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Journal of Creative Arts and Minds Vol.1, No.2, December 2015 An Original Publication of Jumbo Arts International Red Springs, North Carolina, USA

ISBN: 978-0-9965432-1-7 / ISSN: Pending Jumbo Arts International

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Journal of Creative Arts and Minds Published by

Margie Labadie, President John Antoine Labadie, Senior Editor Larry Arnold, Board Member

Electronic Links https://www.facebook.com/JournalofCreativeArtsandMinds http://www.jumboartsinternational.org

Jumbo Arts International Contact Information 217 South Edinborough St. Red Springs, North Carolina 28377-1233 01.910.734.3223 Editorial – Artists, John Antoine Labadie Editorial – Writers, Margie Labadie Design – The JCAM Team of Jumbo Arts International

The Journal of Creative Arts and Minds is a publication of Jumbo Arts International. This electronic publication is free. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the publisher.

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Journal of Creative Arts and Minds Vol.1, No.2, December 2015

CONTENTS About this Publication – pages 3 & 4 Contents – page 5 Message from the President of Jumbo Arts International – page 6 Message from the Editor of JCAM – page 7 Visual Artists – pages 8 through 213 Creative Writers – pages 214 through 225 Information for Potential Submitters – page 226

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A message from the President We at Jumbo Arts International are so excited to publish the December 2015 issue of the Journal of Creative Arts and Minds. The JCAM gives members of the global creative community the opportunity to both define and express themselves. We take pride in offering a glimpse into international culture through these many interviews and creative works of individual artists and writers. Everyday at Jumbo Arts International we strive to see what good we can do through the sharing of creative work. To accomplish this, we have made sure that Jumbo Arts International’s Board of Directors and International Advisory Council is purposefully made up of artists, musicians, song writers, poets, authors and advocates for cultural and community diversity. We consider ourselves to be part of a global creative community, not just reporters looking in from the outside. This issue features visual artists from Belarus, Belgium, Bahrain, England, Germany, Ghana, India, Spain,Taiwan, Ukraine, and the United States. Also featured is the poetry and prose of two outstanding women writers. One is Native American. The other spent her formative years in both France and the United States. Additionally our Visual Arts section includes an inspiring interview of a Pakistani artist-entrepreneur who supports an entire community of artists known as the Tribal Truck Art initiative. It is our hope that the words and imagery we share through the JCAM serve as a bridge toward understanding all people. Together we can redefine the cultural differences we place upon ourselves and each other and come together in peace.

Margie Labadie President, Jumbo Arts International Red Springs, North Carolina, USA jumboartsinternational@gmail.com

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Journal of Creative Arts and Minds A message from the Editor Today, 30 December 2015, we publish Vol.1, No. 2 of Jumbo Arts International’s “Journal of Creative Arts and Minds.” As with the many other projects developed for and offered to the public by Jumbo, the JCAM has evolved over time and is connected to our mission to support the arts, creativity, and improved mutual understanding of life ways and creative passions on an international level. Both 2015 JCAM publications have been developed completely through personal networking with social media as the primary means of communication. The JCAM has been grown though text messaging and emails, built through cloud storage, published online, and is now available as a free PDF download – all made possible through the “free” side of site hosting the journal. We should not take the possibilities of 21st century electronic publishing for granted. The creatives whose works are included in the December 2015 issue of the JCAM represent a wider range of countries, cultures, media, ages and levels of experience than in our June publication. Each submission is unique and was allowed to evolve as unhindered as possible given the technical limitations of our current publishing format. Jumbo Arts International is a highly collaborative endeavor. We continuously seek to identify and publish original creative work from local, regional, national and international sources that are known to us. Our outreach will continue in the issues to come. Do you know of an visual artist or creative writer JCAM should know about? Email us at the address below. In the meantime, enjoy our latest publication!

John Antoine Labadie Senior Editor Journal of Creative Arts and Minds jcam.jal@gmail.com

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Yusuf Afzal Hussain The artist Yusuf Afzal Hussain was born in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India in 1952. His artistic training was in fine arts and in sculpture in Gwalior. Since the 1970’s his artworks have been included in a large number of exhibitions in many countries. Yusuf’s art is held in many public and private collections and he has been involved in artist residencies and other significant artistic activities in Turkey, France, India, Japan and Dubai. When asked by JCAM to describe his philosophy of art and artistic practice Yusuf responded as follows: “When describing the ultimate purity of a line Paul Klee opined that a line can never be drawn in its purest form. Whereas, I believe that if a line has no true existence in nature, then how can anyone judge its purity at all. A line is an invention of man, who believes that it actually has a place of its own in nature. So far a line has been used to explain accessible things, to give expression to the shape and form of projections, to define circles, etc. The basic line is drawn to express the texture. A line plays a very important role in giving a dead form to any creative effort. It is light that enables us to see natural shapes clearly. The capacity to reflect light gives things their colour. Two opposite colours make it possible to see the outlines clearly and markedly. The reflection of light enables the line to determine the outside limits of any thing thus making them recognisable. I believe that a line should be viewed only by its basic character of art lining. Normally I keep a line ___________ in the space and then without making it give a shape to any natural commodity, I let it take its own form, or let it loose to create its own line and shape. When a point moves, a line is drawn. In my art the line plays a very important role. When I “picturise” the group of lines as a basic element, a strange happening occurs. Many lines emanate from this indivisible point, which then give birth to innumerable unrecorded lines. So, when I draw one single line I an actually creating two of them – positive and negative. The white lines between two drawn black lines is not purely space that has been left out. It is actually a deliberate effort. They also form to my line

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drawings, the same way as the black lines do. The two combine to produce a sensuousness which breathes life into my lines and gives them dynamism and mobility. In my paintings the lines maintain their basic linear character, and pictures drawn with them are also linear in character. My shapes and forms are not surrounded by lines, in fact they are left independent and given an infinite form. In this way a line remains a line in my pictures alternately running, turning, sustaining, joining, rising, flying, breaking and sometimes creating a net like texture. Some times the line goes back to its origin, becomes a point and then just disappears. And in the midst of all this query quietly, without disturbing the linear character, my paintings get filled with colours. For me the line is a living unit, full of limitless possibilities I believe that when an artist creates a shape using the line, then it is the line that gives it a definite shape, then ending all other possibilities. That is why in my line drawings you do not see shape of any natural thing – my group of lines is full of possibilities capable of being taken anywhere. My creations are not created through extraneous lines. In fact they are a group of innumerable lines which can be increased or drawn in any direction. And so my line drawings have their origins from the lines, their space and form is always basic where the innermost values remain the same and where the possibilities are endless. My paintings are musical notations of music yet unborn: They are the concrete shapes of vocal tunes that cannot be sung or played to music. The scattered notes are abstract musical notations, but we feel their vibrations in our senses. While a linear drawing is an extension of a point. The lines (in my painting) seem to be quivering on that point where lines would transform themselves into music and are scattered. This is my notion to draw. Visual art is the art of details, how to see any object and show the object. In this art along with the superficial view, i intend to teach beyond there visual image. The common eye only see the visible and restrict itself to see beyond its superficial layer.The basic myth about seeing is that, if the human eye is physically present , the reflection of light will happen in such a way to produce the image, due to that a person can see. So here the question comes, what is the need to learn the art of seeing.When the process is naturally occurring, why do we need to learn, how to see? My experience with this concept is that most of us have meristematic lines that allow out lives (our growth) to continue. My art works are the same.� Yusuf, 2015

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Yusuf Afzal Hussain, “Untitled” / Print on Paper

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Yusuf Afzal Hussain “Untitled” / Print on Paper

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Yusuf Afzal Hussain “Untitled” / Ink on Paper

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Yusuf Afzal Hussain “Untitled” / Ink on Paper

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Yusuf Afzal Hussain “Untitled” / Ink on Paper

Yusuf Afzal Hussain “Untitled” / Ink on Paper

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Francis Shepherd JCAM: Where were you born and does that place still influence you? FS: In the city of Richmond, Virginia at Grace Hospital. I am influenced significantly by a large extended family, diverse network of friends, and cherished childhood experiences. There is a tremendous sense of history in Virginia. As I get older, the context of time and culture extend aesthetic relevance to personal values which are expressed in my projects. JCAM: Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? FS: I live in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Technology innovation, creative sandboxes, travel explorations, and the global art community shape my views. Observations of these experiences provide perspective about modern life and future initiatives. It is a unique mix of political imbalance, suburban southern living, and natural beauty. Culturally, it is a moderately progressive convergence of diversity. JCAM: Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? FS: I am inspired by the world around me, the people I meet, and sustainability of our global ecosystem. I love to discover creativity through the lens of the internet and immersive visual experiences. Through the years, I have met interesting artists, seen amazing exhibitions, and admire those who channel new directions and influence culture. I am especially enlightened by thought leaders who challenge traditional philosophy and pioneer exploration of the arts through manipulative invention. Personal interactions with my children and grandchildren inspire me to enjoy life and relive childhood memories. JCAM: When and how did you start making art? FS: I think subconsciously when I was a young child. I have vivid memories at two years old focused in wonderment at flowers, insects, birds, and trees. This experience inspired me to assemble found objects into shapes and creations in my backyard. As I grew older, I explored natural works of nature which sparked my passion to capture its

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beauty. The vastness of the universe and natural ecosystems inspire me to explore art. Nature and science became the foundation for my creativity. JCAM: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? FS: Somehow it seems to have always been part of my being. I don’t think there was one specific moment, but a series of occurrences which continue to evolve. Every day, I am influenced by random inspirations and observations. JCAM: Why do you make art now? FS: I am stimulated by an ethereal aura of perception which reflects life’s observations and confluences. Art represents an aesthetic vision of context and emotions, of personal explorations, and the inspiration to explore abstractions sensed through one’s visual cortex. I am motivated to create undefined representations, potentially expressed in unanticipated forms and dimensions. JCAM: How has your work changed or developed over time? FS: As life evolves, change is inevitable. My personal efforts reflect a constant state in dynamic discord with quantum mechanics. Technology has the potential to be the arbiter of this conflict and helps facilitate the organic evolution of creative thought. JCAM: What are you trying to communicate with your art? FS: Art is often expressed in nature through math in the form of fractals. Geometric expressions reflect abstract ideas in recurring themes and infinite forms. The idea that aesthetics can be communicated though abstraction while representing passionate thoughts inspires me to put form to ideas. Visualizations reflect the investigation of thought limited only by the confines of space. If abstract ideas reflect the journey of life experiences, I will feel nourished. JCAM: Of the artworks published in this article, is there one of you are which most proud? If so, why? FS: “Concentric Coils.” Life is about continuous loops and interactions. JCAM: What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have? FS: I constantly observe the world around me. It is a dynamic exchange of visual patterns, thoughts, and emotions. I carry a camera with me everywhere to capture the world I see based on random moments of inspiration. Photographs become inspiration assets, a sketch book of experiences, and the foundation of my work. Life is woven into canvas though moments and art is a mirror of everyday experiences.

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JCAM: What element of art making do you enjoy the most and why? FS: I find unexpected and accidental expressions to be the most exciting. Sometimes, you walk down a path expecting usual experiences, then the unexpected happens. It is the instant excitation of neurotransmitters which create a state of mind stimulated with emotion. JCAM: What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? FS: I think my camera is the most important tool as it allows me to capture moments of time and preserve thoughts even when recollection fails the senses. Images exist on a spatial plane, in a different time and dimension, much broader than my own context. When the creative process is finished, you see your vision expressed on paper. The image completes the experience. JCAM: How do you know when a work is finished? FS: Most of the time, I think my artworks are never completely finished. It is often difficult to step back objectively and say something is complete. There is always an afterthought demon which poses a dilemma for creative minds. Generally, I have to wait weeks before I can call a work finished. Time allows objectivity to overcome neverending questions. JCAM: What are the art making tools you use now? FS: I primarily use raw digital images, 3D image manipulation, and archival inks mixed with traditional media (pastels, charcoal, pencils) on paper. Each piece is an original work. JCAM: What new creative medium would you love to pursue? FS: I love 3D visualizations, music, and interactivity in immersive environments. Walking in and around art in the context of dimension with sound heightens the sensory experience. JCAM: What's the first artwork you ever sold? FS: My focus is primarily on creating original art. Many years ago, my sister purchased one of my compositions for her home. Since then, I have had corporations and individuals collect my work. I do not actively pursue selling artworks and remain mostly “unknown�. JCAM: Do you make a living from your art? FS: Currently, I am employed as a creative markets consultant for a 1970s California

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technology company. I plan to work full time on art explorations in retirement. Money does not seem to motivate me to create art. JCAM: What are your goals for the future, both work-wise and life? FS: I plan to retire soon and will spend the rest of my life in the pursuit of creative explorations. I love to travel, cherish time with family and friends, and find deep inspiration in the creative process. JCAM: What are you working on at the moment? FS: I am finishing a piece created specifically for an alumni exhibition. It is a abstract expressionist work which utilizes geometry to divide relationships prismatically between light, textures, and objects. JCAM: What or who inspires you? FS: I’m humbly reminded of genius when I stand before artworks created by Picasso, Van Gogh, Henry Moore, Kandinsky, and many others. When I lived in Germany, I once held photographs by Man Ray which stimulated a unique aesthetic connection. Artistically, the dynamic interaction of elements, with infinite possibilities created from moving, fluid interpretations of color and light inspire me to create luminous works on paper. JCAM: Do you have a favorite living artist? FS: I admire the work of Kwang-Young Chun. JCAM: What work of art do you wish you owned and why? FS: I purchase art when inspiration moves me to buy. There are many excellent artists represented in galleries and exhibitions. I collect pieces which I admire and find unique. I have a small collection and no hope of actually owning a Picasso. JCAM: When addressing a particular work to be published in this interview: Can you explain what inspired this particular piece or idea? FS: When I travel to other countries and cultures, I find inspiration as I journey through experiences. In Ireland, I once stood in the center of a prehistoric ring. It seemed to connect me to a concept much larger than my personal existence. This cognition transformed my visual imagination which is then reflected in my art. JCAM: Where do you find ideas for your creative work? FS: I read daily and am influenced by philosophy and science expressed and observed

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in nature. The universe is a cathedral from which inspiration becomes existential. Discovery fuels my imagination. JCAM: What does “being creative” mean to you? FS: Simply a reflection of observations, emotions, and personal interactions which guide the principles of an artist’s life. JCAM: What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? FS: Pause to observe the context of your surroundings, breathe deeply, listen to ambience, and surround yourself with life.

Francis Shepherd “Stainless Spiral Descending” / Digital

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Francis Shepherd “Museum Mirror Reflection” / Digital

Francis Shepherd “Intersecting Waves” / Digital

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Francis Shepherd “Cosmic Strings” / Digital

Francis Shepherd “Pipeline Bulb Maze” / Digital

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Francis Shepherd “Stardust Bulb Maze” / Digital

Francis Shepherd “Elemental Construct” / Digital

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Francis Shepherd “Concentric Coils” / Digital

Francis Shepherd “Stray Light” / Digital

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Francis Shepherd “Bulb Mazes” / Digital

Francis Shepherd “Fin Lake Lillies” / Digital

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Adam Walls Adam Walls is an artist and university professor. Adam has taught at the University of North Carolina Pembroke since 2007. His previous teaching experience includes Limestone College, USC-Upstate, and an assistantship with Winthrop University. Before teaching at the college level, Adam has taught six years in the public school system, three years for art centers and other private institutions, and operated his own ceramics studio where he taught pottery and won numerous awards for his ceramics as well as his wood working and steel fabricated sculptures. Professor Walls received his MFA in Sculpture from Winthrop University in 2005 and his BA in Art Education from Limestone College in 1996. He is a member of the College Aart Association and Tri-State Sculptors. Adam's sculpture has been exhibited in numerous sculpture parks and sculpture exhibitions across the country. Adam's current work is predominantly monumentally scaled steel fabricated forms which often reflect his interest in escapist fantasy. As an educator with over a decade of teaching experience, Adam's dedication to his students is embodied in his pedagogy. In his studio practice Adam covers a variety of subjects that include steel fabrication, plaster casting and carving, wood working, the creation of volumetric forms using found objects, stone carving, and the creation of functional art and sculptural prosthetics. His teaching philosophy promotes students to find their own voice and to make use of a variety of materials to do so. JCAM: Where were you born and does that place still influence you? AW: I was born in Gaffney, SC and I do still have ties there, but I wouldn’t say that the area holds any specific influence on my current work. JCAM: Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? AW: I currently live in Hope Mills, NC and for the most part I do tend to show my work within a fourteen hour drive of my home. So, where I live does make a difference in where I show my work. I am sure that it plays a role in other aspects of my work on

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other levels such as the fact that if I lived in an area that would change my space restrictions and access to materials, then I would make smaller work or work of a different nature. JCAM: Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? AW: My early work was in some very abstract ways directly referencing my family life in ways that slowly became apparent to me. My current work hasn’t revealed all of its truths to me as yet, but I strongly suspect that it is all related to my current want to start my own family and change my role from son to that of father. I do have to stress that I often work intuitively in a way that allows me to recognize what I am trying to say during or after the process of making my work. JCAM: When and how did you start making art? AW: I was consciously making art as an infant. It is clear to me now that I had begun creating my own visual language very early in life. My mother saved some of my early work that I can interpret now as an adult. JCAM: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? AW: In undergrad I realized that I was spending all of my free time in the painting studio even though I had taken an art class as an elective. I though I was meant to be a writer, but soon realized that the narratives that I wish to tell are not best conveyed in words. JCAM: Why do you make art now? AW: It allows me an opportunity to vent frustrations by engaging a material in a way similar to how someone else might use a psychiatrist as a sounding board to find their own way through problems issues. Of course, I have been fortunate enough to have found an audience and a market for my art and I must admit that this too is a driving force in my work as well. JCAM: How has your work changed or developed over time? What are you trying to communicate with your art? I AW: I feel that I should answer both of these questions together since I find them to be incredibly connected. My work has always depicted my place in life at the time it was made, so as my wants needs, and interests change….so does my work. My interests in materials chance as well, but I don’t always release my work in public venues. JCAM: Of the artworks published in this article, is there one of you are which most proud? If so, why? 

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AW: I honestly could not say that one piece is any more important to me than any other. It’s like asking if I prefer my heart to my lungs, they are all a part of me and I need them all. Admittedly, there is some belly fat to be found in my work just as it is in my body and I may not be equally proud of everything, but I came by it all very honestly. JCAM: Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? AW: I used to draw a lot to prepare for making three-dimensional work. I had the intentions of predicting the finished look of the work before I made it, but I have found that I draw so much faster than I sculpt, that I had sketch books full of great ideas that no longer represent me in current time, but were reflections of me as I was. If I sketch ahead too much, I’m afraid that my work would lose some of its honesty in self revelation. I feel that I am currently creating a new body of work that allows me a small ability to plan, which is useful, but with a great deal of room for intuitive decision making. JCAM: What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? AW: The potential for self expression and revelation is what seems most important to me at this time in my life. JCAM: What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? AW: My mind is the simple answer to this question. JCAM: How do you know when a work is finished? AW: When the work has finished telling me something about myself that I had not yet fully accepted or recognized. JCAM: What are the art making tools you use now? AW: I do currently use a great many steel fabrication tools that I love. JCAM: What new creative medium would you love to pursue? AW: I honestly have no idea and I don’t think that I ever have known. JCAM: What's the first artwork you ever sold? AW: Wow, I’m not sure if it counts, but I guess I started by selling drawings of Garfield, superheroes, and aliens to other school children in grade school. JCAM: Do you make a living from your art?

