Artists In Conversation: Tiffany (Unscripted)

Once again, it’s a delight to befriend another hugely ambitious, motivational and multi talented artist. My latest featured artist goes by the name of Tiffany (Unscripted) from New York state. Tiffany is definitely setting an example in what it means to be artistic. She agreed to share some of her aspirations and highlight drivers that contribute to her inspirational creativity.

Tiffany (Unscripted)
Tiffany

You’re a writer, filmmaker, photographer, designer and poet to name some of your interests and skills. If forced to describe yourself under one of these disciplines what would you choose?

Oh, no! I couldn’t choose. My love and passion is equal for each. [laughing] In retrospect, I can say each skill has evolved from another. I started writing poetry in my teens. I would spend hours under a massive tree in Thornden Park, composing several poems. When I reached my twenties I started writing short stories and nonfiction. My creative outlet expanded to include media and design. I started doing photography and film out of necessity. I needed a photographer for a few projects. They were either too expensive or unreliable. I purchased my first camera, a Canon Rebel XT from a pawn shop, to shoot my first concert. It was Tech N9ne Hostile Takeover Tour 2012, at Celebrity Theater. From that project, my love grew for capturing moments. My first film project was an impromptu recording of my friend’s music video on my Samsung galaxy SIII. Currently, my focus is photography. My goal is to enhance my skills, to include high-fashion and editorial. I’m really excited because it’s for an online magazine I’m launching January 1, 2016. It’s called Occhi Magazine. I’m creating a fashion lookbook for it.

Where do you find your inspiration?

People, places, and things. Tomorrow is never promised. So, I live in the moment. This has expanded my view of the world. My analysis of the what, why, and how has broadened. I can look at anything and see art. This translates into creating something. It can be either graphic design or a haiku. Many of us fail to see the beauty in the world. It’s no fault of our own. We are constantly besieged with news of death, destruction, and sorrow. My outlet has always been art. Whenever I experience stress I create something; writing, designing, filming, or photographing helps me to relax.

 

Are there any particular artist you’re most proud to have worked with?

Yes, my friends. [laughing] I value their friendship, as well as their experience. We often share creative ideas. For instance, one of my friends has created a Star Wars, inspired music video. It turned out exceptionally well! It was shot in Yuma, Arizona. I’m located in Upstate, NY and couldn’t make the filming. I kept telling him how I wished I could have been there to capture the experience in a documentary!

 

Are they any particular artists you would like to work with?

This is where I’m supposed to name someone famous or highly-celebrated. But I’ve always been a champion for the underdog. My interest is mainly other independents, who strive to create exceptional work. It can be someone relatively unknown; someone who is still learning a new skill. Creativity is fueled by passion. Passion can be infectious, enlightening, and a catalyst for your own desire to create a beautiful piece.

 

Can you tell me more about your magazine and media company?

It all began with Mia Bella Occhi™. Mia Bella Occhi™ is an affordable online fashion boutique offering curated finds of unique sunglasses, clear lens eyewear, and fashion accessories, such as hats, scarves, and jewelry. It’s for fashionistas and fashionistos, who value a mixture of trendy, sophistication, style, and comfort. I wanted “everyday” people to know style is not what you wear. It is who you are. The magazine spawned from this idea. I thought I should create a visual display of what people can wear. I don’t use professional models. Instead, I ask people who never modeled to showcase the fashions. I want the boutique and magazine to be organic and accessible to everyone, no matter their economic status. This is the main reason why I added Frugal But Fashionable and Reclaim Recycle Restyle. Frugal But Fashionable proves you can still look great using thrifty buys. Reclaim Recycle Restyle showcases designers who craft handmade fashions, such as jewelry, clothing, and other upcycled creations. The designers and their creations will be featured in the magazine and lookbook.

Creatives tend to think outside the box but is it easy to fuse your disciplines into an entity that is recognised or appreciated by the general public? Do people easily see relationships between visual arts, fashion and other creative professions?

