of life is ridiculous. People who take it seriously, they’re pretty funny, too.
    14. Can you share a topic that causes your blood to boil? Canned safari hunts. Well, ALL safari hunts, but the canned ones are the worst. Some asshole posing with a sad old circus lion he just shot: that kills me inside a little. Also, wolf hunting. The idea that we have the right to kill animals to protect our businesses, that we place ourselves and our profits above all living things. It’s gross.
    15. If you could take a peek in your future (say 10 years from now), what would it look like? I have no idea what my life is going to look like in 10 years. I mean, really, anything could happen. We should have our house paid off by then, so that’ll be nice!

    Check out the rest of Johannah's portfolio ---->

    Thank you, Johannah!

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