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AW: I would hate to give up the security of a monthly paycheck, but I do very well with my artwork with a minimal effort. JCAM: What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? AW: My plan is to start a family and continue seeing where life takes me and my art. JCAM: What interesting project are you working on at the moment? AW: I feel that most of my efforts of late have been in building a studio in which to make my art. JCAM: What or who inspires you? AW: I am inspired by people who love what they do. JCAM: Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? AW: Not really, but I do enjoy the fluidity of the thoughts, mind, and expression of Richard Serra a great deal. JCAM: What work of art do you wish you owned and why? AW: The doodles that my Mother sketched while talking on the phone as I watched as an infant. JCAM: When addressing a particular work to be published in this interview: Can you explain what inspired this particular piece or idea? AW: All of the works from the Core series that I am currently developing have to do with new life being formed for the center of another. I am inspired by this concept in large part because of my interest in becoming a father. JCAM: Where do you find ideas for your creative work? AW: From any thought or moment that I experience, it might sound silly, but it is true. JCAM: What does “being creative” mean to you? AW: To me, it means being fortunate. Not everyone on this planet has the freedom to be creative, so I link the terms as the same concept. JCAM: What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?

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AW: I have never been told this by a specific person, but I believe that the advice of “Follow your instincts and pursue your passion.” makes more sense to me than anything else I have ever heard.

Adam Walls “Faith” / Painted Steel

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Adam Walls “Self Portrait” / Painted Steel

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Adam Walls “Structure” / Painted Steel

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Adam Walls “Taking the Hill” / Painted Steel

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Adam Walls “Weight and Balance” / Painted Steel

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Adam Walls “Toy Defense” / Painted Steel

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Adam Walls “Getaway Car” / Painted Steel

Adam Walls “Time Line” /Painted Steel and Mixed Media

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Adam Walls “War Stories” / Painted Steel

Adam Walls “P.OW.” / Painted Steel

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Adam Walls “Figures” / Steel

Adam Walls “Creepy Crawley 3” / Painted Steel

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Alexsandr Grigoriev Alexsandr Grigoriev is a Belarusian artist. Alexsandr was born in the village of Mazurkee, Belarus in 1955. He has exhibited internationally for more than 30 years. His creaitve works include paintings, book plates, drawings, printmaking, book illustration, sculpture as well as scenery and costume design. Grigoriev is also an art curator, exhibition jurist, exhibition organizer and author. Grigoriev’s works are held in Brest region museum of local lore, in gallery and library collections in Belgrade, Serbia; Ankara, Turkey; Lamaze, Milan, Asuka and Terme, Italy; Arad, Romania; Ostrow Wielikopolski, Gliwice, Sanok, Nice and Malbork, Poland; Lefkada, Greece; Havirov, The Czech Republic; Sofia, Bulgaria; Cadaques and Herron, Spain; Winkfield, England; Bages, Spain; Guadalupe, Mexico; Sichuan, China; New York City, USA; and Ufa and Vologda, Russia. JCAM: Please tell us about yourself. AG: My family is my wife, Tatiana, and son Andrew Buchik (Sharpay). They are my love, my inspiration and my wealth – my life. I must thank everyone in my family for the opportunity to work in the arts. Having an artist in the family is a serious test for all concerned. JCAM: When and how did you start making art? How have I managed to live a creative life and make art? It's simple! I was born that way! As I can remember, at about four or five years of age, I was very different from my peers. I did not have or share their children's ideas. I found it hard growing up because even then I thought I was an adult. It is only now my wife calls me a child. Creative activities that are out of the ordinary for me has never been difficult. Perhaps this was helped by having friends were much older than myself. Even so, it is hard to say when my passion for art began. I just did not pay much attention to how my artistic ideas developed over time. It always seemed to me that this is as it should be and that there was nothing special about being an artist. All I know how to do is to write, to count, to read and to draw. All these ambitions smoothly and mysteriously fill my life now as they did when I was younger.

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JCAM: Can you speak about your creative process and practice? Ah, the creative process! This is absolutely not an understandable thing. Each creative event occurs differently and is never repeated. Can a few hours of thinking about this process quickly and easily solve the problem an artist sets? Sometimes it a decision takes years and years. Even so, sometimes I work in another way. Then I love and cherish everything I do. I have no favorite and favorite works. I say to myself, “These are my beloved children.” Interestingly, sometimes I remember and think about them for a long time while after they have left my studio. But, in the end, I have to tell each art work, “Go away and live your own life.” JCAM: Can you speak about your creative process and practice? These “creative patterns” you mention; I do not use these. Such things are excluded from my working process. Routines and creativity are two different concepts; these are not the same ideas at all. For example, with any new work I come up with new ways of working and new solutions exclusively just for this work. Each master has his/her own secrets relating to their craft. As an artist I have no secrets. I am open to everyone who sees my work. It does not matter if it is painting, drawing, sculpture or any other form of art. I try to come to my work without standards and patterns. I never cease to recognize the need for this. I know the internal content of my work more than external. This, I think the result of many years of working on yourself first, and your art later on. JCAM: What's the first artwork you ever sold? Do you make a living from your art? To create a picture is art. To sell a picture is another matter. For me, it is easier and more pleasant, to give my work away than to sell it. Sometimes we must work with the dealers, but these people are not artists. I would much rather have serious guests in my studio who say they enjoy my creative work. If this conversations is possible the viewer will be able to obtain the artwork. This method of creative commerce is known to all artists. Yes, I have always made my living as an artist, And in the of doing so process I learned much about how to live as an artist. For example, for years I worked as a designer (interiors, advertising and shopping facilities). This work provided the life of me and the family. However, creativity and artistic freedom won, that took precedence over the guaranteed income. But, that was only possible after my son graduated from university. JCAM: Can you share your views about contemporary art and the art market? Here it is necessary to define what is meant by the word art. Art should contain at least two vital components: ethics and aesthetics. The pedestal on which stands the history of Christian art is ethics. Today, in my view, much of humanity is losing forever those ethical values. Art, in turn, also has changed its external and internal content. It is strongly, and perhaps wrongly, deformed. Yet this product of the creative efforts of individuals is still referred to as an art. In fact, the “art” of such efforts is irrelevant. Still, art has two basic principles: ethics and aesthetics. Some people continue to push creative experiments by deleting these main arguments. This is a road to nowhere.

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There are sculptures, paintings, graphic arts that are being produced ... but the essential ethics and aesthetics of the works are (most unfortunately) gone from them. The intelligent viewing public sees this. I am suggesting nothing new here. In the 21st century we now have huge mass of “art” being made without being imbued with the essentials of art. The eternal, incorruptible, honest, sparkling-like-a-diamond ideas are most often lost among the cheap glass of popular, gallery art-making nonsense and selling to the art collector/investor. Even so, in spite of these banal and misguided practices, the ethical and aesthetic diamond that is truly art will always be brilliant, even if it is covered up by the popular shit of the moment. A supposed work of art that is truly shit would not become art, even if it is mixed in with diamonds! JCAM: What or who inspires you as an artist? What inspires me? Simply being an artist is in itself inspirational. Here is why. There are three professions which should not be practiced by random people: the doctor, teacher and artist. From my own experience I can only speak about the artist. (Some less informed people say that “artist” is not a profession. This is, of course not true.) Artists have perhaps the most important role for all people. What is this role? Artists bring us closer to ourselves, and even more importantly, closer to God. A true knowledge of God is essential for the future of all people. What is happening in our world today, in the arts we see around us, these are the fruits of people accidentally fell into the artistic profession. On a personal level, true art stirs my mind and makes me work harder than ever to express my ideas. Through my art I want, at the very least, (perhaps just a little) to stop the ethical decline of people. I fill my works with irony. I will not argue over the importance of this approach. I work at my art to provide a glimpse, a hint, a reflection about who we are, about where we are going and about what will happen to us in the future. It is my firm believe that real (ethical and aesthetic) art can help us to understand these things. I am happy that God has given me such a burden as to be an artist. Through my art and artistic practice, I will try to justify his confidence.

Alexsandr Grigoriev “Host” / Oil Painting

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Alexsandr Grigoriev “Host” / Pencil on Paper

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Alexsandr Grigoriev “Judith” / Pencil on Paper

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Alexsandr Grigoriev “Five” / Pencil on Paper

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Alexsandr Grigoriev “Bookplate” / Etching

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Alexsandr Grigoriev “Bookplate” / Etching

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Alexsandr Grigoriev “Bookplate” / Etching

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Alexsandr Grigoriev “Bookplate” / Etching

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Alexsandr Grigoriev “45” / Oil Painting

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Alexsandr Grigoriev “Sower” / Oil Painting

Alexsandr Grigoriev “Code Systems” / Oil Painting

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Alexsandr Grigoriev “Fisherman” / Oil Painting

Alexsandr Grigoriev “Patriot” / Oil Painting

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Anand Prakash The artist Anand Prakash lives in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. B.A. University of Allahabad (2001), B.F.A. University of Allahabad (2006) M.F.A. RMT music and art University of Gwalior (2013) Artist Statement: “My art is self-expression. My idea and concept for my art is abstraction. In my art I want form, shape and composition to become new again. I have an intense desire to live life which is quickening every day. I thrive on contemporary art, psychology, philosophy, scriptures, meditation, Sahaja Yoga and Hinduism. The nature of energy conversion is tangible and the intangible tangible, at least in the abstract. (The universe is running correctly.) My art is very personal, as well as psychological. I am driven by both aesthetic and social influences. As an artist I have secluded myself, as making work takes great concentration. It is through art that the individual receives self-esteem.” JCAM: Tell us about yourself. AP: My name is Anand Prakash in the field of art. JCAM: Where were you born and does that place still influence you? AP: I was born (09/15/1981) in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh where the holy Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers meet with one other. Two rivers are seen absolutely but the Saraswati is an abstract river according to Hindu mythology and yes, it does influence me because of its rich culture. JCAM: Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? AP: Currently I live and work in Bhopal the capital of Madhya Pradesh where a multi-art centre “BHART BHAWAN” is situated which is a popular rendezvous of very seasoned and senior artists and critics. Being connected with Bharat Bhawan I often happen to get in touch with these artists and that helps me know arts much deeper and this becomes the energy source of my inspiration. JCAM: Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life?

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AP: My father Shri Thakur Lal Yadav who is no more now supported me a lot. My mother Mrs. Sarojni Yadav plays a vital role in my art journey. I will always be indebted to Mr. Yusuf (well-known abstract artist) who has been my mentor and a wonderful friend, for his support. Last but not the least I am thankful to my colleague and wife Mrs. Shalini who herself is an artist. JCAM: When and how did you start making art? AP: I don’t remember exactly but when i was in my 7 class, my house construction work was going on. Soil, cement, sand and bricks continued coming, in which the Ganges and Yamuna sands with wet clay pieces usually came. With that I made a lizard which seemed to be real. I stuck it on the wall of my house; whenever any guest would visit my house and used to see that lizard they would get surprised to see that. For the same reason my father gave me the opportunity to go into arts. Thus art became a part of my life. JCAM: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? AP: I took arts subject along with other subjects in the Ninth and Tenth classes. Similarly, in the Eleventh and Twelfth classes arts subject was there. But then, the struggle began for the course which could be useful for future. I did B.A. then I did PGDCA, from APTECH -Allahabad. After that I entered in another technical course ITI with electronics but I could not complete. I was very upset and frustrated. Due to which my father not only allowed me again in the field of art but also brought himself the form of B.F.A (Bachelor of Fine Arts). Then I realized I was on the right track. From the first day of Arts College I felt the blood in my body increasing. That was the time I decided art to be a part of my life. JCAM: Why do you make art now? AP: If I don’t think about it every single day, I feel what have I done today? Art is part of my brain. I feel incomplete without it. JCAM: How has your work changed or developed over time? AP: First of all, as the time passed I have started realizing my responsibility as an artist. My works have got better and my vision has broadened. My artistic skills have been polished. My connection with my art has got deeper. JCAM: What are you trying to communicate with your art? AP: It is the realization of my brain’s abstract imaginations and it also works on all those aspects of life which develop human civilizations, traditions, culture and internal peace as well as world peace. My abstract painting and arts stream also emphasizes on meditation. For these reasons I want to impregnate my art in the world.

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JCAM: Of the artworks published in this article, is there one of you are which most proud? If so, why? AP: I am proud of my painting “RUPAKAR SERIES” because there is lots of texture in this work. Due to which the imagination gets freedom, and it takes that to the depths of the subject. That is an extension of my time and it gives rise to new changes. This work is an emotional combination of colors, shapes, lines, forms, texture and space. The domination of texture in my paintings gives a sense of touch. JCAM: Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? AP: My painting style is same but the method, time, location, and environment are uncertain according to Medium, but the theme is always changing. I fix colors layer by layer on canvas to get a number of textures. I don’t like to stick to orthodox patterns. JCAM: What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? AP: I am fond of textures, tone and space. My art is an activity of the human brain, which with experience expresses these certain art elements and principles on the basis of aesthetic expression, and makes them vital. JCAM: What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? AP: Well, I am not fussy about any special tools in my art works but of course I can’t go without canvas, brushes, paints .... JCAM: How do you know when a work is finished? AP: When my painting absolutely matches my thoughts and ideas. I spend a lot of time with my work to reach that state where the work is an absolute vital world. JCAM: What are the art making tools you use now? AP: I am not particular about any special art making tools. I use everything whatever is available at the time of making painting. JCAM: What new creative medium would you love to pursue? AP: I would like to pursue nano forms and multimedia in paintings. JCAM: What's the first artwork you ever sold? AP: The art work which I sold first time was a painting from “RUPAKAR SERIES.”

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JCAM: Do you make a living from your art? AP: Yes, I do JCAM: What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? AP: I have observed art and life helping each other in present time. I started my art from exploring life. While making paintings so many questions arose but my art answered all of them with ease. Each and every rupakar (form) presented many kinds of solutions which themselves give a new direction. Today my art journey seeks new heights in the zero which every moment keeps heading towards eternal peace and the world. JCAM: What interesting project are you working on at the moment? AP: Nowadays I am searching for abstract sound. Abstract vision is already there and I wish to give voice to it. JCAM: What or who inspires you? AP: My inspiration comes from the person’s energy and ability which takes them to a very special position. I like their concepts and ideas and that provides me energy. And the person who inspires me the most is Mr. Yusuf. He understands my inner feelings and gives me his valuable pieces of advice. JCAM: Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? AP: Yes, I do have a favorite living artist who always influences me and my work and his name is Mr. Yusuf. JCAM: What work of art do you wish you owned and why? AP: Most of the works of Mr. V. Gaitonde fascinated me. I wish I owned them because as far as I think they were not made rather created. JCAM: When addressing a particular work to be published in this interview: Can you explain what inspired this particular piece or idea? AP: While making RUPAKAR I was in the search of shaping my thoughts. What should be the depth of my thoughts? I wanted to get deeper and deeper into my work and make it alive. This thought inspired me. JCAM: Where do you find ideas for your creative work? AP: Whenever I go for landscapes then I observe that every form has got an outer layer made by nature which itself presents a long time process and space. It is its own

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journey of form. That appears to be a subject of my energy so I think the nature can give a concrete shape to every abstract thought and emotion. By providing shape, form and colors to my abstract thought I can present my feelings. JCAM: What does “being creative” mean to you? AP: Being creative means to me that I must think off- beat. I must accept everything but have to change the real form of anything into absolutely different forms. JCAM: What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? AP: The best advice I ever got was to “ ... see beyond the reality.”

Anand Prakash “Inner Organ II” / Art film Snapshot

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Anand Prakash “Untitled #8 / New Media”

Anand Prakash “Untitled #9 / New Media”

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Anand Prakash “Roopakar-I” / Acrylic Painting

Anand Prakash “Roopakar-II” / Acrylic Painting

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Anand Prakash “Diptych - Blue Island” / Acrylic Painting

Anand Prakash “Diptych - BE DOING” / Acrylic Painting

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Anand Prakash “Between Content” / Acrylic Painting

Anand Prakash “Zero is Beginning and End is Zero” / Art film Snapshot

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Anand Prakash “Beautiful Evening” / Acrylic Painting

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Anjum Rana Ms. Anj Rana has been called “The Queen of Pakastani Truck Art.” In 2008 Anj Rana was awarded the “Seal of Excellence in Handicrafts” by UNESCO. She was born in Karachi, Pakistan and still lives there today. JCAM asked Anj Rana to describe how she brought “Pakastani Truck Art” forward as a highly sought after mode of craft design and an internationally recognized style of artistic activity. JCAM: What can you tell us about the artform of Pakastani Truck Art? AR: The exuberant and flamboyant style of Pakistani Truck Art is a legitimate and distinct folk art, which represents the values and aspirations of vast majorities of ordinary truck drivers and artists, who originated from the Northern mountaneous areas of Pakistan. As the transport industry grew painters are now to be found all over the country and from every province. The artwork differs slightly from one area to the other but cannot be defined commonly by viewers unless you are well versed with the art. I, Anjum Rana, represent the new Pakistani woman entrepreneur and creative with an eye for the extraordinary in ordinary everyday life. I have made it my goal to bring this art into the mainstream, into our homes and work towards giving it the recognition it so richly deserves. I admire all the beauty and colour in these designs on trucks or buses which most people would dismiss or take for granted at best, since it is common and easily seen on streets on every vehicle passing by. I have employed and trained artists and also direct them in painting their richly textured motifs on everyday objects such as kettles, buckets, trays, salt & pepper shakers, mugs, plates, lanterns watering cans, garden furniture, ceramic tiles, diary covers, walls, fans and many other objects. Many of these painters were giving up on their art due to lack of patronage as modern Photoshop advertisements are becoming more popular on buses and vans. Some artists were unable to continue painting since climbing these buses and trucks became physically challenging due to old age or bad health. Today these painters are able to paint and train apprentices due to this new arena developed by the “Tribal Truck Art” initiative. Almost all items are one of a kind and reflect truck art rooted in longstanding cultural tradition. Tribal Truck Art has made a positive impact on the life of the artists and their families. With each item that is sold the appreciation of truck art grows, and it is a positive change. Each purchase

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helps the artists and supports the mission of Tribal Truck Art to foster economic and cultural sustainability for truck artists and truck art worldwide. Truck Art is a very visible and colourful manifestation of street art in Pakistan, which was created mainly by truck drivers and their conductors and apprentices travelling long distances and being away from their homes and families. To keep themselves, happy, busy, occupied and to fight loneliness they would paint scenes reminding them of home, or war heroes, popular public figures, or scenes depicting the current political situations. The truck became a canvas of love and longing as well as a space for venting political and literary expressions. These painted trucks and other vehicles are now a part of the vibrant and colorful Pakistani road landscapes. I have held exhibitions in the U.S.A., Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, France, Indonesia, India, New Zealand, Scotland, and we will hold two shows in Europe in the coming months. A book on Tribal Truck Art, authored by me, with sketches by various truck artists, is being printed by Tara books, Chennai, India. This will be launched in late 2015. JCAM: Can you talk a bit about your inspiration and the idea of creativity? AR: Truck art inspires me. Ideas come to my mind when I was doing a piece and hence one project has grown (in terms of painting) to over 50 different objects. This style gives an object a new look and dimension. My team of artists live in Karachi, we are influenced mostly by the frontier province where I grew up. Truck art first started in the Frontier province. The scenery is about the winding roads, fir trees, lakes and small cottages and is where most of the artists came from when truck art started after partition. The artists and truck drivers mostly came from the North. Later the industry grew and now we have truck drivers and painters from all over the country. These painters make a difference in my life, as I was impressed by their unique art and the bright happy colours. Today I work along with them as a team and travel the world. They have a better living, their families are now able to be much better off. JCAM: What was the first piece of artwork you ever sold, and did it change how you thought about how you might make a living form your work? AR: The first art work I ever sold was a trunk made of metal. It was my first piece of truck art and more of an experiment which was immediately sold. Since this was the first time in 2000 that truck art was transposed onto other objects. It is my hobby even yet. I am passionate about my work. The painters are given objects to paint, they are paid for each item, and I sell it as and when the opportunity arises. Truck art has made a positive impact on lives of the artists and their families. JCAM: What can you tell us about the process of making this artform? AR: We usually do free hand and do not stick to one pattern or a fixed design. Every artist has his own way of drawing a flower or bird or arabesque designs. Mostly I design where we can draw a particular pattern, what colours to use, but as I mentioned earlier we do not deviate from the original truck art.