Yes. Art is subjective. Personally, I do not create for the public. I create things I’m passionate about. I recently held an online art exhibition on my Instagram page. It was titled ‘Completely Unexpected.” Abstract art was created using a mathematical algorithm, and then blended with computer-generated, paint brushstrokes. It was well received. Most exciting was the nods received from art museums. That was absolutely thrilling! I’m planning my next exhibition for spring 2016. Stay tuned! I will use my new Nikon D7200 camera for this piece. I can’t wait to shoot with it!

 

What are the highs and lows of running an independent boutique, magazine and film production company?

I don’t see highs and lows. I see peaks and valleys – much healthier perspective, indeed! [laughing] All challenges are good. That’s how one learns. People see the effort you put into your work. I prefer being recognized for my work. For me, it’s more meaningful. People see the drive and passion. Being recognized for only your accomplishments is like saying you only rate when you receive a reward. I believe a person should be rewarded for effort alone. Perhaps, this is why I find it challenging to sell my art. I do it solely for passion, not recognition. Funny. I recently read a debate over what makes a photographer an amateur or profession. Many argued being paid for the photo session makes you a professional. I beg to differ. I shot high-profile, music concerts as press and media. I wasn’t paid for the work. I did it because it was my passion to do so, and I wanted to prove it’s not the equipment, it’s the user that defines professionalism. That was the first concert previously mentioned.

The world is an open door of opportunities for someone with the right mind-set. As a creative professional in a very competitive environment what encouraging words would you share with young, inspired and multi skilled people reading this article?

Two words: Do you. As long as you remember art is subjective, you can create anything you imagine. People will either like or dislike your creations. Expect it. Just don’t let it prevent you for creating the most wonderful piece, yet, to be discovered – YOU!

 

'Completely Unexpected' Digital Art by Tiffany (Unscripted)
‘Completely Unexpected’ Digital Art by Tiffany (Unscripted)

 

Further info on Tiffany please visit

Twitter: @TiffUnscripted
www.instagram.com/tiffanyunscripted

http://www.miabellaocchi.com

 

Supporting a Worthy Cause -The Peace Project 2015 Touring Exhibition

Once again, I’m delighted to be a participant in the Peace Projects traveling exhibition. Proceeds from the Call for Artists and the Traveling Exhibit will fund initial costs for the Peace Centre in Africa, help bring skills training to the Peace Centre in the Philippines, and provide critical aid to Syrian refugees.

The show has three segments; a mosaic of art featuring all Peace Project artists, a further 120 artworks displayed as 12″ x 12″ panels and a themed show entitled “Gaza Rises’ featuring the work of ten artists from Gaza.

The exhibit will be unveiled at the 5th Affair of the Arts event at 9300 Culver Blvd. in Downtown Culver City on September 19th & 20th. The show will then tour including a stop at the Landmark Arts Building, New York City on October 15.

I’m happy to be supporting the Peace Project as it continues to be behind worthwhile causes. The Peace Project has help educate dozens of children in Sierra Leone, distributed 10,000 pairs of crutches to amputees & war victims in Sierra Leone and designed a Peace Museum for Sierra Leone in conjunction with the United Nations.

The Peace Project is currently working to bring skills training to the Peace Centre in the Philippines and designing a Peace Centre that will be built in Sierra Leone adjacent to the Slaughter House, one of the most infamous sites of violence during the recent civil war.  Sierra Leone’s Peace Centre will be operated in collaboration with trusted partners from Community Association for Psychosocial Services.

For further information on the Peace Project please visit http://www.thepeaceproject.com

E & A ( Eve & Adam) My painting featured in the show
E & A ( Eve & Adam) My painting featured in the show

‘Outsider Art’ Under One Roof at Katonah Museum of Art

Over the last week or so I’ve met a number of self taught artists who are building reputations as commercially successful painters. Then I came across this article, featured online in the New York Times. Please follow the link for what is an interesting read.

In the almost 70 years since the term was first coined, “outsider art” — a somewhat dismissive designation for the work of self-taught artists — has been steadily finding its way inside the mainstream art world. These days, it is no longer unusual to see pieces by artists with no formal training displayed in even the most prestigious venues; just the past two years have seen such works included in exhibitions mounted by the Venice Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum, among others.

