Lately, people have started asking me where I find the creative humans to feature on my journal. Mostly, it is via friends, networking and through social media. This time however, I was drawn to an interview that I read from one of my favourite Australian magazines, Frankie. I saw pictures of the most vibrant and alluring pieces of mixed media art. They were so full of colour, so bright and splashy and fun. I was instantly hooked. I became even more so when I realised that the artist, Elizabeth Amento, lived in the Mission District of San Francisco. That was that. I had to meet her. Thankfully, Elizabeth said yes. I was a little late (I got side tracked by the endless delicious Mission food options) but eventually made my way to Elizabeth's apartment. The afternoon was chilly and dull - apparently quite normal for a San Francisco summer afternoon. As soon as I met Elizabeth, she welcomed me into her studio/home, gave me a tour of her brilliant paintings and the gouache paint she uses to create them, introduced me to her loves - her plants, and pointed out the view of Bernal Heights Park from her back porch. Her hallway, with it's twinkling lights and her bedroom with it's splashes of vintage orange made me quickly forget the much duller day outside. It turns out that Elizabeth is just as colourful and fun as her paintings. My day instantly became brighter - and I was so glad that I stumbled across the Frankie article and the streets of the Mission to find Elizabeth and her beautiful work.
What projects are you currently working on?
Right now, I have a few small collages I am working on. I have been away from them for a bit, but I have plans for them, so I am excited to get back to work on them. I also have a couple big pieces that I have been slowly adding to for awhile, so I really need to tackle those. After that I am excited to dig through my magazines for new material again. I like to work in a series. It helps me not put too much pressure on one piece. I can let the paint dry, step away and think about the overall composition.
Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?
Color combinations I observe in daily life. As well as my current emotional state and how the personal relationships I am in are affecting it. Through seeing potential in possible failures, I am inspired to try new things in my work, new shapes, layers and compositions.
Why a visual artist?
It’s hard not to be at this point. Solving problems creatively is the way my mind works. With my paintings, in my studio, I can entertain myself tackling the next project. I also hope I am adding some color to the world.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, would you be so kind to share some of your favourite artists?
I always listen to music while I work. I use Spotify to explore new artists, but I often return to my classics, Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones.
Do you have a morning ritual?
Lately, I wake up by checking on my plants to see how the new succulents I started are taking off. Then get coffee on the way to work, which is close, a 20 min walk so that’s great. I like taking different routes to work, but really enjoy certain ones. Shotwell Street for example, has some very pretty houses.
What's your idea of a perfect Friday night?
For me, a great time is a balance of having plans while being open to surprises.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I love the act of traveling, moving, of watching the world pass by the car or train window. I could list off some beautiful places, but really I could go anywhere when I have great company and can make it an adventure.
Best piece of advice you've ever given or been given?
That a lot people will give you advice, remember you don’t have to always take it.
What's for dinner?
Tacos from one of the many places in my neighborhood.
The best part about being a creative?
There’s always something to work on!
The worst part?
The anxieties and insecurities.
Day or Night?
Old or new?
A modern take on vintage.
City or Country?
City, but being able to escape to the country.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee in the morning. Tea at night.
What do you enjoy most about living in San Francisco?
It’s beautiful and friendly. Also there is always something to do. People are laid back but really passionate about their projects.
Thoughts for the future:
Always try to improve.