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The artists use paint brushes made of real hair, paints, radium or reflective colours and tapes. For hand beaten steel we use hammer nails and reflective sticker tapes. I don't want to modernise this artwork and lose the authenticity of truck art. It is a distinct and legitimate folk art from this region which represents the values and aspirations of ordinary truck drivers and artists. I grew up in Peshawar and Nowshera in the North of Pakistan, where these heavily decorated and painted colourful trucks were a common sight. We used to stand in front of our gate every morning waiting for the school bus to arrive. As I stood waiting, I used to notice each passing bus and truck laden with sugarcane, vegetables, and other goods being tranported to the rest of the country. My eyes used to follow the eyes on the truck and colourful scenery. It made a long lasting impression on me. So many years later, I got a box painted by a painter who I found painting a truck by the roadside. The box was liked by everyone who came to my home. Then it started rolling, I would think of all the items I could design and get painted. Then there was no stopping. Most people did not appreciate what I was doing, but I was consistant, determined to continue getting artists to paint on different objects and experimenting all the time. Gradually I worked my way up, working with the truck painters, giving the original truck art some finesse. Although I have not strayed from the real artwork or designs. It has developed in many ways. We now paint on furniture, walls, fans, teapots, lanterns, buckets, trays, porcelain plates and platters, We also do handpainted ceramic tiles for indoors and outdoors, and many other items of decoration and daily use. I love all the items and designs we create, I have a passion for this work and take great pride in this unique art from Pakistan. My aim was to bring this art into the mainstream to foster economic and cultural sustainability for truck art world wide. JCAM: Can you tell us about your future? AR: My goals for the future is to take this art all over the world so that the art work is seen and appreciated. This will give the artists an economic boost which will improve their living conditions, give them exposure, and hopefully their children get a better life and education. Also to create intercultural exchange opportunities that unite the people of the world.

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Abdul Qadir Memon “Pakastani Truck Art” / Photograph

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Abdul Qadir Memon “Pakastani Truck Art” / Photograph

Abdul Qadir Memon “Pakastani Truck Art” / Photograph

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Abdul Qadir Memon “Pakastani Truck Art” / Photograph

Abdul Qadir Memon “Pakastani Truck Art” / Photograph

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Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Photograph

Abdul Qadir Memon “Pakastani Truck Art” / Photograph

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Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Photograph

Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Photograph

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Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Photograph

Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Photograph

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Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Painted Object

Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Painted Object

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Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Painted Object

Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Painted Object

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Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Painted Object

Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Painted Object

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Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Painted Object

Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Painted Object

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Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Painted Object

Anjum Rana “Pakastani Truck Art” / Painted Object

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Balu N. Chaudhari Editorial Note: When asked by the JCAM staff to provide current, detailed information about his art and artistic practice Balu N. Chaudhri provided the information below to share with our readers. Balu N. Chaudhri was born in the scenic village of Bhor in Maharashtra in south central India. Bhor is famous for its beautiful blue river Neera. Balu recalls that his childhood was colored by the bright glow of reflection of light on the water of this river and the limitless vision of vast fields of barley and rice. Chaudhri says that although he was unaware during his childhood that he is going to become an artist he was mesmerized by the vivacious green color of earth and the reflection of light in blue water and thus his memories of childhood turn out memories of color. He completed his degree in Fine Art from Pune University and now pursues his creative ambitions full time as an artist. The present work of Balu Chaudhri can be defined by a spirit of daring innovation. Driven by his yearning to express unknown invisible forms of nature, Balu in the last two years, has totally transformed his medium as well as his forms. Balu used dry thick base of color as a natural metaphor for frozen time and provides fluidity through his use of glass pieces in standing rows. Previous brightness of color in his work has been subdued greatly and this has helped his forms to achieve a natural flow. For the last decade Chaudhari has been engaged in bringing a similar effect in his creative expression. Balu Chaudhari’s artwork exudes an indomitable artistic desire to capture fleeting moments of the natural and human world and to cast it into multiple non-definitive pictographs. During the initial period of his artistic career Balu Chaudhari worked within the graphics medium especially collograph. Without getting involved in the debate about the primacy of medium or creative expression, Balu Chaudhri recognizes that this initial association with graphics influenced him greatly. Collographic embossing helped him to bring three dimensional depth and projection into his forms. Gradually when he moved toward through the more conventional medium of paint and brush he successfully brought enigmatic fathomless depth into his work through deep textures of color. His forms share affinity with generative symbols in nature like seeds with their outward manifestation and like leaves with their beautiful web of life. When asked to explain his approach to making art Chaudhari shared this, “If you gaze

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at the surface of a silent stilled lake, your eyes will get lost in the perplexity of surface opacity, but your heart will feel the flow of limitless emotions. In this feeling lays the true purpose of creative expression, it transforms a frozen stilled lake in our eyes into a flowing river in our heart.” In an interview for his exhibition “Breathing Forms” Chaudhari shared this about his art practice with an interviewer: Q: What made you to take abstraction as a form of artistic expression? A: I cannot easily express it in words, although like all fine art students I also started with figurative work, lot of landscape and model portraiture. Gradually I felt some kind of anxiety with definite forms; they always restrict freedom of colors and made them subsidiary to forms. And sometime during the last year of my fine art course I found that my work is taking a course towards abstraction. Q: In the past decade you began working in a number of different media, do you find any particular purpose behind this meandering trajectory? A: You applied very appropriate term, meandering trajectory. Yes, sometime when I look behind I myself am baffled by the diversity of my mediums. After completing my fine art course I came to Bhopal and I joined Graphic workshop of Bharat Bhavan. Here I got opportunity to mix my painting with the technique of colograph. Gradually I started working with embossing and placing of true material forms on canvas. After this I turned back to canvas and I started to bring effect of colographical textures by the acrylic colors. One day I found in dry color scrapings of my palette and my color bottles astonishingly beautiful texture. I started using them in my work. Later I found that on glass I can have some control over the textures of these color scrapings like forms and this initiated my association with glass which gradually became more intensive when I started using small glass pieces in my work. Presently I am doing lot of work with Forex and Acrylic sheet. I am doing embossing on acrylic sheet to derive different color texture and form. I believe that I change medium to found which one is more suitable to my own inherent nature and what I learn that you cannot work in that medium which is not suitable with your own nature. Q: Is there any distinct inspiration behind your work and from where you derive your abstract forms and colors? A: Sometime I think about that how we create an art work and fail to find an appropriate answer. I think we can bring only those things on canvas which we truly feel while living deeply in nature and human life. That is why painting is not imitation of appearances rather it is a true picture of our inner self of those invisible bonds which we have with nature and other human beings. Q: Can you share the response viewers have had to your current exhibition “Breathing Forms?

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A: The response is really pleasant as both artists and non-artists in the audience are enjoying my work. I am constantly sharing my opinion with them while at the same time some interpretations from the non-artist audience helped to look my work from a very different perspective. One person who works as principle in a school told me that my work can help his students to learn how to think creatively while one medical doctor sees scientific images in work. My fellow artist community is more incline towards discussing the technique of artwork as they found it very innovative.

Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled� / Mixed Media

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Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled” / Mixed Media

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Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled” / Mixed Media

Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled” / Mixed Media

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Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled” / Mixed Media

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Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled” / Mixed Media

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Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled” / Mixed Media

Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled” / Mixed Media

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Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled” / Mixed Media

Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled” / Mixed Media

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Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled” / Mixed Media

Balu N. Chaudhri “Untitled” / Mixed Media

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Chin Chih Yang Multidisciplinary artist Chin Chih Yang was born in Taiwan, and has resided for many years in New York City. He studied at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan (BFA, 1986) and graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a Master of Science in 1994. In a 2009 review Holland Cotter of the New York Times called one of his projects “a magical tunnel of love.” That same year he received a grant from The New York Foundation for the Arts; the following year he was awarded fellowships from the New York State Council on the Arts and another grant from The New York Foundation for the Arts. Chin Chih Yang’s most recent work addresses society’s efforts to protect itself, both physically and psychologically, against long-term catastrophe resulting from pollution, surveillance, isolation, quarantine, and religious/political/social intolerance. The modern world, as Yang conceives it, is a graduated mixture of anxiety and entrancement. 21st-century products can do wondrous things, but producers and consumers alike wantonly discard waste. He explores such short-sighted practices by combining found materials, video projections, performance, and his own body to make art that spotlights ways forward. He likes to collaborate with other artists to create work which deals with the issues affecting individuals and, by extension, specific communities as well as society at large. Incorporating a touch of irony, his art helps us become better acquainted with the frightening side of human nature, signaling experimental and creative ways to view the planet and ourselves. In 2011 Chin Chih Yang was honored with a NYFA Digital Electronic Arts Fellowship, a solo exhibition at Five Myles Gallery, and a Franklin Furnace Fund award. 2012 My project “Kill Me or Change” was selected from among 400+ international applications and this vital institutional support, funded in part by Jerome Foundation and The Lambent Fund, enabled presentation of a major work in front of the Unisphere. With the collaboration of Franklin Furnace, the Queens Museum of Art, The New York City Parks Department, Bay Crane Company, and over 100 volunteers, thousands of members of a very diverse general public watched as a construction crane raised, suspended, and then dropped 30,000 used aluminum cans on me. This intentionally playful and provocative project was an attempt to bring to light the effects of over-consumption. Why this number of cans? Research indicates that 30,000 is the number of aluminum cans one person will throw away in a lifetime. By showing, quite literally, the suffocating

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effects of one person's personal polluting, this piece serves as a call to action for the public to examine their habits of personal consumption. JCAM asked Chin Chih Yang to describe “a significant event” in that provided impetus to his career. Here is his response: “My professional art career began snowballing early in 2003, when my digital article "The War Against AIDS " was published in Art Asia Pacific Magazine, and I was invited to lecture about my practice at National Taiwan Normal University’s School of Fine Arts. In 2005 my new media interactive article "The Control of Fear" was selected for presentation at the ACM 2005 Multi Media International Conference. In 2006 an exhibition of my work was sponsored by The Taipei Culture Center of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in NYC, and another exhibition was mounted by the Taiwanese American Council the following year. Additional career highlights include a 2014 residency at Arteles in Finland, and artist’s talks and demonstrations at School of Visual Arts 2012, and for Princeton University’s graduate fine arts students in 2010. My first solo project in the United States of America was a video installation in Union Square Park in 2007. That same year I presented solo performances and installations on site at The United Nations building and the Consulate General of China, and have since gone on to share my work with the public in Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Wall Street, and many major public gathering points in Manhattan. I have also presented solo work at colleges including Towson University and Queens College, and at the Manhattan galleries of Tribes Gallery, Tenri Cultural Institute, and CUE Art Foundation.” Chin Chih Yang strives to reach new audiences and relishes opportunities to share his art with people who do not ordinarily encounter art. His work has been presented in forty major group exhibitions between 2005 and today. He has performed and exhibited in universities and museums across Taiwan; and in America at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute of Columbia University. Yang has had work included in the inaugural exhibition at Flux Factory and in prestigious venues from Exit Art to The Nathan Cummings Foundation Gallery. He has shown at art fairs in Miami, and Taipei Art Faire, at the Asian Film Festival in Warsaw Poland, as well as in Hong Kong, and in Singapore. In New York City, Chin Chih Yang has reached local audiences with interactive events at important cultural centers in all five boroughs, from The Queens Botanical Garden to the DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival, from the Bronx River and Longwood Arts Center to a public pool on Staten Island. On a glorious Saturday in 2009, the audience for his outdoor performance in Union Square Park was estimated at more than 20,000 individuals. Chin Chih Yang has been commissioned by the Queens Council on the Arts and the NYC Department of Transportation, and has completed residencies at Byrdcliffe Art

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Colony, and at the University of North Carolina Pembroke. He also completed a 2010 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space Residency at Governors Island. Chin Chih Yang’s work has received extensive coverage and critical acclaim in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, Art Asia Pacific Magazine, The Taipei Times other major publications. Profiles have been broadcast on television stations from WCBS, NY to the BBC World News, and online coverage has been presented by Art Beat, Art Radar Asia, Flavorpill, NY1, The Village Voice, and Time Out New York, among many other websites and blogs. JCAM asked Chin Chih Yang two final questions for this interview: “Where do you find ideas for your creative work? What does ‘being creative’ mean to you? What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?”

CCY: “I find my ideas everywhere: in the street, in ads on the subway, in casual conservations with friends and acquaintances. To me, being creative means thinking creatively and acting accordingly. Creativity should not restrict itself to galleries and institutions alone. As for the best advice I ever received about being an artist, it was probably something my high school teacher said to me in my youth, but that was a long time ago and I’ve since assimilated whatever words he told me and have built on them accordingly.”

“Outspace” at Taipei Culture Center, 2007. (A computer rendering of the art work.)

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Chin Chih Yang / “An Interactive Protest Against Corporate Waste” 2015, guerilla street performance/sculpture installation for Earth Day 2015, with public interaction, Times Square, NYC. Photo by Jing Wang

Chin Chih Yang / “Kill Me or Change” 2012, (showing cans falling on the artist) Photo by Rodrigo Salazar

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Chin Chih Yang / “Kill Me or Change” 2012, (showing cans falling on the artist) Photo by Rodrigo Salazar.

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Chin Chih Yang / “Trash King” 2014, interactive public performance/sculpture installation, created at artist in residency at Arteles Art Center, Finland, using all the waste the artist produced in the one-month residency. Photo by Johanna Naukkarinen.

Chin Chih Yang / “Building a Future Human” The Armory Week at Harvestworks, NYC. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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Chin Chih Yang / “Protection” 2010, interactive public performance/sculpture installation at Surreal Estate, Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Christina Mallie.

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Chin Chih Yang / “123PollutionSolution” 2010, Flux Factory inaugural exhibition, Long Island City, NYC. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Chin Chih Yang / “Moving History” 2011, interactive public performance/sculpture installation, with hand-held video at Muranov, Warsaw, Poland. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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Chin Chih Yang / “Invisible Love and Beauty” 2013, interactive public performance/ sculpture installation by Chin Chih Yang, Queens Museum of Art, Flushing, NY, for reopening of the renovated museum building. Photo by Gabe Kirchheimer.

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Chin Chih Yang / “Enduring Love” 2015, New York Hall of Science, sculpture installation, Pith paper, LED Lights and more. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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Chin Chih Yang / “Building a Future Human”, The Armory Week at Harvestworks, NYC. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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Eric Weets JCAM: What is your professional name? EW: I am Eric G. C. Weets. JCAM: Where were you born and does that place still influence you? Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? EW: I was born on the 3rd August 1951 in Merksem, Belgium. My birth place could not influence me much because I stayed there only for 10 days. Thereafter, I stayed in Waterloo for the first 3 years of my life. All that I remember of my stay there, was what my family told later. So I don't believe that it influence me much but my stay thereafter, with my maternal grandparents, in a village called Donk, influenced me a lot, mostly in a negative way. I stayed there till I was 17 years old. The whole experience of growing up in that village is still well and alive in the back of my head. I left Belgium and for the last 23 years, that is almost half of my adult life, I have spent in India. The culture has influenced me. I grew up with my grandparents. I wanted to go to the decorative school of art but my grandparents denied (with the best intention) because they were of the opinion that art does not put bread on the table. Nevertheless, my grandmother used to give me one franc a day, never more even when I begged, to buy drawing paper for my drawings. She also collected all these drawings and stacked them nicely in the attic. When I was around 15, my grandfather used to help me while I used to make metal wire sculptures. Then my interest was in drawing nudes and my grandmother, who came from strict Catholic background, did not like these and lost her interest and my grandfather got seriously upset and called these drawings, obscenity. This was the end of being a wonder child. JCAM: Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? EW: In India I did not really have friends who were interested in art. So, for a long time, it was a lonely occupation. Later, when I shifted to Pune, Maharshtra, I got involved in setting up a menu for a restaurant. Cooking being my hobby and I took it as a challenge to see if I could improvise on my grandmother's recipes and make something for the

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Indian palate. It was a success, by the way. So I have had more love-to-eat sort of friends in Pune, than art friends. Then I met Filomina Pawar in 1998. Till then, I never really catalogued my work or photographed them, etc. Why? Because for me, the process of creating was more important than the end result. As soon as I finished the work, I liked it but very soon I started seeing the shortcomings and lost my interest in the work. The consequence of this behavior was that I either gave away my work to those who liked it, burned or put a knife through it – in a bout of deep depressions, reworked it when I was short of cash to buy new canvas or just threw it way. Sometimes I also paid my pub bills with it. So since 1998, Filomina started getting my stuff organized and helping me. You can say she became my studio boy/assistant/manager. When I would make preliminary sketches for my large canvases, she would draw the lines on the big canvas, take pictures of work-in-progress, make coffee etc because I would go on painting for hours together without a break. Sometimes she would just be around, watch me work or read about art, while I was working. When I fell seriously ill with COPD in 2007, it affected my mobility to a large extent. ( Its a gradual deteriorating disease, without any cure) Filomina did everything around my work. Right from ordering or getting the canvas, cutting it, unrolling the canvas on the floor, making arrangements for sitting on the canvas, getting my brush, paint, cloth etc, placing my oxygen cylinder, whatever I needed, she saw that it was there. Gradually, it became a sort of routine, a teamwork. She also handled all the administrative work – contact the galleries, museums, dealers, read the art newspapers, manage all the correspondence (like she is doing for this interview because I am not good in these things plus also have developed cataract in both my eyes and cannot read or write on the computer screen) Now, I am dependent on her for 95% of my day today activities because my disease has progressed. So you can imagine what difference she is/could be making in my life. JCAM: When and how did you start making art? Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? EW: I started drawing when I was 3 years old. From the very beginning, say when I was around 6 years old, I felt drawing or creating was something very important and I could not leave being creative. Its almost an obsession, you can say. JCAM: Why do you make art now? How has your work changed or developed over time? What are you trying to communicate with your art? EW: The first idea, for my pen drawings came about during the years I was in India in the late 1980s, after I saw the South Indian temples. I started drawing small figures and objects juxtaposed randomly, almost automatically, as they were flowing out the drawing pen. This automatic storytelling visually, you can say, paved the way for my series of 2007 oil paintings.