Full New York Times article by Sarah Gold, Aug 13 2015

Artist Mark Ware and the Wavelength Project

Mark Ware recording sound at Oare Marshes Kent
Mark Ware recording sound at Oare Marshes Kent

A few years ago I was privileged to work with the UK Stroke Association in a fundraising capacity, highlighting the causes and measures to reduce the risk of stroke. Anyone can have a stroke, although there are some things that make you more at risk than others. It’s important to know what the risk factors are and do what you can to reduce your risk. For further information in the UK please visit https://www.stroke.org.uk or, in the US, http://www.strokeassociation.org

During this time I was honoured to meet the truly inspirational artist Mark Ware. Mark is a Fulbright Scholar and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. During 1996 Mark had a severe stroke, an event that suddenly and abruptly altered every aspect of his life.  Since then, his artwork has become increasingly concerned with how his subjective experience has been altered by the changes in mind and body due to stroke.

Mark is now collaborating with neuroscientist Professor Hugo Critchley and his team at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, Brighton on The Wavelength project. The Wavelength Project will investigate and artistically interpret how we respond to natural versus, artificial light and sound. The science activities will inform the development and creation of a series of artistic outcomes, including original music compositions, multimedia performances, sound and light installations, creative workshops and creative field research activities. I was intrigued to know more about the project and Mark’s career to date so I was most please when he agreed to be interviewed.

What inspired you to become an artist?

Art encourages us to observe and express how we interact with the amazing world we live in.  For me art soon became a form of ‘life note-taking’, forcing me to connect with, and appreciate, the here and now.

What’s your favourite medium and why?

My art is multimedia and includes various combinations of sculpture, photography, video, sound, digital imagery, writing, performance and light.   I view my work as a la carte art where I am able to call upon whatever disciplines are required on any particular project.  This allows me flexibility in terms of scale, complexity and context for the work.

Cathedra 900 multimedia event
Cathedra 900 multimedia event

Has your appreciation of art and its importance changed since having your stroke?

Yes.  My stroke was severe and badly affected my cognitive and physical abilities.  Although I didn’t welcome my stroke, from an artistic point of view it was fascinating because it gave me wonderful insights into the perceptual process.  As a result, all of my post-stroke art is touched by my disability in some way.  Art is so important to me now because it allows me to explore and express my altered subjective experiences caused by changes in mind and body due to my brain injury.

Exeter Cathedral 3D banner exhibition
Exeter Cathedral 3D banner exhibition

Do you feel society undervalues art as a therapeutic medium particularly with regards to neurological health and wellbeing?

Yes!  Art is about what it is to be human and has the power to reach out and affect people on both conscious and subconscious levels.  When I look back at myself immediately following my stroke in 1996, I remember two things: The determination to survive a life-threatening event and the desire to create art.  Given my circumstances at the time, it is significant (to me) that the need to create art was as important as the need for life.  Art is within us all and when produced with honesty, it can have a profound affect on the people who experience it.

What is the wavelength project?

 The wavelength project is an extremely ambitious activity and will aim to seek answers to profound questions such as why is art important, and why do we create it?

Why are we drawn to the natural environment, marvelling at brilliantly coloured sunsets, for example? What impact do art and nature have upon health and wellbeing?

The project is an art/science collaboration between me and neuroscientist Professor Hugo Critchley and colleagues at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, University of Sussex.  With contributions from Professor Critchley and the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, I will investigate how we respond to art and nature, focusing on differences between natural versus man made sounds and light.

What are its objectives and how do you see the project growing or gaining influence?

The project’s scientific investigations will inform the development and creation of a series of artistic outcomes, including original music compositions, multimedia performances, sound and light installations, creative workshops and field research activities.

Most people believe that the natural environment is good for us in terms of wellbeing and health. The wavelength project is seeking to provide scientific evidence to assess this belief, with artistic outcomes influenced by the results.  In the long term, we aim to deliver results that may be of benefit to many people, including those who have experienced brain injury or suffer from disorders of consciousness.

If, as most of us believe, exposure to the natural environment is found to be beneficial to our conscious experience, this will support initiatives to protect, enhance and restore wildlife and our natural resources, on land and at sea.  A vitally important outcome of the wavelength project will be to raise awareness of this need.  In recognition of this important direction, Kent Wildlife Trust has also partnered with the project.  The Trust will advise the wavelength project team on all issues concerning the natural environment and will collaborate on a variety of creative activities.

