Welcome to Women 'Crushing It' Wednesdays, a blog series that highlights the achievements and celebrates the success of women who are crushing it in their career and in life!
Today, we have the honor of interviewing Angela Viens, Contemporary Artist and CEO/Founder/Creative Director of AV Set & Design.
Angela, how did you become the artist you are today?
My mother was a painter and it was something I was always around because of her. I was really able to see the magic of all of it, the creation process, and the beautiful unfolding when a piece was completed. It was something that stuck with me. I started working on my own art skills and practice as soon as I could take electives in school. I diligently worked at it until grad school at NYU. Once I got a feel for my style and voice I began to show and exhibit like crazy while in NYC which was incredible. I got to experience the relationship between the audience, galleries, and just get an overall sense of the art world. The art fairs in NYC, Miami, and Europe were a huge inspiration for my art practice today.
Who has been an influence on your art?
Other incredible artists have been a huge influence. Kehinde Wiley, Nick Thomm, Hueman, Manu Munoz, Salvador Dali - I can go on and on. I love going to exhibitions and art fairs as well as following artists I admire on social media. They remind me how powerful a well done piece of art is and it makes me excited and fuels my own desire to make art to elicit similar responses within people. An impact of a solid artwork is like a impact of a beautiful song - but the impact happens within less than one second once the piece is viewed. I'm incredible fascinated with that power and am forever committed to exploring how I can create a similar caliber of impact in my own style and voice.
What inspires your creativity?
Viewing exhibitions, attending museums, and live music events/music videos or performances inspire me the most. To receive inspiration for specific artworks I'd like to create - I often go within and meditate and channel the images that come to mind, trusting its coming from a divine source and meant to be born and seen. I also receive ideas from my dreams or intuitive hits that just happen during the day.
How would you describe your art?
I would describe my art as very colorful and emotionally charged. It's surreal, figurative, and abstract pieces with a fresh and striking approach. They often have some kind of narrative or capture some kind of energy or feeling. They are very modern works.
Do you follow any current art trends with your work? Do you use certain materials? Are there any special techniques that you use?
Yes! All my works are done on plexiglass mirrors. The more figurative and surreal works are done with oil paint, whereas my abstract gradient pieces are done with fluid acrylic via airbrush. I also use a good amount of gold leaf and love to use LED lights. I've even dabbled in video art. I'm most definitely a mixed media artist!
How has your art evolved through the years?
It's evolved in truly a beautiful way and it has been so cool to see. Before getting into mirrors I was painting more dark and edgy pieces commenting on social media, sex and drugs to escape.
I was living with these pieces in my apartment and it didn't feel good. I then realized I wanted to create pieces that were surreal and ethereal, or told powerful emotional stories. The drive was always to take the viewer elsewhere whether in a dreamworld or in a deeply emotional place. I've been happy with my work as of late, as it feels really genuine the ideas that come forth. I've found its never good to force anything and creating incredible art - the kind of art that will last generations and be in museums is what I'm after. Art that's amazing in aesthetic, powerful in its message, and just unlike anything you've ever seen before is what I'm constantly after and I think slowly but surely my art is heading in that direction.
What does your artwork mean to you?
My artwork that is more surreal and figurative all have in depth narratives and are very personal. Whereas my abstract pieces are more fun and free and up to interpretation.
What is your favorite piece of artwork that you’ve done and why?
My two favorites I have done art 'Love, Lust, Loss' and 'Divine Moons' which have since sold and I'm proud of both of them. They both have achieved in what I think great artwork should do. They are both hit songs - absolute bangers.
'Love Lust Loss' is about a couple embracing. It is captured in a way that you are not sure whether they are in love, fighting, or breaking up. Its like the Mona Lisa - there's so much ambiguity and mystery which I LOVE. It's also very sexy and edgy with the composition and the colors. Its aesthetically striking and has a strong message and story narrative.
Divine moons came from a meditation vision in which I saw the moon phases as well as a bunch of clouds and celestial like colorful swirls. I sketched it out and layer by layer it came together. Its a piece I'm truly proud of as its just one of a kind and powerful - bringing together multi dimensional references to spirituality - with the clouds, universe, moon phases, as well as the moon phases that a vertical alluding to chakras. It has an amazing flow in the composition and the impact of the piece is truly impactful in the way it takes you to an otherworldly beautiful divine place.
What would be your dream project?
My dream project would be to do a huge mirror mural somewhere in Los Angeles.
What are the biggest challenges that you have faced as a female artists and how do you overcome them?
The biggest challenge i have been dealing with are men either not taking me seriously as an artist as well as constantly being hit on in a sneaky way. This often happens by them asking to do a studio visit, or volunteering to help with your art career, offer advice, or pretending to want to buy your art when their true intention is just to try to pursue you in whatever way they can. It's annoying and frustrating, but I've learned to curb it and I don't allow it to go anywhere if I don't sense they are professional or serious.
By experience I know what to look out for. I'm not shy to call it for what it is. Boundaries are everything and I have my wall up and am super protective. You have to unfortunately.
What is the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?
The best advice I've been given is just to never ever stop, keep creating no matter what! Constantly to strive at being better and to be inspired.
What advice do you have for other aspiring artists?
I would say to follow what is true and what inspires you. Your voice will develop in time as you keep working on it. And stay true to yourself, don't give in to doing your art commercially.
Your art is sacred, it's in the quantum field. It's literally magic so it's important to stay authentic to what you want to express in your soul and where you practice takes you. I highly suggest a side job to help support so your art is as genuine and pure as possible. It shouldn't be about the money, it's about creating something beautifully impactful for the culture of humanity. You can make a difference in ways you don't even realize when you create your work. And this is the most incredible gift in itself. Knowing this, the money and success will follow.
Where can people see /purchase your artwork?
People can view my art on:
My Website: http://www.angelaviens.com
My Instagram: @angelaviens
Catch Angela at our upcoming event on October 29, 2021. She will be a featured artist displaying some of her work. Click the link for more details and to purchase your ticket now!
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