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I make art now or made before because, like I said, I could not leave it. Especially now, that I am almost in bed (I can sit up though) and cannot do anything else, I keep my mind/brain busy with being creative, one way or the other. My work has changed tremendously over years. In the beginning, it was try outs, copying my role models in art, trying all different styles and “isms” .... Then, for years on, I experimented to find my unique style. Even after I found my 'signature' style, due to health issues I have, very often, I had to adjust my art to fit my physical conditions. Like my preferred medium is oil paint but gradually the oil smell started bothering me, so I had to stop working with oil and moved on to use Indian ink on canvas. Then I could not sit on the floor to paint on the large canvases, which I liked, so I started working on smaller canvases or paper, which I could draw on while placed on the table. Then my eyesight was giving problems. I could not see when the brush touched the canvas surface. To avoid making mess, (I do not repair my work. Whatever I draw, stays there) I started using sketch pen because then I felt when it touch the canvas. Filomina then went over the drawings, either with oil paint or black ink. I like to draw very compact/dense drawings/paintings but after I started seeing blurred, the figures came bigger and bigger. I did not like it so much because it did not satisfy my creative need. After creating some works and trying out different means, which didn't really work for me, I stopped painting altogether. All these changes happened gradually, over a period of 5-6 years. Now I am making sound compositions on my android slate. I can use only the software which has black background. (White hurt my eyes and I cannot see anything) even when I see blurred, on the black background, I see enough to work. Of course, it takes me thrice more time, compared to normal sighted person, but I can work. I want to show the compactness, the intricate, complex interconnectedness, the differences of world population and how I look at it. I want to show the complexity of everything and how ‘everything’ cannot live with or without each other. Through these semi automatic drawings, I express how people are close to and distant from each other, simultaneously. I depict, in more or less symbolic way, how one’s action influences the behavior of someone else. It fascinates me to see how complex and sometimes bizarre people behave on their own or with each other and how strong the past influences the present. I don't think I feel proud but I did get some satisfaction with the first oil painting in the series (Painting Number One: 90 days from B to C: Life In A Nutshell, 2007, measuring 182 x 487 cm) because after searching for many years to find my unique and original style, I came close to what I wanted to express, with this canvas.

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I see the whole series as one work. I liked to work on big canvases, rolls of 5 meter. When I painted the canvas and it got over, the ideas stayed flowing and so I started on the next canvas. You also see an evolution happening on the way. One can have a look at my artworks, since 2007, on the following website: www.ericgcweets.weebly.com JCAM: Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? EW: Yes, I do. I prefer to work in the nights, when there are least amount of disturbances around. I can't work when someone is watching me paint. I need to be alone when I am working. I got used to Filomina being around but otherwise I focus better on my work when I am alone. In principle, that's a contradiction in terms about disturbances and being alone because I like to listen to music or documentaries when I am working. But I don't see that as disturbance in fact, it helps me to 'get lost' in the music or the programs I am listening to, so that my hand/brush can do its own work. JCAM: What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? EW: Creating something out of nothing is the best part. I see the blank canvas and then I work on it, one line after another, and there are so many situations occurring, interactions happening that sometimes I am surprised and find myself fascinated. JCAM: What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? How do you know when a work is finished? What are the art making tools you use now? EW: I like to work with very basic things, like black paint, a thin brush and a big roll of canvas because I can create a whole new illusionary world with these tools. For me the work is never finished. One finished canvas only leads to another one. JCAM: What new creative medium would you love to pursue? EW: Like I mentioned earlier, now I am working with my android slate to create my sound compositions because of my bad eye sight. New creative mediums, if it was possible, I would like that I could let move my created figures on sound collages and sequenced rhymes. JCAM: What's the first artwork you ever sold? Do you make a living from your art? EW: I sold my first art work in 1973. It was a painting, basically blue and red, of a woman sitting on a man's lap, in an empty space. I sold it for 9000 francs, it was a good amount of money then. No, I do not make a living from my art. JCAM: What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? What interesting project are you working on at the moment?

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EW: I don't really plan, I just go along on the path, circumstances take me. I am experimenting with sounds and rhythms, like I used to do in the late 1970s, with the new (advanced) available technology currently. JCAM: What or who inspires you? EW: Human interactions inspire my work. It intrigues me to see that people, who basically come from one tribal group, can be so different, have such different lifestyles and beliefs, after so many thousands of years. I like to observe the world from a distance and watch these chaotic relationships and interactions between people. It fascinates me to see how complex and sometimes bizarre people behave on their own or with each other and how strong the past influences the present. I get lot of inspiration from these complex, reciprocal actions and effects, for my work. During my teenage years, Dre van den Broek, a COBRA artist, liked my work and suggested that I could visit his studio, see and learn, if I wished. I did spend a lot of time in his studio. JCAM: Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? EW: Yes, I like Fred Bervoets, a Belgian artist. JCAM: What work of art do you wish you owned and why? EW: I would like to own 'Guernica' by Pablo Picasso because it is the masterpiece of 20th century. JCAM: Where do you find ideas for your creative work? EW: Being creative is a way of life. JCAM: What does “being creative” mean to you? What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? EW: I was invited by an artist friend, Dre, who used to make wooden sculptures, to his house. He showed me the drawings his children made when they were young. All the drawings were amazing. He mentioned, to be creative, be like a toddler, not being afraid of a blank sheet of paper. I think that was best advice I ever received and I found it to be true as well. Children before they are 6, all have this amazing ability to just draw what they feel like, there is no hesitation or planning involved.

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Eric Weets working on 7 x 16 foot painting while sitting on raised platform.

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Eric Weets “When We Are Not Watching” / Oil on Canvas

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Eric Weets “Without The Greens” / Oil on Canvas

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Eric Weets “Submerged” / Black Ink on Paper

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Eric Weets “Complexity of Being” / Oil on Canvas

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Eric Weets “Magnificent Misfits” / Black Ink on Paper

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Eric Weets “An Ongoing Tale” / Oil on Canvas

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Eric Weets “I Like Robots” / Oil on Canvas

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Gorden Kegya The artist Gorden Kegya lives in Accra, Ghana. He was born in the city of Kumasi, Ashanti region of this western African nation. Professionally this Ghanaian artist is known by Kegya as his “brush name.� JCAM: Tell us about your background in the arts and when you began working as an artist. GK: Initially my art starts from within which no other artist can make notice of the date, day or hour. At the ages of ankle-biter, scribbling was done to create doddles with tools at hand besides taste the non-edible. I could date back about the age of six (6) years where I voluntarily imitate illustrations of reading and biblical books from the preparatory school library shelves. At this gang stage, I realized my peers were eager to keep up this attitude since I was authorized to draw diagrammatic portion on the writing-board by our tutors when delivering notes and assignments. Aside indigenous means of educating art in my soul, I academically chose Visual Arts as a course of study at the secondary cycle education in Prempeh College and studying Bachelor of Art Education (B.A Painting/Sculpture) at the tertiary cycle. Over time, I had changed by styles and techniques to my exposure since my trainers are artists internationally recognized by work and word. JCAM: Please tell us about your subject matter and studio practice. GK: My subject to work is mostly based on figures of women and children in crowd, single out or in poses and portraits. Hardly do I execute scenes containing males because biblically they were modeled whiles females were woven; such that females have special patterns, characters, meaning to their existence and source to humanity (fertility) which makes them respect their ego. Splatter, drips, splash, tact and modeling in conceptual and biblical subjects associate my making. Though all the elements of art counts in every artwork, colour makes it complete. Colour schemes and lines make my production unique. I believe these noted elements help us hear the dumb, speak with deaf and expose our inner being. The naturally priceless vital tools of the artist are the head to imagine and analyze the heart to choose and appreciate and the hand to create the vision.

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JCAM: What influences and inspires you as an artist? GK: As a professional artist I know that whenever an artwork is signed by the artist’s brush name, the artwork is considered complete. The influence of inventions, dynamism and modernism has enabled my handmade, expensive paintings in acrylic, oils, pastels and watercolour on canvas and paper to adopt the electronic painting media where numerous prints are made of a production in desired sizes. Ancient African art through Pablo Picasso, the father of cubism inspires my conceptuality of painting whereas Vincent van Gogh influences my colour scheme and rendering of brushstrokes. “(The Starry Night” Vincent van Gogh (1889) oil on canvas is the work I had wished to own for its rendition of brushstrokes and impressive colouration in creating a mountainous village in France with colorful crescent, brilliant sunny stars, the giant tree and church touching the sky. This painting touches my emotions warmly and affects my palette. I generate my creative ideas from the environment I am exposed to, specifically studying women and their moments with their children. JCAM: Do you remember the first artwork you sold? GK: I made an amount of about $5 in my first artwork in 2009 while I was in college. After a couple of years living with art, I met artist friends who suggested online art market for my paintings and prints but item(s) location had been a threat and hindrance to successful deals buyers overseas. At the moment I regularly make hundreds of dollars in digital and handmade paintings commissions by my dearly trusted local and international clients. By graces, I am aiming to live a righteous life for God, a justice life as an international artist and a resourceful person to people across the globe by the works I produce and the words I speak. At the moment I am on commission of about three hundred digital paintings and handmade acrylic paintings of portraiture, and other subjects of African bulky women rejoicing, dancing, teasing, gossiping, conceiving and rushing to work. JCAM: Creativity is always discussed as essential to art. What is your perspective on creativity in art? GK: From my perspective, being creative is the abstraction of what you know already. Effective questionnaire, observation, attentive listening, understanding and psychoanalysis sum up the knowledge over nature in order to bring to existence an update of an idea and tag it “original.”

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Gorden Kegya “Aboboyaa” / Digital Painting

Gorden Kegya “My Studio” / Mixed Media

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Gorden Kegya “Stjepan Wershansky” / Digital Painting

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Gorden Kegya “Pain in Music” / Digital Painting

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Gorden Kegya “New Hope” / Digital Painting

Gorden Kegya “What We See Not” / Acrylic on Canvas

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Gorden Kegya “Joyful Poverty” / Digital Painting

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Isabel Ruiz Perdiguero JCAM: What is your professional name? IRP: Isabelruizperdiguero (without spaces), is my professional name. As a Spaniard born in Madrid I use both my father and my mother’s family name, so I get to keep them happy. JCAM: Where were you born and does that place still influence you today? IRP: Until I turned 27, I lived in the city of Madrid, first with my parents and then in my own apartment. My work places were diverse but generally small; however I was able to see numerous exhibitions, museums and all kinds of artistic demonstrations, in other European cities as well. When my first child was born, we moved to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a beautiful mountain village 60km away from Madrid, where I could afford wider studios in contact with nature, share my inquietude with the many other artists of different nationalities that live here and also use their engraving workshops. JCAM: Can you please tell us about your development as an artist? IRP: When I was seven I found a treasure. My paternal grandparents, he was from Málaga and she from Berlin, had a flat in Málaga, where they used to take me during the summer. We traveled all night in a train that wouldn’t stop rattling and once we arrived, when the dawn appeared, I would rush to the lounge’s windows and lift the blinds with great emotion. From there, so high, I could watch the sea: huge, calm and so asleep. I remember the walks across the sharp beach full of grey stones and how the sea would turn red when the powerful summer storms tore the nearby mountains apart. I painted one of those eroded stones and also a painted a watercolor of the bay’s view with the aid of my grandmother. I still keep both. But then I saw it one day: it was tiny, barely the size of a dice and colored in such a pure and vivid shade of blue that, in the midst of the barrenness it struck me as a precious treasure. I took that small stone, so square, so smooth, so blue, and guarded it for the longest time as my dearest treasure … until I lost it. Children stuff!

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I can assure that from that day on, my eyes haven’t stopped pursuing color. Color and emotion have become the equation at the basis of my work. Since I was a child I’ve felt the need to paint. First my mother gave me a case full of oil paints and taught me the basics. I used to paint scenes of my childhood, my surroundings, in the most ‘naive’ way and soon enough I started to sell small panels to my family and friends of my parents which surely were surprised by my dedication and my eagerness to do it right. In my first youth I began painting in a nearly obsessive way building fronts, lookouts, balconies and other beautiful and decadent corners where people wouldn’t belong, using a very thorough and hyperrealist technique and devoting to it hundreds of hours which I would balance with my studies. With the perspective you gain with time, I think I didn’t want to look inside of me. I’d rather lurk the exterior from those facades like a ‘voyeur’ worried only about attaining a beautiful image, with no clear references to my being. It was later on, shortly before my first son was born when I did an exhibition called “Papeles Pintados” (Painted Papers) where I gave free rein to all kind of graphics, spots, abstract shapes with pencils, wax crayons, pastels and where I entered the path of discoveries that awaited ahead. JCAM: What can you tell us about your art work and art making practice? IRP: With no premeditation and the canvas laid on the floor I start the crazy stew, playing, looking without seeing. Sometimes in a calm manner and sometimes like in a spasm, or a spontaneous burst of laughter. While the paint is still fresh I let the colors shift and flow breaking the white, setting invisible ways which, without a doubt, are already predesigned. Just like a seminal fluid that ends up engendering life. With the new day canvases rise, regaining their verticality: everything that was fluid is now solid, everything that moved is now still. Looking once and again I try to recognize and unveil what is still hidden, overlapping what is obvious and redrawing the formless. I have to taste all of its flavors, be it salty, sweet or bitter, even acidic to be able to connect with my thoughts through them. As if I was looking for shells in the sand of the beach I view all the shapes, the smallest dots, the brush strokes, the shades of the different colors, also taking notice of the interrelations between the shapes and the colors, their interferences and the sensations that they induce in me. Ultimately, I contemplate what my work gives back to me, like it was a boomerang out of control …. JCAM: What can you tell us about your future plans? IRP: I’d love to be a painter great-grandmother who still paints. At this point in time,

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besides being interested more and more in photography, I’m working with woods that I rescue from the seashore, cleaning them and sanding them to craft simple sculptures. JCAM: What inspires you? IRP: Nature, small things, sensations, the colors that surround us not only on specific objects, but also the color in abstract sense, for example as part of light reflections and its different shades too. Attitudes, feelings, the intangible, the spiritual, humor, happiness and suffering. JCAM: What are your thoughts about creativity? IRP: It’s simple, this creativity is inside of me, and I’m aware of this since my childhood; I always analyzed my environment and my inner side through a prism that had nothing to do with the rational. To this day the constant use of creativity has become both my ‘raison d'être’ and the reflection of my deepest image. Finally, I believe that, unlike artists who pick from and base their work on the world that surrounds them in order to exalt, criticize or question it, I find myself among the ones who find the artistic foundation in the interior, the intangible, the unconscious or the emotional. Maybe in everything that’s invisible that takes part in human relationships.

Isabel Ruiz Perdiguero “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

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Isabel Ruiz Perdiguero “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Paper

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Isabel Ruiz Perdiguero “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

Isabel Ruiz Perdiguero “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

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Isabel Ruiz Perdiguero “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

Isabel Ruiz Perdiguero “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

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Isabel Ruiz Perdiguero “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

Isabel Ruiz Perdiguero “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

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Isabel Ruiz Perdiguero “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

Isabel Ruiz Perdiguero “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

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Jayanta Khan The artist Jayanta Khan is a resident of Kolkata, West Bengal, India. He works full time as a painter and freelance artist. Jayanta Khan graduated from the Birla Academy of Art & Culture in West Bengal and has formally studied painting, sculpture, and ceramics. Khan’s creative works have been widely exhibited throughout India and in England. He has also participated in numerous artist residencies in India. JCAM: What can you tell us about yourself? JK: I was born in Kolkata, eastern part of India on the same soil as many historical Indian artists. Professionally I am a painter and sculptor. I live in Dum Dum area. It is located in Kolkata’s North side near to the Ganges River. This is a very nostalgic place for me. I will always love it there. My family with my parents and sisters with their families also live in this area. At this time I am single and “born free” artist. My mom is the inspiration for many of my creations. My friend Ms. Payel Jadav also inspires me to create, and also to be more innovative. My fellow artists support me and are always there to discuss on any type of new creations born in my studio. JCAM: What can you tell us about how your art has developed over time? JK: In my childhood, when I was saw some historic portraits of Kings and Queens or any Great phenomenon, I then did those portraits with my pencil or my sister's pen on my scrap books, mathematics exercise books ... whatever I could find. Then my Mom decided to enter a local drawing school and miracle. In just one week after that I was in that art school. But I did not like the art class protocols. I thought that I would rather make some new and bold expressive creations with grammar, with writing. But that was a long time ago. These days I usually do my art work at night. I do oil paint mostly, but sometimes in some workshops or art camps I have done acrylic, too. Lately I’ve been doing more water color also. But, it does not really matter what kinds of materials I use to make my art. Art is my soul and I can smell and taste with art materials and colors. Art is (or should be) the philosophical therapy of society. It should be a significant part of the education of all

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people. Always I am trying to communicate with the viewers of my work. I want them to see and feel the message from my canvases where I seek to share my love with nature and the natural environment. I want no war for any human beings, only a soothing global attachment with all human beings. Yes, obviously I am feeling proud to be an artist. It is quite natural for me now. In my artistic journey the creations I make honor these ideas that are so important to me and my cultural heritage. JCAM: What can you tell us about how your artistic process? Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? How do you know when a work is finished? What are the art making tools you use now? What new creative medium would you love to pursue? JK: Yes, of course, I always want to talk about my work. My art works are most often semi-realistic and some surrealistic too. Sometimes I use some our rituals ideas from this region for my compositions. Compositions and ethics are always debatable for my art. Just now I am keen for Egyptian culture and have been doing some works based on that culture. As an artist I trying to visit the ideas of Egypt and grow these more and more as new ideas on my canvas. I very much enjoy with the colors and energy in the Egyptian style of creating works of all kinds. As far as the tools I like to use, it’s all about brushes and the palette knife, and sometimes even a paint roller. These are all very stylish and gorgeous tools for me to move about as I make my paintings. How DOES one know when a work is completed? That depends on your thinking process and your long time experience, just like cooking. When you cook something you should always be sincere about the good taste of it, and also have some knowledge of ingredients to mix and make a good delicious food for all. I think it’s that way with painting too. Also like cooking, there are some new “recipes” I would like to try in making my art. At this time, however, my choice for working is always oil medium because I need to smell that fragrance as I work on my canvases. JCAM: What about inspiration? What or who inspires you? Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? JK: There are many masters who have inspired me. First my teacher late, Mr. Arun Goswami. Then there are Western artists like Rembrandt, Velazquez, and Vermeer. The Indian master M.F. Husain, and other artists like Tayeb Mehta ... and many others too. JCAM: What about creativity? Where do you find ideas for your creative work? What

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does “being creative” mean to you? What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? JK: My ideas come from many directions. Some ideas for compositions of mine come from current life affairs. Other ideas come from any horrific situation that makes my heart beat to do it as an art work. I think “BEING CREATIVE” is something like asking this question: “What can I do to make art (or any type of creation) that can inspire people to more effectively survive and find soothing and peaceful ideas and inspirations for themselves?” Being able to do that is creative indeed. How to be more creative is a question probably every artist has asked himself – right? My assumption is this: Creativity and goodness are linked. Do what is good for yourself and society and you have done something both very useful and very creative as well.