The artistic content of the wavelength project is supported by Arts Council England.

Useful links

MarkWare.co.uk

https://www.stroke.org.uk

http://www.strokeassociation.org

 

 

Nine Warning Signs of An Amateur Artist

Hi All

I’ve been happy to be spending time in the company of visual artists and musicians who continue to inspire and encourage me with my endeavours. It’s ironic I came across this article, courtesy of  Skinny Artist, I wanted to share, particularly if you are an artist yourself.  Continued best wishes and never give up on what get’s you out of bed and keeps you alive! Remember to have a professional approach and a professional attitude!

9 Warning Signs of an Amateur Artist

Art, Not ‘Boxed in’ by Parameters- In Conversation With Africa Vee

Africa Vee
Africa Vee

I continue to find inspiration from many contemporaries, particularly artists who continue to create colourful, diverse and varied styles of work. One of these is Parisian Véronique Lunkutu, aka Africa Vee.

How long have you been painting and what inspires you?

I took a serious interest in art at the age of twenty-five. I have never attended any formal painting classes so my technique is my own and my talent is evolving through trial and error.  Some would say that you acquire perfection with the technique.  I would say that art is not a pursuit of perfection; it is a question of feeling.  My paintings are not perfect, but what is perfection in the end?  It is imperfect as we are imperfect.  Many artists are naturally gifted. This natural gift, this free spirit attitude, is reflected in my work because it is not governed by constraints. It is not “boxed in” by parameters.

I have dual heritage, my mother is from Belgium and my father is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. When I first decided to pursue painting, I never asked myself where it would lead me. However, my feelings and inspiration led me naturally to my Afro-European roots and is in recognition of the African diaspora.

Many of my paintings depict African Women in traditional garb and styles of hair.  These paintings depict a female perspective in the world today, especially the perspective of how African women are viewed and perceived as regards their cultural ethnicity and beauty.  In some ways, it represents my perspective and my vision as an Afro-European woman.

What is your preferred medium and why?

I paint on canvas.  I utilize acrylics because I find that it permits me to really bring out the color palette.  The colours are more vibrant, intense and deep.

You have a distinctive and admirable style.  Can you explain the process you adopt for producing your work?

I mostly paint indoors during the day, alone in a peaceful environment with music, always music!  I love music so I always paint with music in the background.  Some would think that music would be a distraction but for me it produces an environment that is conducive to painting.  Instead of being interference, the music puts my mind in a state of being and allows me to concentrate in a relaxed environment during the painting process.  My musical influences are a mixture of African and European artists, plus black music in general.  I guess it represents my bi-racial heritage.

I usually make sketches before I paint and I decide the color choices at that moment.  However, painting is also spontaneous.  So often, I go with the flow and allow my feelings to pick the color choices.  So some color choices are predetermined and some are spontaneous.

How do you manage the commercial/income generating aspects of being an artist?

I currently paint for the pure joy of painting.  However, I am not opposed to commercial recognition of my work, or income generation as an expression of the buyers’ appreciation of my work.  To be an artist as my full time occupation would be a dream come true.

Woman With Two Faces
Woman With Two Faces

So what projects are you currently working on?  What career aspirations do you have for the immediate future?

My current project and career aspirations at this time are tied together.  I would like to have the opportunity to display my work in an exhibit.  Not initially one that would produce income, but an exhibit in which my work could simply be shared with others

I recently created and designed my webpage http://Africaveearts.com as a means to share my art with others.  I also maintain a presence on the various social media outlets.  I have a Facebook page as well as postings on Twitter, Instagram, and I am a member of Blackartinamerica.

Art is about freedom and creative expression. Being an artist is first and foremost about feeling free to create. It is about expressing what is inside you, expressing something that potentially others have not expressed before or have expressed in a different way. It is about expressing what you want and maybe even need to express.  I feel free to express myself by painting. Some people will catch a part of my emotions and life’s struggles in my work, others will not.  It is all is question of perception, but the most important thing is that painting is a way to deliver peace and love.  And that is what I want to do. I’m grateful to have the chance to share my work and my emotions with others through my art.