We are delighted to bring to you the third in our brand new series of interviews within our Portrait of an Artist column entitled ‘Seeing through the eyes…’. This is a section that has been created by our wonderful Portrait of an Artist Editor, Ile Mont. Mont has been inspired by the life and works of Carolyn Hall Young, as so many of us have. Young was the main contributor to our Portrait of an Artist Flickr pool and filled it with portraits of so many wonderful people, not only of herself. It is for this reason that Mont wanted to create this section, to enable us to view the artists style through their own eyes. At the end of each interview, Mont will keep Young’s tradition alive, with a portrait of herself, seen through the eyes of the artist. In this case, you will see that at the end of this interview there is a portrait of Mont, seen through the eyes of Diana Nicholette Jeon, what a gift!
Please continue to post your mobile portraiture to our dedicated Flickr group, that way, Mont will search through these artists first to interview. (foreword by Joanne Carter).
All images in this interview ©Diana Nicholette Jeon
Would you like to introduce yourself?
I am a wife, a mom, a classic Aries, an avid TV watcher, and an artist through to the bottom of my soul.
What does “being creative” mean to you?
Being creative, to me, means someone is producing imagery or writing or music that might or might not be art or artful, but they are enjoying following their creative muse wherever it leads them. For me, being creative is a subset of bing an artist, but…being creative or producing works of creativity don’t necessarily mean the person is an artist or producing actual artworks.
Can you describe the time when you first realised that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
I have always been artistic. My father was an artist by training, and though in my lifetime he did not practice as one, I got the dad art genes and made art, took lessons, etc, since I could hold a crayon or Play dough.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
It really varies with the project, but is often an emotional response to a situation, event or social or political situation.
Why portraits and self portraits?
It is VERY rare for me to do a portrait of another person. I just don’t do them or really enjoy that. Sometimes I do that as a joke, or as a gift for a special person, or because I was bored. Almost all of my work is in some form autobiographical, so if I am going to have a woman, I have me in the work.
What do you think are the ups and downs about working with your own image?
I don’t have any feelings on this one way or the other.
Is there an artwork you are most proud of?
Whatever is the last series I created is always the thing of which I am most proud. Of course, shortly after that I usually spend a while despising it and being embarrassed by it, as well.
How do you know when a work is finished?
Sometimes I just know. Other times, I struggle with it. I save and keep working. I save and let it sit. I do both. I put it out there in the world as a work in process. I go on to something else. Eventually, in every case, something tells me it is done, or it stays there, unfinished. I know people will think I am crazy but I have incomplete works dating back as far as 1997, because they haven’t spoken yet.
What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?
I have none.
What inspires you?
Great, intriguing work by others. A sad song. An event. A personal situation.
What are your favorite tools and apps while creating?
Procreate and Snapseed are my most favorite. Others I bop into and out of for specific effects or for a change.
What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?
I haven’t had any advice about how to be more creative, and I wouldn’t see it out, either. I am an artist by birth and by training. If I cannot find creativity within myself, I have spent the last 20 years in the wrong endeavour and education.
What advice would you share with us?
By the same token that I would not want nor seek out (or probably even listen to, Aries that I am!) advice about creativity from others, I am also loathe to give generic advice that is not in reference to a specific work or portfolio. I guess it would have to be this: Work every single day, even if you have no inspiration or project. Just do stuff, even if it only is to explore a new app or a new way of working. The teacher arrives when the student is ready. The student gets ready by doing.
I have been seen through the eyes of Diana Nicholette Jeon. Thank you very much, Diana!
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