Jayanta Khan “Street Drama” / Oil on Canvas

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Jayanta Khan “Landscape” / Oil on Canvas

Jayanta Khan “Landscape” / Mixed Media on Canvas

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Jayanta Khan “Composition" / Oil on Canvas

Jayanta Khan “IT Mania” / Oil on Canvas

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Jayanta Khan “Civilization III” / Oil on Canvas

Jayanta Khan “Civilization VII” / Oil on Canvas

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Jayanta Khan “Thirsty Desert” / Oil on Canvas

Jayanta Khan “Silent Birth” / Oil on Canvas

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Jyotirmay Dalapati The Indian artist Jyotirmay Dalapati is a native of Bengal. He received both his B.F.A in Graphics (with Honors) an M.F.A. in Graphics (with Honors) from the Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship of Rabindra Bharti University in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Jyotirmay Dalapati has been in numerous exhibitions and received many honors for his work including: the 7th Annual India Art Exhibition in Kolkata; the 2013 West Bengal State Academy Annual Exhibition; the 2013 Indian Society of Oriental Art Annual Exhibition; the 79th (2014) Annual All India Fine Arts Exhibition at the North Kolkata Academy of Fine Art Gallery; the 2015, 56th National Exhibition of Art at the Lalit Kala Akademi Galleries, New Delhi, among others. JCAM: Tell us about your art and artistic practice. JD: “The proposition of much of my recent art has to do with the change that can be summarized in this phase: Rural to Urbanization. The encroachment of the flora and fauna in my region by urbanization is highly motivating for me as an artist. This has become the theme for much of my work. I even consider myself as an “artist-botanist” who has roamed the Badu-Basasat region and observed the changes there. I visited other regions as well and observed there what has happened. My primary focus was on the domestic animals, insects, and birds in each of these areas. The eco systems in all areas are dependent upon these animals. Surprisingly I found that many of them are either endangered or nearly extinct. I dug deeper and found that unplanned urbanizations was very much to blame for this condition. Further, the overuse of pesticides and the apathetic nature of many people seems to be the main contributing cause to this situation. So I began collecting the data and details of extinct creatures and studied the effect of urbanism on them. In short order I began to draw and document these creatures. I also collected specimens of some as well. In some cases I created compositions of those creatures and transferred these images into prints. In these cases I went with my preferred medium which is intaglio and etching to create

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what I would call final images. For the purposes of exhibiting these works I chose some of the specimens I had collected to accompany the prints. Both the laboratory specimens and the prints that were inspired by them will be displayed together when possible. Some of my works are also paintings. In these works the subjects are most often not different from the prints. In some of my works I am also interested in the working of the human subconscious mind. The subject of these artworks is based on what I will call “dreamland.” This state of mind arises in all humans and has many causes. I have considered these items and ideas in some of my “dreamland” artworks: the aquarium, fish, birds, coral, moss, bubbles, machine parts, flowers, maps, and diagrams. In a world with such objects my artworks show the development of human civilization as a force that swallows the natural world. In this process man become a cannibal.”

Jyotirmay Dalapati “Emerging From Loneliness” / Acrylic Painting

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Jyotirmay Dalapati “3rd World” / Etching

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Jyotirmay Dalapati “Aqua Life” / Etching

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Jyotirmay Dalapati “Rural to Urbanization” / Etching

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Jyotirmay Dalapati “Awaiting” / Etching

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Jyotirmay Dalapati “Honey Moon of Earth” / Arcylic Painting

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Mahirwan Mamtani Mahirwan Mamtani was born 2 November 1935 in Bhiria (Nawabshah) Sindh, India. Mamtani is an internationally recognized painter, graphic and multimedia artist. Mamtani grew up in India and first studied art there. Mamtani moved in 1966 to Germany, where he had been awarded a scholarship by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich (Akademie der Bildenden Künste München; also known as Munich Academy). Since that time he has lived and worked in and around Munich. In India Mahirwan Mamtani is counted among the Neo-Tantra artists. This group exhibited in several museums in Germany, the USA and Australia. In Europe, Mamtani belongs to a group of artists “The Spiritual in Art.” Other artists in this group include Domenico Caneschi, and Pietro Gentili, Italy; Guy Harloff, France; Joerg Anton Schulthess, Switzerland; and Nora Ullmann, Israel. This group was initiated in the 1970s by Dr. Walter Schönenberger, in Lugano, who organized several exhibitions in Locarno, Aarau, Milano and Bochum. Mahirwan Mamtani has been exploring the interplay of luminous, glowing colors with variations of mandala forms for over 30 years. The extraordinary richness of more than 3,000 artworks produced in this period offer an astonishing testimony to his creative inventiveness. Mahirwan Mamtani’s creative works have been in literally hundreds of exhibitions in Germany and many other countries including Italy, Japan, India, the USA, Australia, France, Spain, New South Wales and Greece. Mamtani has been honored with major awards in Germany, India and Japan. An interview with Mamtani offers helpful insight into his artform. JCAM: In your most recent works, why do your figures have these unusual four petal faces? They seem to resemble beings from another world. MM: These beings are within us. As you know, for the last 30 years I have been painting only one form, namely the four petal geometrical Mandala. In Munich, in the sixties, I was influenced by Constructivism and, with my Indian background, by Tantra art. Out of these origins arose my “Centrovision” series of more than 3,000 acrylic paintings.

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JCAM: And the faces? MM: They started appearing spontaneously about 20 years ago, initially on canvas. I continued painting on wood, cutting away the outer circles, freeing them out from the rectangular frame. JCAM: So then they looked like masks? MM: Exactly, but they had no connection with traditional meanings. One day, I made holes in the wood, adjusting them to my eyes, put it on my face and looked into the mirror. I found that I was the observer and at the same time I was being observed – by me. I was inspired and started dancing with these masks. I installed photo and video cameras in my studio to capture these movements. JCAM: May I ask what these Mandala faces represent? MM: They represent “Wholeness.” In my Centrovision paintings, four circles meet at the zero point in the center, our true Self. We have to be reminded of this, because normally we are wearing masks of different emotions and are stuck in our limitations. If we are aware of such limitations, we are ready to open to new horizons. JCAM: Are you implying that if we remove the masks, we come to our true self? MM: Yes, I am trying to make the viewer realize that if we continue playing roles on a stage, we shall not be able to experience the highest state of mind – our true Godly nature. JCAM: Is your four petal mandala typically Indian? MM: No, this form is universal and is found in almost every culture, as pointed out by C.J. Jung and others. JCAM: Don't you think as an Indian artist living in the West you have a particular vantage point? MM: That is true, e.g., I am aware of the cosmic dimension in Tantra art and I had a connection with a group of so-called Neo Tantra Indian artists with whom I was exhibited in the USA and Germany. I also have contact with European artists of similar cosmic leanings and my works have been exhibited with them in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. JCAM: Is the cosmic dimension of your art something typically Indian? MM: No. You see when I came to Europe I was already aware that, for example, Kandinsky, one of the groundbreakers of modernism, had been searching for spiritual

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dimensions in art. This spiritual affinity is not limited to historical periods. For me, it can go as far back as William Blake in the 18th century or extend to a German contemporary like Joseph Beuys, who was influenced by the anthroposophic teachings of Rudolf Steiner. JCAM: Is it possible for everyone to understand the spiritual message in your later figurative work as in your earlier abstract Centrovision ? MM: It depends on the observer. Some receive the message through the figurative forms, others through the abstract geometric forms. And some viewers see only aesthetic compositions, without any so-called message. JCAM: I am struck by the luminous quality and intensity of your colors. Do they have personal meaning for you? MM: For me, for example, black represents the void – all potential colors are contained in it. Blue is the color of a higher frequency, and spiritual. Remember that Krishna is blue. Yellow is the color of light, with potential for a positive and negative charge. JCAM: Do you see a relationship of your creativity to other creative forms? MM: Yes, for example some works have a musical quality – with various strokes being fine, or quiet, or bold and loud – all united in an orchestration of color. I actually play the drums in a band of German friends. While I play, I see colors of different frequencies: the sounds of the drums for me are red and brown. Or my daughter play the cello – it is for me the color, blue. JCAM: And a relationship to science? MM: Yes. I am motivated, as are the scientists, to make visible the invisible; to make known the unknown. There is the micro- and macrocosmos; the universe of atomic and sub-atomic particles – quantum physics. All beings are energy, yet look and behave differently: There is the human aspect, and the divine within. It is fascinating. JCAM: What is significant for you in the development of your art in these latter years? MM: My works have undergone a visible change. Instead of gravitating to the centre point, the energy seems to expand from the centre and vibrate into space. _________________________________________ Mr. Mamtani has also supplied JCAM (with permission of the authors) an essay that describes his art and philosophical practice. We gladly share these here with our readers.

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MASKS – WHAT IS BEHIND? An interview by Günter Ebert to accompany an Exhibition of paintings in Munich by Mahirwan Mamtani: “A remarkable exhibition with an unusual exhibition title, in the form of a question that points directly to the central content of the visual art presented by Mahirwan Mamtani. There is nothing superficial behind but only reality behind the masks which Mahirwan Mamtani wants to depict in his art. A mask, according to Mahirwan, not only hides but also emphasizes and strengthens characteristics which otherwise would remain faceless in the truest sense. To understand this, a person must know more about the artistic career of Mahirwan Mamtani. At the beginning of his studies, he was influenced by people such as William Blake and Joseph Beuys. These in turn had influences from anthroposophy such as Rudolf Steiner and above all from Vassily Kandinsky, who recognized depiction of color and shape as a distinct form while moving away from describing just objects. Mamtani now has gone the opposite way. He begins with constructivist forms. The original Indian art Mandalas, which are symmetrical and perfectly balanced in form and color, are a starting point for his art. The spiritual center of his art is Tantrism, which aims at recognizing the ultimate reality. The results of this phase are the so-called “Centrovisions.” In the 1970s, the bridge carried Mamtani from India to Europe. As a member of NeoTantrics, he joins the Swiss group The Spiritual in Art. What was to follow were worldwide exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo, Melbourne, New Delhi and Milan. At a crucial turning point after that Mamtani turned away from the abstract object form and the “faces” grew out of the Mandalas. He now aims to depict human emotions, “Mandala Conscious Beings” in Mamtani’s words. Mamtani translates his paintings into wooden masks, masks which he often wears himself and gains a new identity, which he accepts and plays consistently. This is joined by dance which he videographs and photographs and thus uses it as a template for new pictorial interpretations. He calls his results “transmuted photos” and this interplay between the artist depiction and presentation of himself leads to new artistic cosmos. Mamtani´s figures appear with a mysterious aura and gravity begins to dissolve. What is invisible in the real world is visible here. The background of his paintings consists of molecular structures floating in the atmosphere, the so-called “orbs”. This transmutes the body thus a fantastic world of thought takes shape and opens the doors into a hidden world. In the Indian tradition of linking Western Europe with elements, Mahirwan Mamtani represents more than the autonomous artistic value by bridging the gaps between cultures.”

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Mahirwan Mamtani “Levitating” / Acrylic Painting

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Mahirwan Mamtani “Blessings” / Transmuted Photograph

Mahirwan Mamtani "Installation”

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Mahirwan Mamtani “Secret Flower” / Acrylic Painting

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Mahirwan Mamtani “Freedom” / Acrylic Painting

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Mahirwan Mamtani “Couple” / Acrylic Painting

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Mahirwan Mamtani “Beer Godess” / Acrylic Painting

Mahirwan Mamtani “Foot Ball Players” / Acrylic Painting

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Mahirwan Mamtani “Golden Egg” / Acrylic Painting

Mahirwan Mamtani “Cosmic Encounter” / Acrylic Painting

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Poonam Chandrika Tyagi The award winning artist Poonam Chandrika Tyagi was born in Muzafarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India. Tyagi is currently settled in Delhi, India. Poonam Chandrika Tyagi has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in various locations in India and also in Russia, Jordan, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Norway and the USA. She has received a number of artistic awards and honors both in India and internationally. Tyagi’s paintings are also held in nearly two dozen private, government and corporate collections. JCAM: Where were you born and does that place still influence you? Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? PCT: I was born there but I didn't spend any time there growing up. My father had a transferrable job and my husband is chief engineer, thus I travel from one place to another from childhood coming across new cities and new people. I love interacting and sharing knowledge. This continuous traveling has enriched me and influenced my work. In India the culture and way of living changes after every 300km or so, thus I gathered many experiences in my travels. As an adult I keep traveling abroad like Norway, Turkey, Russia, Jordan, Egypt, etc – all over. I interact with new artists and explore new cultures as often as possible. My father, my husband, my daughter and my friends are very supportive, they fill me up with ample zeal and zest to work with ease and they feel happy in my happiness which keeps me going and boost a lot. They are my strength and my inspiration. JCAM: When and how did you start making art? Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? Why do you make art now? How has your work changed or developed over time? What are you trying to communicate with your art? PCT: From my childhood days only I got fascinated by lines , forms , colors and that's when I got the seed of art in my life. In my childhood days I used to draw even in other subjects classes, once my maths teacher saw me drawing in her class and she got me out of class and she said you can only do painting; and that was truth. Hey, even

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after I got out of that class I took my sketch book with me, sat out and started drawing again. For me art is the way to express myself. For me art is the medium of communication, dialog, expression of my thoughts. Everything which affect or impress me inside or touches my heart and soul in any way, in my inner world or outer world, in my surroundings, these things come automatically in my work. Being a female I love to paint female sentiments and emotion: her concerned belongings, and her surroundings in various different ways. I love to do a contemporary style of painting, every time I work I keep experimenting with colors in various ways, I don't follow any set technique. It keeps changing as per subject and my mood. I strongly feel, painting is not a profession for me , its the way I live my life which comes across through the way I paint. Painting can't be bound in any fixed routine for me, I paint at any spur of time even at 2am, 5am or midnight – whenever. I mean whenever the idea emerges, I start to put it out on canvas without caring what is the time of day or night. My favarorite tool is brush but I love to paint with other different tools like roller, hands directly, squeeze, etc., for creating different textures and alamgation of colors. I love to experiment with ways to work with paint. But, overall, my favorite tool is brush. I normally use the layering techniques in acrylic as well as oil paintings with dry brush technique. JCAM: What's the first artwork you ever sold? Do you make a living from your art? PCT: My first artwork was sold more than 30 years ago. My thought once was to make a living our of my painting. Today I earn out of it but for the most part it's my passion and love. JCAM: What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? What interesting project are you working on at the moment? PCT: I devoted my whole life work to art, as making work is like breathing to me. Recently I have been to Russia, and now I am going to Egypt for a art symposium. JCAM: What or who inspires you? Where do you find ideas for your creative work? PCT: Everything around me which stimulates emotions and inspires me is a source of inspiration. Otherwise works of Amrita Shergil, Mark Chagall are some of the artists which I find fascinating. I consider myself as a symbolist artist and my works mainly depits the emotions and sentiments through contemporary figurative paintings. I am inspired mainly with the female emotions and sentiments. Who is beloved and

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inspires me? Mother and sister of course. The female is, of course, the most beautiful and mystical of humans. This has drawn my attention very much. In my paintings, a woman can manifest an entire world: haunted by the ancient myths; possessed by primordial energies of Eros; she can be a representation of erotic passion and sublime. In many works it takes the iconic image of a woman who is almost a contortionist. There is a sense of romanticism about these paintings when seen in the classical light but when seen in today’s context where communication and mobility are freely accessed by people irrespective of gender the artist’s expressions could be felt a bit anachronistic. However, viewed with a critical perspective these paintings also could be interpreted as the ‘real’ situation of today’s women who at times feel highly empowered and at other times experience social censorship especially in a predominantly male dominated society. Hence, my works open up the possibility of viewing them as wishful and subtle interventions that flag out the idea of woman’s immobility in an apparently mobile world.

Poonam Chandrika Tyagi “Whisper” / Acrylic Painting

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Poonam Chandrika Tyagi “Flourishing Beauty” / Acrylic Painting

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Poonam Chandrika Tyagi “Chidyaghar” / Acrylic Painting

Poonam Chandrika Tyagi “Chidyaghar II” / Acrylic Painting

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Poonam Chandrika Tyagi “Dance of Love” / Acrylic Painting

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Poonam Chandrika Tyagi “Ecstacy” / Acrylic Painting

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Poonam Chandrika Tyagi “Those Moments” / Acrylic Painting

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Poonam Chandrika Tyagi “Missing You” / Acrylic Painting

Poonam Chandrika Tyagi “Inside Outside” / Acrylic Painting

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Pradiptaa Chakraborty The Indian artist Pradiptaa Chakraborty was formally educated in the visual arts in West Bengla, India. Chakraborty holds a B.F.A degree in Graphics from Kala Bhavana, Vishva Bharati University, Shantiniketan, West Bengal, and a Five Year Diploma in Painting from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata West Bengal. Pradiptaa Chakraborty’s artworks have been included in national level exhibitions in India, and in a number of other countries including: Dubia, England, Australia and Japan. JCAM: Where were you born and does that place still influence you? PC: My birth place is Malda, West Bengal, India. As an artist I love to re-established my childhood again and again, and all time Malda give me a new impression in my life. JCAM: Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? PC: Now I Live in Sirsa, Haryana India. Geographical changes of land, whether, natural beauty and morning sunlight is not only the natural phenomena, this is the “Oxygen” of my life. This is not an influence this is the sedimentation of inner beauty of a particular place. JCAM: Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? PC: Yes! I have my beautiful Family, and Good friend and fellow artist, those who are all time support my art and culture. They are well accepting my life’s art temperament. That precious spectator (Mother, Father, and family Friend) first appreciate my art in my studio, they are positive stimulator in my life voyage, that’s why they make a difference in my life. JCAM: About Making art, when and how did you start making art? PC: Actually my father was an artist, so my childhood was influenced with different kind of colour, my toy was brush and colour pallet since I was age of 3 years. My mom said that I started to make nature and animal in very childish form. Slowly my art took a very serious mode and I devoted lot of time for art.

