a)My name is Amanda Baron, I am 21 years old, currently residing in Toronto,
Ontario, finishing my BFA in Drawing and Painting at OCAD University.
q) Can you describe your path to being an artist? When
did you really get into it?
a)My mother is an artist herself and has been my
greatest influence as I grew up doing crafts with her almost every afternoon.
However I had the ambition to become a writer and lost touch with the visual
arts for a long time. In my final years of highschool I spent a lot of my
time drawing in my sketchbook and became more and more invested in art.
Although, it wasn’t until I heard about OCADUniversity
that I actually considered going to school for art rather than for my writing.
q) Describe your ideals and how they manifest in your
a)I believe in art as a source of self-therapy, as a
playing ground in which errors can be made and overcome in a creative
fashion. I personally am invested in art based in process, intuiton and
q) Is music a part of your studio time? What do you
a)Music is definitely important to my studio
time. I love being in a studio with other people and sharing music, or
even just putting on my headphones and going at it. I mostly like to
listen to pyschedelic rock, krautrock, alternative and prog rock when I am
making art and listening to my headphones. However the past few weeks I
have been really into Parov Stelar, which is a dance, jazz and swing mix, great
for painting. Usually, it depends on what I am working on, and the
environment I am in, but music always has to be available.
q) How would you describe your work to someone?
a)It’s really hard for me to describe my work to
someone who has never seen it. Usually I describe my process with collage
and recently, with digital painting. However, I will relate myself to
Francis Bacon, Daniel Richter, Picasso or Munch, because many people have
described my work in relation to them before.
a)Besides Bacon, Richter, Picasso and Munch, my
favorite artist is Max Ernst. His explorations in collage and frottage
are hughly influential to my work. Although, I have many influences that are
not necessarily art related. I am mostly interested in theories stemming
from pyschology and existentialism. Jean-Paul Sartre and his “Being and
Nothingness” has been highly influential to me as of late. As well as
science fiction and alien folklore, I enjoy the mystery of the unknown, the
neon qualities of sci-fi and the manifestation of myth in our everyday
world. But I love poetry, fictional stories and strange films, with a
hint of macabre.
Above all, my artistic peers are probably my greatest
influence. I love being surrounded by interesting and passionate people who
want to create beautiful and insightful art and music. The Toronto art scene is
fantadtic because there are so many artists working with ideas of hybridity and
digitalism, collage and multi-media explorations. I feel very privaledged
to be in the community I am in.
q) Describe your process for creating new work.
a)My process has always been a variation of collaging
and drawing/painting. Lately I have been working digitally and using
images I have found in old magazines and from youtube, I collage these images
together on the computer, and manipulate colour hues and paint with the image
using various distortion tools. I enjoy this process because it feels
like the image is always in a liquid state, and can constantly be
manipulated. After the work is printed I like to use my hands to draw or
paint into it, it gives the work a human quality the computer cannot reproduce.
q) What advice do you have for artists looking to show
a)Easiest thing to do is start a blog, it allows you
to show your work freely and keep people up to date with what you are
doing. Also, find other artists whome you feel you relate to or
compliment your work and start group shows in your area. Attend as many
art openings as possible, look at what these galleries are interested in and
see where your art fits in relationship to theirs. Make connections and
q) What are you really excited about right now?
a)I have just finished my thesis year at OCADUniversity,
so I am most excited about showing the work I have made over the past
year. But I am also really excited about creating new work,
influenced by what I have learned from my thesis. Amongst all this I want
to show my work as much as possible over the coming summer, and invest in the
artistic community outside of school.
q) What do you love most about where you live?
is a multi-cultural hub, and it shows greatly in the artistic community.
There are so many people making great, thought provoking work, that you would
not see together in any other part of the world. There are also amazing
digital experimentations happening at the moment. People are excited
about using the digital technology and referencing gaming and Internet culture,
as well as exploring the past. Toronto art seems very much to be in a state of
hybridity, anything goes, and that is what makes it so interesting.
q) Best way to spend a day off?
a)Catching up on some sleep!
q) Upcoming shows/ projects?
a)I will be in the OCADUniversity
Graduation Exhibition on May 3rd to 6th; it will be amazing
to see all of our hard work in one place. Other than that I am working on
being involved in various group shows with my peers over the summer.
q) Where can people see more of your work on the
a)I update my blog frequently, amandabaron.blogspot.ca,
also on facebook my art page is Amanda e. Baron. But I also like to use
the Saatchi Online gallery.