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JCAM: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? PC: After my matriculation examination I joined an engineering collage, and I realized that somehow my all creative movement was collapsed from my heart and mind. I first realized that creation was the only way, the only place where I can justify my all candidature in my life. That day is my turning point of my life. I devoted a lot of time for art activity. JCAM: Why do you make art now? PC: The art is expression of my inner mind, and without expression the soul is inactive. So art is the activity of my soul. That’s the only reason for making art. JCAM: How has your work changed or developed over time? PC: The change in my work is completely, dizzyingly, and always searching for inner inspiration. My vision seeks to discover good art, resolve depression of soul, and perfect the third eye. Only the weapons of my search have changed and this has developed my art. JCAM: What are you trying to communicate with your art? PC: A good human being can make a better world. JCAM: What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? PC: I am a figurative and semi-realistic artist. These are the subjects, the forms, most attractive to me. Additionally, because our dynamic world cooks up some controversy between super reality and virtual reality, and all that gossip starts from a brain, this is really the main subject of my art. JCAM: What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? PC: Empty canvas is my important artist tool, because white canvas every time sacrifices itself for the benefit of others. JCAM: How do you know when a work is finished? PC: This is depend on an artist’s mentality. A painting all time reflect a particular artist’s present status of mind. In my case, when I am satisfied with my colour vivacity ... in that arrested moment my painting is finished. JCAM: What are the art making tools you use now? PC: My exclusive brain. There is no other like it.

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JCAM: What new creative medium would you love to pursue? PC: I would want extra physical strength for making art, and a surplus of art knowledge for greater thinking. JCAM: What is the first artwork you ever sold? PC: My collage memoranda. JCAM: Do you make a living from your art? PC: As a scholar, artist my honest and proud answer is: Yes! JCAM: What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? PC: Art, Art and Art. The last day in my life I would love to devote for my art, and try to give some new art for my beautiful world. JCAM: What interesting project are you working on at the moment? PC: My recent project is depicting the relationship between humans and animals. It’s a symphony of two different hearts. JCAM: What or who inspires you? PC: Vincent VanGogh and his painting colour is my inspiration. JCAM: Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? PC: Yes I have a favorite living artist. His name is K. G. Subramanyan. He is a pioneer of Modern art in India. JCAM: What work of art do you wish you owned and why? PC: Any painting of K.G.S because of his great composition. JCAM: Where do you find ideas for your creative work? PC: From my childhood fantasy and our mythological ecstasy. JCAM: What does “being creative” mean to you? PC: Creative means doing something which is unique and coming out from “creator mind” ... this is the thing which depicts an artist’s mind status – that is what being creative is to me.

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JCAM: What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? PC: Being creative is a process. I was told to practice, practice, and practice ... also to identify one’s self existence and skills. JCAM: The artist Pradiptaa Chakraborty also offers his “Pathway of Painting” for our consideration. PC: “The Upanishads say: ‘Every form represents a chariot, and consciousness is the charioteer, intuition its harness, five senses are five horses.’ The one who could conquer this wandering consciousness, becomes the recipient of pleasures and pains. Desire is the symbol of hidden motive of living soul, and yet each eye is in dilemma of satisfaction. That is the deviation which is reflecting the chronicle of humanism. The present objet d'art tries to decode the mythological structures and traditions of Indian art vide characters from Indian mythico-religious tradition. Traditional commentary and background pigment give the proper optimistic pulsation which is every essential for painting’s vivacity. I endeavor to establish extraordinary encounter, represented by the utmost precision which takes place on the canvas and try to procure a wonderful hallucinatory quality in which the real and the imagined merge into one. Contemporary era’s complexities border on the modern wave so I hereby try to established mythco-character in postmodern spot light. Even our vintage ‘Ramlila’ is a just another form of ‘Nutanki’ …. Our civilized spectator is showing very less interest in that. But all messages are very optimistic in that performance. In this perspective I hereby attempt a rebirth of the very messages in postmodern wrapping. I believe, a genteel humanity is mirror of supreme philosophy which is the direct expression of God.”

Pradiptaa Chakraborty “The Devotional Devoté” / Acrylic Painting

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Pradiptaa Chakraborty “The Great Kaliyouge I, II and III” / Acrylic Paintings

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Pradiptaa Chakraborty “The Compass” / Acrylic Painting

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Pradiptaa Chakraborty “The Glory of Punjab” / Acrylic Painting

Pradiptaa Chakraborty “The Artistocrat” / Acrylic Painting

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Pradiptaa Chakraborty “Sacred Welcome” / Acrylic Painting

Pradiptaa Chakraborty “Pulsation of Inner Weapons” / Acrylic Painting

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Pradiptaa Chakraborty “I’m Your Man” / Acrylic Painting

Pradiptaa Chakraborty “Everything Will Be Positive” / Acrylic Painting

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Pradiptaa Chakraborty “The Fantasy of Love” / Acrylic Painting

Pradiptaa Chakraborty “The Angel of Love” / Acrylic Painting

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Pradiptaa Chakraborty “Yes - All is Well” / Acrylic Painting

Pradiptaa Chakraborty “Charismatic Synchronization of Love” / Acrylic Painting

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Sarah Sally Spear JCAM: What is your professional name? Where were you born and does that place still influence you? Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? SSS: My name is Sarah Sally Spear. I was born in the England and then grew up in Sydney, Australia. I returned to London some 18 years ago. Now I live in Greenwich, England. It's a place which is of major influence to my creative work. We are very near to Greenwich Park and the River Thames, and are surrounded by a welcome mixture of industry, history and nature. I was adopted and brought up in Sydney. My childhood was often troubled. My lovely mother suffered from bouts of mental illness and died suddenly when I was 15. The adoptive family was often a fearful one for me. I returned to England in my late 20s, and found my birth mother, who sadly died a few years later, from cancer. I was very lucky to have found and known her. And I was very lucky to have been drawn back to England, as it's here that I met my husband and had my son – they are my universe. These life events are important in every moment of my creative endeavours. I work with a sense of escapism (something I've put great efforts into over the years), and grateful appreciation for the sheer good fortune I have – it's a peculiar mixture, which seems to work well with photographic art. JCAM: When and how did you start making art? Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? Why do you make art now? How has your work changed or developed over time? What are you trying to communicate with your art? Of the artworks published in this article, is there one of you are which most proud? If so, why? SSS: I started taking photos as a form of art about 18 months ago. However I suspect I have been a 'photographic artist' all my life. It is only recently that I discovered, sort of by accident, that I had a passion for this form of expression. I was given a camera as a gift and somewhat cautiously started to learn how to use it. I remember an intense positive feeling that came with this recent discovery that I had discovered this valuable outlet - an outlet for all these odd and sometimes inexplicable ideas I often had.

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It's difficult to explain why I make art. I enjoy it, it provides welcome escapism, and appreciation for what's around me and within me. It allows me to stop and think about the so-called small things, and to slow down. It can be meditative; introspective but escapist. My work changes on a daily basis, depending on the season, my mood, coming up with a new idea, or experimenting with a new technique. It's fairly random, and I don't focus on the future, or plan ahead much. I try to communicate an appreciation of what's around me every day. I like that we can surprise ourselves in everyday life – things are not necessarily what they might seem on the surface. We are all limited by our perceptions and these are constantly changing. Therefore all things are affected only by our ever-changing view of them. I am also fascinated by the concept of infinite and time. To think I can capture a moment is interesting, and also false. The moment may appear to be captured and static, but your view of it will never be the same. I like to consider nature, domestic life, science and spirituality. JCAM: What's the first artwork you ever sold? Do you make a living from your art? SSS: I have never sold any of my photos so far. I have been asked about this, but feel it's still early days in my creative career. For now it's all about educating myself, and enjoying myself. And seeing how things develop. I'm not sure I'd like to make a living out of my art – I enjoy it not being a business. I'm in the process of printing and framing some of my favourite photos. JCAM: Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? How do you know when a work is finished? What are the art making tools you use now? What new creative medium would you love to pursue? SSS: There is a kind of stream-of-consciousness flow, which I enjoy, when I have a photo session. I sense a desire to create and this is often unplanned. When I first started taking photos, my shoots would sometimes stem from doing the washing up for example. The bubbles (as in one of my featured photos 'Washing Up'), would look appealing in abstract shape, transient in nature and a willing subject matter. I have taken a lot of photos of household items. The home is where I spend a lot of time, and feel a lot of warmth. I like to think that each item is currently part of an important moment. When I start photographing one item it will almost always lead to me taking pictures of something else nearby. Once I'm in that focal zone (mentally) I find I can suddenly see things in an interesting way, and that is not limited to the current subject matter. That's when things start to flow.

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I use only one camera and two lenses, one of which is Macro. Macro and close-up work is important to me and lends itself to my philosophical interests. I do very little postprocessing to my work. Perhaps I'd like to learn more about this in the future. I'm not a huge fan of highly processed or edited work. I enjoy making discoveries about what the camera (and I), can do with certain types of light, certain angles, certain perspectives and depths. JCAM: What or who inspires you? Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? What work of art do you wish you owned and why? When addressing a particular work to be published in this interview: Can you explain what inspired this particular piece or idea? SSS: I am keen to explore the infinite nature of things, the importance of this moment, and the relationship between fear and love. I am inspired by science, philosophy, literature and poetry, and stuff that's around me each day. I also love Abstract art, amongst much more. I am greatly inspired by the thought that nothing is finite – it's a thought to be treasured and pondered. It leads to the thought that we are limited by our perceptions, and that the size and scale of things around us is not as relevant as it might seem. It's just the way we view things. We may be limited by these perceptions, but we are not trapped by them – the way we think and view things is constantly changing. There is great potential in thinking deeply about this. I like to think that the way things initially look is not actually how they are. And how they are is not static. Fear and love are emotions that I know well. This is a personal aspect of to my creative inspiration. There is a photo featured here called “Decay.” It's a photo of a Hydrangea petal which I found last winter. I think it looks beautiful in its skeletal form, and found solace in this. A recurring theme in my photos is water, in many forms. There is no deep-seated reason for this – I just think it's beautiful. I see it in the kitchen and bathroom each day and feel inspired to reveal it as extraordinary – as seen in the photos “Our Shower” and “Kitchen Tap.” Most of my photography is abstract by nature. I see abstraction everywhere, and think I have unconsciously developed this form of observation throughout my life. It was not a considered decision to pursue this genre, but more derived from my personal view of things, and combines effectively with the unstructured process I describe in that section. JCAM: Where do you find ideas for your creative work? What does “being creative” mean to you? What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? SSS: Ideas for my work stem from the everyday. And from a lifetime of thought and observation. Creativity is an extension and outlet, and a process of formation of something new.

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I don't think I've had a huge amount of advice about how to be more creative, but I'd imagine switching off the telly and removing yourself from the computer would be a good start. Finding something that inspires passion or great interest, is also necessary. Certain times of life, such as falling in love, or experiencing grief or fear, are also said to enhance creativity. This is true I think, but for me, the inspiration is the everyday and the co-existence of mundane and amazing, that can be found right in front of everyone. My creations stem from taking some time to think about what we have right there, where it comes from, what it's made of, who contributed to putting it there, how it might be in the future, how it might look from a new perspective, what true value it has, how excellent it really is – these thoughts can contribute to the formation of something new and valuable.

Sarah Sally Spear “Abstract� / Photography

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Sarah Sally Spear “Asps” / Photography

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Sarah Sally Spear “Split Seconds” / Photography

Sarah Sally Spear “The Old Market” / Photography

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Sarah Sally Spear “Refract” / Photography

Sarah Sally Spear “Skerrick” / Photography

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Sarah Sally Spear “Plume” / Photography

Sarah Sally Spear “Popcorn” / Photography

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Sarah Sally Spear “Number 9” / Photography

Sarah Sally Spear “Our Shower” / Photography

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Sarah Sally Spear “Kitchen Tap” / Photography

Sarah Sally Spear “Lightspeed” / Photography

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Sarah Sally Spear “Fleeting” / Photography

Sarah Sally Spear “Greenwich For Sure” / Photography

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Sarah Sally Spear “1-2-1” / Photography

Sarah Sally Spear “Decay” / Photography

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Shirish Deshpande Shirish Deshpande is an Indian artist who uses oil and acrylic as his primary painting media. Deshpande also make fine artworks using color ball point pens as his medium. Shirish Deshpande’s works have been widely exhibited in India and also in France In his own words Shirish Deshpande describes his current art practice: “I am a popular Ballpoint pen artist on the Facebook and I was listed 9th in top 100 ballpoint pen artists of the world in 2010. I have fans all over the world who like my artworks. One of my drawings was chosen for an international calendar by artwanted.com for year 2010. My art was featured in TV programs on ETv (Sep.2011) and Zee TV (Jan 2012). One of my ballpoint pen drawings was selected by AIFACS, Delhi for the annual art competition. (Dec.2013). Many articles and interviews are published on internet about me and my art.” Shirish Deshpande has also provided JCAM his Artist's Statement: “Art for me is food for the soul. It encompasses my whole being, saturates the soul. Art inspires, illuminates, encourages, surprises, excites, provokes, calms, elevates emotionally as well as spiritually and connects soul to soul. On seeing my art, if the viewer experiences even one of these emotions, then we connect soul to soul. As an artist the process of creating the artwork is important to me but I refuse to accept the limitations imposed by rules. I want to work in all styles, mediums and delve through many subjects and then draw conclusions at my own pace. I started to “paint” with the ball point pen. I have found that the simple ball pen with its fine line has a huge potential in allowing the artist to express his or her thoughts and emotions. Unlike painting with brush, where a single stroke can cover a large area with color, pen lines are very thin and there is a sense of creation at every stroke. It is very challenging to create innumerable tones by combining the limited available colors in ball point pens. I need to draw millions of lines to make my painting come alive! Standing for a long time with a bad posture while making my ballpoint pen drawings, I started having severe back pain. It worsened as time passed by, may be because of lifting of heavy weight of parcels of paintings during traveling for my exhibitions. Soon I had to take complete bed rest and some pain killer treatment. In search for a permanent

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cure without medicines, I came across a healing program based on Yoga and meditation. These exercises and meditation required me to focus my attention on the pain by going deep inside to the area where I felt the actual pain and soon I started having some visualizations filled with vibrant energy. I felt that there is so much going on inside the body that the urge to look outside for inspiration became meaningless for me. This made me paint a few canvases just in my imagination. When the back pain reduced and I started painting again, my very first work was an abstract of a new style. I did not plan or draw anything to begin with. I did not use a palette. Just inspired by a certain color, I poured it directly on the canvas. I used large size brushes, a special plastic tool with a zigzag edge that I made, a roller to spread the color. When I painted, I was just a third person watching it happen. I enjoyed the process of creation. As of now, I feel that I have just found something amazing and I feel an urgency to explore it further. I am using acrylic colors for my abstracts. I also work with oil colors. In oils, I love the dry brush technique. It allows me to create expressive textures with so much ease. My subject matter deals with landscapes, portraits, abstracts as well as stylizations. Light plays a very important role in creating the required drama to draw the viewer in to my world. It could be a rustic village home or then dancing crops against a dramatic skyline. Towering boulders take my breath away. I paint with the motive that I finally achieve the result I initially have in my mind. Simple subject matter, good composition, boldness of forms, delicate line work and a little dramatization play a key role in the impact, my art has on the viewer. In 1979 I passed out with a G.D.Art in Applied Arts from Abhinav Kala Vidyalay, Pune, India. For about 27 years I worked in the field of Communication Design and applied my creative talent in rendering a variety of art works for a number of clients which included Graphic design in all its variety. After years of designing for varied people I came to the conclusion that I needed an outlet that would help me realize my creative potential in a more satisfying way. Art for me like for many other people became the most meaningful part of life and a source of much fun and relaxation. I hope that my paintings serve as a channel of expression and help the viewer understand my inner conflicts, fears, and tensions as well as my aspirations, hopes, and ideals. In the coming years I hope to venture in to every aspect of art and explore all its dimensions. I have just made a small beginning and I'm hoping that the average viewer in the gallery comes out feeling that he has seen something that provokes a reaction.� JCAM: Where were you born and does that place still influence you? SD: I was born in Belgaum, India. Yes, this place does influence me in many ways. JCAM: Where do you live now and how does that place influence you?

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SD: I have been staying here in Belgaum all my life except for the five years of my art school studies which I did in Pune, a place 350 kms away from my hometown. Belgaum is a bit of a lazy place where people have never been in a hurry to accomplish anything. A quiet place with a very homely and loving attitude of people, is a great place to stay. In such a place, one needs tremendous self-motivation to be creatively productive. JCAM: Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? SD: My mother was an artist. She encouraged and supported me until she expired two years ago. Whatever little I have contributed to the world of art is only because of her. I am married for the last 29 years and I have two sons aged 27 and 22. Also, we have an extended family of brothers, their wives, children, all staying together. I also have artist friends with whom I have had group shows and travelled. All of them have been very encouraging and supportive for my career as an artist. Especially now, my wife, who is working as the head of a school, and my son, who is a software engineer support me financially as well. JCAM: When and how did you start making art? SD: Just like every child, I have been drawing ever since I remember. My mother used to paint portraits and she also practiced Batik art. I have always been inspired by her work. JCAM: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? SD: I became conscious of this special talent when I was about 7 or 8 years old. One day in my school, I happened to make a drawing of a train. I had shown an open door of one of the train cars. This amazed my teacher so much that she sent my slate to every classroom for all the children to see how nicely the train was drawn with correct perspective, etc. This incident made me realize the magical power of drawing. JCAM: Why do you make art now? SD: After basic schooling, my mother sent me for art studies when I was 15 years old. I enrolled for Applied art and later made it my profession as a graphic artist. This continued for almost two decades. But, I was never satisfied with this. After years of designing for various people I came to the conclusion that I needed an outlet that would help me realize my creative potential in a more satisfying way. And, in the year 2007, started my journey in fine art. JCAM: How has your work changed or developed over time? SD: As a graphic designer, I used most of the art mediums, water colors, inks, poster

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colors, and computer graphics to make artworks for the clients. When I started painting, I first started with oils and then also tried acrylic colors. But, I was not satisfied with the results. One day I used a colored ink ballpoint pen and made a simple still life Titled: “Fresh� and discovered the potential of ballpoint pens. Since then I focussed on this medium and have created a body of artworks. Now I also work in acrylics and oils. Though I started my journey in fine art with landscapes and still life, I have been working in many different styles. I don’t want to be bound by any rules. I enjoy my artistic freedom. JCAM: What are you trying to communicate with your art? SD: Art for me is food for the soul. It encompasses my whole being, saturates the soul. Art inspires, illuminates, encourages, surprises, excites, provokes, calms, elevates emotionally as well as spiritually and connects soul to soul. On seeing my art, if the viewer experiences even one of these emotions, then we connect soul to soul. Art for me like for many other people became the most meaningful part of life and a source of much fun and relaxation. I hope that my paintings serve as a channel of expression and help the viewer understand my inner conflicts, fears, and tensions as well as my aspirations, hopes, and ideals. In the coming years I hope to venture into every aspect of art and explore all its dimensions. I always feel that I have just made a small beginning and I'm hoping that the average viewer in the gallery comes out feeling that he has seen something that provokes a reaction. As an artist, the process of creation is important to me rather than the outcome. Further, I have always felt that it is a continuous creative journey. On one hand there is no final destination and on the other hand every painting is a new journey in itself. Each time it is exciting and thrilling at the same time. There is no end to experimentation and enjoyment and therefore I would always like to say that my next painting will be my best painting. JCAM: Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? SD: I work in many different mediums and subjects. As I enjoy the freedom of expression, I always experiment with style and application of medium. I do not wish to be locked in a particular category. I want to enjoy trying out whatever feels right at the moment. So I have no fixed creative patterns, routines or rituals of any kind while making my art. JCAM: What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? SD: Being a nature lover, I like trees in all of their avatars. They make such a wonderful artistic element in a picture. I like the rustic scenes, with the signs of human existence, clothes hanging, bicycle, pavement tiles, pot holes on a street, the hanging electrical wires, all these make my favorite pictorial elements. I also love using colors as expressive elements in my works, especially abstract paintings. I also use energetic lines and other marks to represent energy. 185


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JCAM: What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? SD: Ballpoint pen has been my most important tool. I have rendered every kind of expression with this versatile, but much neglected art making medium, be it a portrait, landscape, still life, abstract or contemporary creative expression. JCAM: How do you know when a work is finished? SD: There comes a time in the process of creation when the painting starts communicating with me, and asks me to take a pause. I then keep it before me and observe for a while. I do this process in various lighting conditions. I observe the painting from all angles, making it upside down, rotating sideways, etc. I am not in a hurry while I do this. I give my painting all the time it needs to tell me “What more???” Some times a day or two, or even up to a week. And this has always been like this. And after this, right since my first work of art, I have always had the final moments of “WOW”… its finished…!!!! It is very difficult to describe what actually happens in this process. But, one thing is certain, that there is a burst of boundless joy and ecstasy when that feeling of “it’s done” comes. JCAM: What are the art making tools you use now? What new creative medium would you love to pursue? SD: For my pen drawings, I use ballpoint pens. While working in acrylic colors, I use brushes, rollers, sponge, plastic combs, painting knife and water sprays. While working in oil colors, I like to use only the brush. I would like to experiment with water colors in the future. JCAM: What's the first artwork you ever sold? Do you make a living from your art? SD: My first artworks were sold in 2009, just before the opening of my first solo show. Three at the same time, a portrait, a rustic scene and a pencil sketch of a face. Yes, I do make a living from selling my art. There are very generous and kind art lovers who have supported me by buying my artworks. Though it is not sufficient to sustain all the way. JCAM: What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? SD: I only have one goal and that is to keep creating artworks. JCAM: What interesting project are you working on at the moment? SD: I am working on a series of cityscapes.

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JCAM: What or who inspires you? SD: Light plays a very important role in creating the required drama to draw the viewer into my world. It could be a rustic village home or then dancing crops against a dramatic skyline. Towering boulders take my breath away. I paint with the motive that I finally achieve the result I initially have in my mind. Simple subject matter, good composition, boldness of forms, delicate line work and a little dramatization play a key role in the impact my art has on the viewer. JCAM: Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? What work of art do you wish you owned and why? SD: There is no single artist who has not inspired me. I find inspiration even in casual expressions of others. But, I am not influenced by anyone or any style. I have not thought about owning other artists work yet. JCAM: When addressing a particular work to be published in this interview: Can you explain what inspired this particular piece or idea? SD: Standing for a long time with a bad posture while making my ballpoint pen drawings, I started having severe back pain. It worsened as time passed by, may be because of lifting of heavy weight of parcels of paintings during travelling for my exhibitions. Soon I had to take complete bed rest and some pain killer treatment. In search for a permanent cure without medicines, I came across a healing program based on Yoga and meditation. These exercises and meditation required me to focus my attention on the pain by going deep inside to the area where I felt the actual pain and soon I started having some visualizations filled with vibrant energy. I felt that there is so much going on inside the body that the urge to look outside for inspiration became meaningless for me. This made me paint a few canvases just in my imagination. When the back pain reduced and I restarted my work, my very first work was an abstract of a new style. I titled it “Coming to Life.” I did not plan or draw anything to begin with. I did not use a palette. Just inspired by a certain color, and I poured it directly on the canvas. I used large size brushes, a special plastic tool with a zigzag edge that I made, a roller to spread the color. When I painted, I was just a third person watching it happen. I enjoyed the process of creation. JCAM: Where do you find ideas for your creative work? What does “being creative” mean to you? SD: For me, learning is an unstoppable process. I have always been a student and will remain one forever. I read many books, newspapers, magazines, about space exploration, astronomy, science, geography, health, meditation, spirituality, cooking, painting, etc. Even though all these subjects seem to be varied, for me they are all about LIFE. After all, for me creativity is giving things a new meaning and existence. A piece of canvas stretched on a wooden frame and a few paint tubes go through a creative process with the help of a brush and a new painting is born. But, that is not

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creativity. Creativity for me is the process of thought and emotions that goes on in the mind of an artist before and during the process of creation which finally culminates in an indescribable wonderful state of joy. JCAM: What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? SD: I have followed a simple rule. Simplify, improvise and then just do it. To be more creative and productive, I feel it is important to distinguish between planning and execution. One must take sufficient time to plan, make changes and come to a conclusion. But, once the execution starts, one should just go with the flow without any limitations. Taking freedom of action, a lot can happen during the process of creation.

Shirish Deshpande “Tangled Existence� / Acrylic on Hardboard

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Shirish Deshpande “Kumkum Contemporary” / Ballpoint Pens on Paper

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Shirish Deshpande “Vakratunda” / Ballpoint Pens on Paper

Shirish Deshpande “Untitled 3” / Acrylic on Hardboard

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Shirish Deshpande “The Picturesque Elements” / Ballpoint Pens on Paper

Shirish Deshpande “Untitled 215” / Acrylic on Hardboard

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Shirish Deshpande “Illusion I” / Ballpoint Pens on Paper

Shirish Deshpande “The Fruit Sellers” / Ballpoint Pens on Paper

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Shirish Deshpande “Coming To Life” / Acrylic on Hardboard

Shirish Deshpande “Gorgeous Green Abstract” / Ballpoint Pens on Paper

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Shirish Deshpande “Badami Village Life” / Ballpoint Pens on Paper

Shirish Deshpande “Summer Beauty Landscape” / Ballpoint Pens on Paper

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Supriy Sharma The artist Supriy Sharma was born, and lives today, in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. Sharma has had numerous exhibitions throughout India and has attended many workshops and other artistic activities. Supriy Sharma supplied his “Artist Statement” to JCAM in support of his interview. “In this world music has a very unique place for people. In music we have different nodes which connect directly through life. Music helps to take out the inner feelings from human being like love, joy, sorrow, etc. We find music anywhere because music lives in chirping birds, in air, in flowing water, falling leaves, breaking stones and it is everywhere in the natural world. Music is literally all around us all the time. Whenever our scenario changes, music can be heard by power drum or shell. Music is not always the same. Sometimes we find cacophony and suddenly new period starts along with a peaceful rhythm or sound. With my artwork one can find the nodes of music in my unimaginatery universe; there one can find the symbols of musical instruments and the power drum. My intention is that these symbols connect all sorts of music to our the lives of those who view my art works. Music, and art, are about feelings. Sometimes our feelings can be like birds, flowing clouds, or the wings of a colorful butterfly. I move many other things into my art: fire flies, leaves of tree, a touch of flowing water falls, dancing peacock, group of camels, shattered stones, etc. I connect all these things with colors to in the abstractions that are my artwork. Among other things I also create a new form of animals, and a form of human beings that offer the viewer a different visual architecture that is represented in my artwork. These things form an atmosphere, a new society that is in balance within itself.” Supriy Sharma also provided JCAM with a first person response to our interview questions. His words are refreshingly honest and provide a genuine opportunity for insight into his life and way of working as an artist. “I was born in a small village of Rajasthan named Shri Rampura nearby Jaipur. And obviously I am much of inspired by culture of my village and my state. Recently my studio is setup in Jaipur City of Rajasthan. And I usually look back to my village as I am

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deeply rooted into in culture of village. Most of the time I spent in my village was with my family, with artisan people, and friends. There I used to talk about cultural issues with them. We compared that culture with metro city cultures while traveling one place to another or while switching toward cities in my childhood. My family always stands with me whenever I need, so as I was curious in my childhood and that time I used to get much information on several topics, and now all that information are useful to me now which I got in my childhood. I am lucky and always have been so, because I get much valuable things and advice from my friends and senior artists, and they always motivate me to be honest in my work. And one more thing is that all concern people in my life talk very frankly to me so I feel so comfort to talk with them. About making my art: I don’t know exactly when I started art in my childhood, and I never knew that whatever I was doing was part of art or I was getting involve in art process, but after few years later I realized that only art is one valuable thing in my life which is beating in my heart, which is in my mind and also which is in my soul since past. But there is one story with me which always inspire me, so in my childhood one day I was invited to take participate in art competition on environment issues. And that time I paint only a single tree and with a single bird, and jury put my work on display alone from other than I realized why did they people do that, so I was quite upset and went to ask with my uncle. So my uncle motivated me so much and told me your work has different potential and values do people can’t involve in with commons. I don’t know really what the matter was but my uncle inspired me more and that was time I really initiated with art as a serious fellow. Gradually I was growing up, and I was making space in my society as certain values. I realized there are some family responsibilities on me and after passing 12 in history political science, I was advised to choose a subject in which I could get job easily, but on looking on my nature my uncle again guided me to take art as a serious fellow. I was lack of information about that how could be an artist and what should I do. So after I joined an art school in which I studied over a couple of years and got to know difference between artist and non-artist people. I seriously started working and developing my own language, for not to a specific communication but only for my personal expression. I soon realized that there are so many reasons or purposes behind art, and without secondary purpose it is hard to think about art. Now I want that art must get freedom from all kind of purposes, art have great power it should lead and should not depend on any other? I don’t want to see art as a medium of communication but want to realize what a real art can do, so if I wish it, art should be without any purpose then I want to have that too. Now confidence can be seen in my work and gradually I am realizing that the art which I am doing without any external purpose giving me spiritual energy, whenever I look my work I just feel like I am floating over time, I am free from time and space limitation.

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I don’t want to communicate anything with art, art is holy sense in itself, it is something else for me which I can feel but hard to communicate because I never want to make art as medium to express something. If any work publish in article then it would really motivate me to get involve in art, and I like all my work are so much for me. Of course my journey is rigor and sometime I have to look in universe to get clues or previous experiences and motivations which is just other phase of my art. About my artistic process: No there is no pattern in my work but ritual association and something less routine can be seen over time which is innate, but here one thing about my hand writing in art makes something advance my work. I never want to work as set pattern. Of course art elements are much important for artist and only by art elements an art takes a place of creation. I am Indian and I love so the most effective element of art has been Line and here I also love this, only line is one powerful element in Indian art scenario which always stands in first row. And I also love color, so only by these two elements I can have done my work. My art work always continuing. I don’t know when it would be stop during creation, but during making art when I feel that I am over now on canvas whatever surface I stopped my creation. I work in mix medium so I use mostly all type of mediums like acrylic colors, oil colors, pen & ink, pencil, etc. I would love to work with bronze as a medium with my form. In bronze I would transform my ideas. About working as an artist: My first art work I sold in 2012 at New Delhi during my group show. I have earned by my art but I am not compromised. I don’t do commercial work for living. I only do my art. Actually I love to give more space to my art only. About the future: I want to see art without made without any commercial purpose and how would this communicate the purpose of no such communication. In the future I will continue with my art work in India. About inspiration: I am inspire by my rooted culture in me, I inspire by my view of my soul that what I see what I observe what I feel what I think by the help of my soul and my eye and still I am learning from life. Condolence is rooted in me and it always comes in my form and in my art. Life teaches us that how to live how to react by the expression in art, by the feelings in art and in my paintings. I take my form from everyday life and nature. I love to wish owned that type of art works which shows own culture by an artist in their art work. I personally think that culture & society always impact on artists mind and soul. And I love Shakti Burman art works because his works are reflection of his culture and his society religion. His works belongs to his thought about culture of Bengal.

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It would be very hard to justify my work that which should be published or exhibit, I spent my time in each work with loving and each have valuable to me, and I would love which is selected by people who view my art work. What ever works are selected those of course would give me pleasure. Otherwise, from my own perspective, I of like all my creative works the same. About creativity: I don’t look for ideas to paint but motivation and art discussion gives me my own way to create. Being creative has much meaning for me. It means for me to be a freedom of my feelings. It means for me express my selves. It means for me live with emotions. It means for me to understand of nature that how it works and how it’s important for living and with all these expressions, feelings, emotions, symptoms use on my form with creativity. My best advice for being more creative is that give lot of space to your mind for thinking for feeling for seeing by your soul & heart and by your own eye. If you see that your living space is very difficult then you should take time to think that about how to find a space that works for more for creating. If you do this then believe me you will get your real answer in your soul. For being more creative we should first feel with our soul and afterward then we can think with our mind.”

Supriy Sharma “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Paper

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Supriy Sharma “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

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Supriy Sharma “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

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Supriy Sharma “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

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Supriy Sharma “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

Supriy Sharma “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

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Supriy Sharma “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Paper

Supriy Sharma “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Paper

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Supriy Sharma “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Canvas

Supriy Sharma “Untitled” / Mixed Media on Paper

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Vova Kupyansky JCAM: Can you tell us something about your background? VK: My name is Vova Kupyansky. I’m from Ukraine. I don’t represent the country where I was born, grew up and live by my art; I’m not a mouthpiece of one of the people inhabiting it; I have neither civic nor political position that I would like to declare publicly. I’m an absolutely individual person; it’s just that simple. I am a European inhabitant of uncertain age (relating to Europe only in terms of geography). All that I understand in this life is that life has a bad sense of humor. All I want to do is to laugh indecently loud. My inner world is almost entirely confined to a single subject whose name is a “Woman.” And a single principle: cannot help loving them, but cannot love them. And as you probably already understand, this subject is inexhaustible. JCAM: What can you tell us about your art and art practice? VK: I started to create back in the kindergarten. I do not mean drawing watercolours and plasticine crafts. My predisposition to creativity was expressed in the ability to incline without deception, and my passion expressed by going to the lilac trees to understand what make them different from us. In this matter, if you were not an incredible good-looker, a creative approach was absolutely necessary, otherwise you risked to “make friends” only with the boys until your wedding. These early successes in the art predetermined my further life, making it completely impossible without it. Long after that, my need to create civilized to manifestations within any one of the canonical art forms was in order for me at any given moment (how many of them there were during this time!). And it was not until recently (in 2011) that painting became this art form for me.

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Given that my teacher was not somebody but myself (that was all that was available to me), my process of painting can hardly makes up a teaching guide, so it makes no sense to dwell on it in detail. But if you ask me whether I have any creative patterns, rituals associated with the creation of paintings, I will answer. Procrastination and hanging out are my rituals. In the beginning (for a long time), I couldn’t find a way to begin working, and then (later on) I can’t stop working for a long time. These are all my rituals. As to the elements of the artistic process, the most beloved one, according to the time spent, is discussing a fresh painting on Facebook. I’m now prompted that there was a question as to which of the artist's tools is the most important for me - a palette knife, brushes. My answer will be a little bit unexpected but it is important for the understanding of my art. The most important artist’s tool for me is the one which is in my pants. JCAM: Please tell us about your life as an artist? VK: Do I earn by my art? Yes, I earn my living by my art. The life, after all, does not necessarily have to be rich, right? Thanks to our orthodox God, it is not very expensive to live in my country, and the life here is often not worth even a farthing. JCAM: What inspires you? VK: I am inspired by human stupidity. People received this amazing gift as a reverse of their overwhelmingly developed brain and as a consequence of a rich mental life. An animal is not so smart, but always more adequate to the situation in which it turned out to be. Pride, narcissism, self-deception, absurd dreams, vain pursuit, invented loves and true life cruelty – this is something that people walk through life with and that often (too often) makes a person an epic fool and by that much an unfortunate victim. This scene is so fascinating that I want to share it ... with those few who are able to laugh at themselves and to sympathize with others. JCAM: What are your thoughts about creativity, and where do you look for inspiratoin? VK: You ask where I find ideas for my art. Where else can you find them except in your head?! If you know about any other place, tell me, we will save much of each other’s time. I don’t know any other way to be an artist but to use your head. This is probably one of the few professions where this condition has always been necessary, and it is true now.

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Being creative means living on a narrow strip of meanings between “I'm too normal to be an artist” and “I’m too insane to continue being an artist”. JCAM: What about your future in the arts? VK: I neither make plans, nor pursue goals. From my point of view, the real art is aimless, and thus priceless. Anything that has a program and purpose loses greatly to what was born as a mere whim. I can only say that I will continue to paint what Sigmund Freud will put in my soul. Here and now. And what will be tomorrow I will see tomorrow.

Vova Kupyansky “A painting in progress ...”

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Vova Kupyansky “Gordian Knot” / Oil on Canvas

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Vova Kupyansky “They Will Wait” / Oil on Canvas

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Vova Kupyansky “Nu York - Nu York!” / Oil on Canvas

Vova Kupyansky “Tango” / Oil on Canvas

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Vova Kupyansky “Conversation” / Oil on Canvas

Vova Kupyansky “Poetess” / Oil on Canvas

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Vova Kupyansky “A Beautiful Day or Isadora’s Syndrome” / Oil on Canvas

Vova Kupyansky “Bluestocking” / Oil on Canvas

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Tonya Holy Elk Locklear Hello, I’m Tonya Holy Elk Locklear, with Native American roots to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and the Oglala Lakota of Pine Ridge, South Dakota. I live in a small rural American Indian community in southeastern North Carolina, rich in tradition, culture and history. I have a loving support system of family and friends who have encouraged me along the way to do something with my writing. In primary school and middle grades, I enjoyed reading and writing short stories and poems. As an adult, life happened where children and family became the main focus, and I put down my pen. Twenty years later, I returned to college to pursue my undergraduate degree in American Indian Studies and found my true passion — writing. Through my writing, I want the reader to be a part of the histories and the experiences that American Indians encountered and still face today, and to view them through the Indigenous lens. In school writing classes teachers would say, “You must keep a journal!” which I hated to hear and yet I’ve found myself writing that great piece of work on a scrap piece of paper, because I couldn’t find my journal; but I’ve gotten better. I now keep a journal and a laptop nearby for those times when that creative moment strikes! For me, writing was a hobby at most and I never thought about a career solely as a writer. I was inspired to write by my professor in a Native American Literature course who is a writer and poet. She introduced our class to many Native American authors. I really enjoyed reading Simon Ortiz’ and Kim Blaeser’s work and my passion to write was rekindled. My future goal is to work toward my graduate degree in American Indian Studies and teach in higher education. I feel there is a strong need to keep the tradition of oral history alive. I believe that creativity comes from the Creator who places that gift inside of us and we were created to bring joy to Him and to bless others. Writing poetry and short stories allows me to be a free, creative spirit and to express my inner self. Sometimes I can feel myself filling up with words and they have to come out. These words can be inspired by a thought, a feeling, the seasons, an emotion or a conversation.

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“On the Farm” is a short story about my life experience as a young “Polly” growing up in rural North Carolina. Even though the character names are fictional, the language is a type of dialect in our Native American communities where I grew up and these words are used correctly; they are not misspelled. I want you as the reader to see, hear and experience being “On the Farm.” Here are some words translated to the Queen’s English: ‘bacca = tobacco; wid = with; dem = them; dat = that; day’re = there; git = get; da = the.” Tonya Holy Elk Locklear On the Farm Her name’s Polly, a young girl from Lumbee Land. An Indian; she’s her grandma’s heart. Polly don’t have any brothers or sisters, but she has fun visitin’ wid her cousins and friends in the country on the farm. They’re all spread out; at Mt. Airy; Pembroke; Prospect and Union. It was a Saturday. The weather was hot; it was late July. She went with her grandma to Mt. Airy to play wid dem young’uns. It’s ‘bacca season and Polly liked ridin’ on the tractor down the dirt road, pass the pea field wid her cousins Daisy and Sallyann to the ‘bacca barn. Some of the elder men and young boys were at the barn unloading ‘bacca from the tractors. “Boy, I sure do hate dem ‘bacca worms, day’re nasty” said Polly. One of the elder men heard Polly. “Gal, you can git in da top of dat barn and hang ‘bacca” he said. I’m sure Polly thought, “That’s the easy job.” However, it was the hottest job. Polly whined most of the time in the top of dat ‘bacca barn. It was hot! “Polly,” Sallyann called from the tractor, “you gotta hurry up an hang dat ‘bacca so we can git our drinks and snacks.” “What a treat,” thought Polly, “but I can’t hurry up ‘cause it’s hot up here an der’s too much ‘bacca and some of it’s fallin’ off da stick.” The boys around the tractor said, “Daisy, she whines all da time. Go an help dat young’un; we’ll be here all night a’waitin’ on her.” Polly was cryin’ and hangin’ ‘bacca in the top of dat barn as fast as she could. Daisy was her rescue. She made it to the top of the barn and Polly was all smiles. Through her tears, she was so happy to see Daisy and to get done wid dat ‘bacca. All she could think about was, “They had snacks ‘a waitin.” Daisy knew that Polly wasn’t from the farm. “Girl you gotta hurry up so we can git outta here an git our drinks and snacks. Dem boys is gonna get ‘em all if we don’t.” Polly and Daisy finished hangin’ up dat ‘bacca, right at late evening. “Let’s go!” they hollered. Polly wasn’t from the country and the farm and didn’t know much at all about it. But she did know that she loved the farm. Spending time there and visiting wid dem young’uns; that was the best part!

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Blue Blue. Not the color of my eyes, And not my favorite color. It’s the color of emotion, The color of the ocean, The color of my heart, Only sometimes. Blue. Joy. Calm. Peace. Serenity. The different shades of blue. Rain. Haze. Fog. Trickling over mountain; fields; streams. All blue. Maybe a season. Maybe a day. Not the color of my eyes, Not my favorite color. It’s the color of emotion, The color of the ocean, The color of my heart, Only sometimes.

© Tonya Elk Locklear – October 12, 2015

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FRIENDS It’s friends; and the thoughts of them that make me smile. Good laughs. Good cries. Good hugs. And we always say “see ya later.” Friends hold feelings, secrets and tears That can’t be held by anyone else. Hold hearts gently with open hands. Their doors and ears are always open Just to pick up where you left off last time. Free spirits flowing and moving like rivers. A strong natural element connected to Mother Earth Connected to others. Connected to each other. Warm. True. Loving. Honest. Present. Friends. The thoughts of you make me smile.

© Tonya Elk Locklear – Jan 30, 2015 Dedicated to my friend, Margie Labadie

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Zoë Fay-Stindt JCAM: What is your professional name?

Z F-S: Zoë Fay-Stindt JCAM: Where were you born and does that

place still influence you? Z F-S: I was born in Greenville, North Carolina, about 40 minutes away from my first of several homes in Blounts Creek, North Carolina. That place forever has and forever will inspire me. Its gravel roads and Spanish moss were my childhood companions in a neighborhood with few children, and that landscape continues to frame my perspective. JCAM: Where do you live now and how does

that place influence you? Z F-S: I’m not sure I could say where I live now. I just graduated school in Boston and moved out of my first apartment to temporarily move in with my mom in southern France, but I don’t feel like I live anywhere in the permanent sense of the term. That said, this home has been equally influential as my birthplace since I grew up here part time. Every time I come back, I’m more taken than ever with the orange shingles, the vines, our hills. JCAM: Do you have family, friends, or fellow authors who support you in your work, life

and writing and how do they make a difference in your life? Z F-S: Of course, where would I be without them? I’ve been the lucky victim of several different shepherds along my trail, and without any one of them I would have been a very different person. Fortunately for me, I happened to be born to one of my all-time favorite poets – my mom. As her kid, poetry has been floating around my head since I was out of the womb (OK, if we’re being honest, before then), and she’s always been my best editor and most enthusiastic supporter. Not to mention my dad, who also happens to be an artist (where did I get it from?) and has always supported me with vigor. Both of them also have an incredible community of artists and writers surrounding them, so I grew up with the crème de la crème when it comes to inspiring influences. To name a few, Rita Dove and Marilyn Hacker both helped shape me as a young girl and influenced me enormously. JCAM: When and how did you start writing? Can you describe the time when you first

realized that being an author was something you absolutely had to do?

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Z F-S: To be honest, I kind of fell into it. I didn’t ever consider myself a writer until I started taking creative writing courses for curiosity’s sake in high school, and I just liked the melody of it. My poems were mostly shit at first (we won’t talk about my prose), but I liked being able to lean into the details and not have to be bothered with narrative or character development. At least I thought I could get away without those at first. So I kept writing for the fun of the music I could make in a poem, the images I could watch bloom by my own words. JCAM: Why do you write now?

Z F-S: Right now, I start typing for that earlier self that was so in love with it. Once I start writing and get into the flow of it, I love it again. But it’s often something I begrudge doing, which I feel like I do to most things that are good for me. Interesting, huh? But when I get into a rhythm and keep clacking at my keyboard until I’m done, really done, and I can reread what I’ve put down and actually be impressed with what my brain just spewed out? That’s pretty cool. I write to read my poems back to myself. JCAM: How has your writing changed or developed over time?

Z F-S: At first I wrote for the rhythm, now I write for narrative, character, and it’s almost all biographical. Okay, it’s all biographical. I almost never wrote about things happening in my own life, god forbid the people in it, but now it’s all that makes sense to write about. I used to write abstractions, now I’m incredibly concrete. JCAM: What are you trying to communicate with your writing?

Z F-S: I’m not sure, really. I think so much of everything that should be said has been said, so I mostly write so the people who read my poetry and I can understand more about my own life or brain. But I hope to eventually be able to move away from that a little and write more politically, which right now I have trouble doing effectively. I’d like to be an eloquent feminist poet who can dismantle some of society’s fucked up-ness and do so in the form of a damn good poem. JCAM: Of the works published in this issue, is there one piece of which you are most

proud? If so, why? Z F-S: I like “Girl” (“Does anyone know the alt code for e w/ umlaut”) because it’s just so me in that space and time. I’m proud of the way I was able to capture my anxiousness in the same kind of never ending nervous ramble I had going in my head for the last few months of school. JCAM: What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

Z F-S: Coffee. And early morning. I used to be a night writer, but now I almost never write unless it’s before I’ve let the world affect my brain that day.

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JCAM: What element of writing do you enjoy the most and why?

Z F-S: Hmmmm… The way it takes me off and away down its river. When I’m in the groove, like I said, I can’t stop. I like that out-of-control part of it. JCAM: What is your most important writing tool(s) and why?

Z F-S: This is sad, but, my computer. I like writing on paper, but only to jot down thoughts or ideas. My computer lets my fingers keep up with my brain to a certain extent, so I usually get a very raw, unedited version of what I’m thinking. JCAM: How do you know when a work is finished?

Z F-S: A poem is never finished. JCAM: What are the writing tools you use now?

Z F-S: Again, computer! And I like to steal. Poets are thieves. I wouldn’t be a poet without every other writer I’ve ever read, and little pieces of their writing which inspired me or which I even snuck into my own poems. One of my favorite exercises is to write a negative of a poem, where you flip the original completely out of which a totally new piece is born. JCAM: What writing genre would you love to pursue?

Z F-S: Nonfiction. I took a class at my alma mater, Emerson College, and loved it, but have still stuck to poems since the class. Although now I’m writing only nonfiction poems, so it definitely affected my writing. I so admire the art of nonfiction writing, and always mean to write nonfiction pieces but haven’t gotten back at it, yet. JCAM: What's the first work you ever published?

Z F-S: “Blue Heron Morning”, a piece about my childhood best friend the blue heron who I’d hang out with by the river outside my house in North Carolina. The heron is still my spirit animal, and constantly affects my life and writing. I published the poem my freshman year of college in Gangsters in Concrete, now Concrete Literary Magazine, a magazine at Emerson College of which I actually ended up being Editor in Chief my senior year. Talk about full circle. JCAM: Do you make a living from your writing? 

Z F-S: Poetry? Ha! One day. I’ve made a living as an editorial writer for an asset manager, but poetry is usually for the love, not the money. JCAM: What are your goals for the future, both in work and life?

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Z F-S: Oy vey. I’ve got my eye on New York once I get out of this don’t-wanna-be-tieddown funk I’m in. For now I’m traveling, but eventually I’d like a cozy apartment with some kind of fulfilling work on my plate. I’d also like to eat good food in the future, that would be good. JCAM: What are you working on at the moment?

Z F-S: Currently I have a poetry blog, which I love working on. It keeps me in a partially regular writing schedule and saves my writing hand from shriveling away now that I’ve wrapped up my BFA and am out of writing workshops. JCAM: What or who inspires you? Do you have a favorite living author?

Z F-S: I know I’ve said it, but my mom does. Her strength blows me away, as does her writing. There are so many! And I hate picking favorites. But Sarah Green, who has been published in Sixth Finch a few times, is one of my favorite more contemporary writers. Not to mention the many incredible writers I had the privilege of learning from at Emerson – Peter Shippy, Gail Mazur, Julia Story, Cecily Parks, Morgan Baker. They’ve all given me so much, and inspired me to no end with their brains and their work. JCAM: What author do you wish you could speak to and why?

Z F-S: Zadie Smith. I’m currently reading her second novel, The Autograph Man, and swooning at her eloquent way of writing about the complicated human experience in all its political, psychological, and emotional rawness. JCAM: When addressing a particular work to be published in this interview: Can you

explain what inspired this particular piece or idea? Z F-S: I think the inspirations for my poems are often self-evident because of their transparency, but for “Girl”, my inspiration was that I was at wits’ end with an excruciatingly long to-do list, an under-rested brain, and the end of my college life around the corner, and I had this damn poetry piece due for a workshop, so I just let myself spool out onto the page. JCAM: Where do you find ideas for your creative work?

Z F-S: In the world around me! Where else? I find them in the wrinkles of someone who walks by me, crooked thoughts I have, old reminders of my childhood in the form of odd objects around mom’s house. Randomly something will trigger me and a poem will start unspooling. That’s when I get to the computer as quickly as I can, or else the flow of it is gone and it comes out in short, forced bursts that don’t make for a good end product. JCAM: What does “being creative” mean to you?

Z F-S: Finding the beauty in really awful things, or the humanity in them, or the

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humanity in the mundane. Being creative means expressing something, anything, in a way that feels new and fresh and in a way that hopefully others can connect to. JCAM: What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?

Z F-S: Immerse yourself in others. I’m the most inspired when I’ve been reading everyone else’s writing, whether it’s the work of the famous and dead, famous and still living, or my not-yet famous friends. Once I push passed the “damn it that’s so good I wish I had written that I can’t top it,” my brain is just all the more invigorated and ready to write.

J. WELSH You can always tell when his wife calls from the clearing of his throat before, a soft rumble, then: “Hi, dear” – sometimes exchanging “dear” with “love.” He hums, verbally nods, a steady rhythm to extend her unwavering update of the day’s events, sometimes asks “well what are they going to do about the car’s — oh, okay — ” sometimes answers “clam chowder” or “make whatever you want to make for dinner, dear,” always the same low hum of a voice, always in the same slouched conversation. If you pass him in between his cube and yours, he lifts his eyebrows, pushes his lips into a flat half-smile for a passing moment: “here we are, dear, here we are again.”

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STADIUM AUTO BODY When Monday morning forgets to give you your brain back and your car gets a ticket before getting towed so you have to go retrieve it and even though you keep telling yourself you’re a grown woman, you can’t help crying a little as the very nice man at the tow office swipes $128 from your debit card and shakes his head in apology as you try to make an unsuccessful joke about getting a celebratory coffee with the $2.50 left in your account but he’s very nice and tells you how to fight your parking ticket even though you accidentally type a 2 instead of a 3 in the number listed and get some poor man who you ask over and over “who do I speak to to dispute my ticket” and he keeps saying he’s sorry and you thank god for good friends who help you end the day with guacamole and beer and thank your twinklings that these are the only problems you encounter, your heart still full, the days still warm, a roof, a plane ticket, a car safely tucked onto another street.

HELEN We stopped for a Craigslist woman in Key West, searching for the guest room we were promised for $50 a head. We stepped in, unknowingly presenting ourselves to the world of dead. Helen the healer swam laps in the pool, spooling out stories of the afterlife, those who have stayed with us too long in this realm, what we can do to help them release. If we weren’t careful, she warned, we could bring back five or six entities after a night on Duval Street – they prey on the brightest lights. The drinking makes you vulnerable, forgetting to grow your protector light from inside your stomach and out. That night we stumbled along the beach town streets, shook our young bodies on a clothing optional dance floor, fully dressed, older naked bodies watching us from the sidelines. We noticed but ignored their eyes, loving the sweat that soaked us, the hair we whipped, our bare feet rubbing raw on the rooftop floor. I wonder what kinds of naked, trapped souls we brought back with us that night, jiggling their ghost bodies, sucking our energy.

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DOES ANYONE KNOW THE ALT CODE FOR E W/ UMLAUT? Girl knows she should be googling job openings but can’t think about her future without materializing a headache or thinking “Esc Esc Esc” Girl knows this means doors are closing but gets easily distracted with chewing cuticles or gets hypnotized by the walls of her cubicle Girl can feel her brain atrophying as she sits pencil-skirted in a swivel chair Girl thinks her corporate America button up is coming for her throat Girl doesn’t find your “it’ll work itself out!” very helpful Girl eats an unordinary amount of cheese one night at a poetry reading and her face transforms into a zitty war zone the next week Girl is convinced this is a metaphor Girl doesn’t understand what an “unordinary” amount of cheese is or what that says about the cruelty of life Girl just wants to eat cheese all the time Girl can tell the difference between quality cheese and the cheap shit Girl doesn’t appreciate your reminders about the expenses of quality cheese Girl knows you need a well-paying job to be able to afford the good shit Girl wonders how long someone can write about cheese in a poem before the reader stops reading or gets hungry Girl thinks focusing all her thoughts on food will maybe land her a job in the publishing industry Girl understands buying bran flakes, almond milk, and $4 riesling with the remains of her paycheck is not what Good Adults do Girl doesn’t want to be a Good Adult but would like one of their nice apartments Girl asks the clerk ringing her up to use the $2 cash she digs up first, then to put the rest on her card. He acts unperturbed but Girl can feel him questioning her priorities Girl passes a homeless man selling newspapers on the way out of the store and spirals into a void of self-hate for forgetting to count blessings again Girl goes home and spends too long knocking her emptied wine glass against her forehead Girl hopes her forehead will bruise Girl emails her mom for life advice with some scattered caps lock for emphasis Girl’s mom is visiting friends in Budapest and “can’t talk now” cause she’s “got a hot date” with her ex-husband so Girl looks forward to retirement

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RICHMOND, UNCLE DAN & ROB’S I wake up, run the outskirts of the James and its train tracks, share a fourth of a cantaloupe with the dogs, think about the move I’ll have to make over the next month, schlepping my belongings from Boston to a garage in CT. I don’t think about what’s after that – the threat of the grape vine cutters I’ll use in the harvest, or living with my mother, or the solitude of a small, crowded town I have no set date to escape. I feel my middle starting to thicken from the homemade cheeses and wine and blackberry jam I’m being force-fed here. The peach cobbler and whipped cream. I go to sleep full and scared, wake up thankful, wobble between the three all day. I struggle to finish a book in under two weeks. I’m nervous my brain is thickening, too, a layer of fat and dust mixing in a greasy coating. I worry about the bumps under my dog’s skin, trace them from lump to lump, the one at his neck as big as a plum. He licks sweat from my legs as Uncle Dan sings in the kitchen, hums homemade songs, mutters to Bubba the oversized lab. When Dan and Uncle Rob start bickering in the next room over, I ask how long they’ve been married – thirty three years and counting – and Dan tells me Hell, I knew Rob when he was a girl. Here, messiness is comfortable, the house cluttered with the amassed creations of two artists over the years, their sitting room home to Rob’s flamingo series: there’s Spike, the Goth bird all black with blue Mohawk, Beady, the flapper, Isadora, the ballerina flamingo, bubble wrap tutu. Their clutter unclutters me. I start picking out chunks of worry from underneath the grease coat, tuck them into the shelves crowded with war memorabilia, behind the patterned cushions on the armchairs, inside the mouth of the clay fish with sunglasses. Here, my qualms can dust over on their own, have a Bubba chew on them, get lost with the flamingos and the jars of pear compote, raspberry preserves.

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Information for Potential Submitters JCAM is a project of Jumbo Arts International which holds all rights exclusively. JCAM focuses on creativity and publishes original works and articles on many subjects: visual art, creative writing, poetry, performing arts, craft artists and interviews, reviews, and columns on subjects appropriate to the focus of the journal. All requests for submission information should be sent to: jcam.jal@gmail.com Upon request, interested parties will be emailed all information and documents required for submission of work to JCAM. JCAM publishes twice each year: 30 June and 30 December. In order to assure timely responses, submitters should contact the JCAM Team well in advance of these publication dates – a minimum 60 to 90 days is suggested. JCAM publishes in English. Current JCAM information is available on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JournalofCreativeArtsandMinds All other questions regarding the JCAM should be sent to: jcam.jal@gmail.com

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Journal of Creative Arts and Minds, Vol. 1, No. 2 – December 2015  

It is our hope that the words and imagery we share through the JCAM serve as a bridge toward understanding all people. Together we can redef...

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