Professor Rainbow Interview

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Welcome to the colorful world of “​​​​​​​​Chance Losher aka Professor Rainbow”. The second you see a piece of his work, his name becomes self explanatory. His art takes you back to your childhood, staring directly into a rainbow filled kaleidoscope constantly spinning to see what the spectrum of colors will produce next. His consistency and style is ever apparent. Based in Tennessee, Professor Rainbow has taken his talents west to Colorado, north to Chicago and anywhere in between. I was able to dive deeper into his mind and creative process. Without further adieu, I introduce to you the art and mind of Professor Rainbow.

First and foremost, I would like to say I love your work. The vibrance you portray is impeccable. When did your love of visual art come about and how has it evolved since?

 

A: Thank you, I glad you enjoy it. It’s hard to say when my love of art started. Growing up I was always more of a visual learner and more interested in images instead of words. That led me to look towards visual medias more than to literary sources. Not much has changed as I’ve gotten older, except I do enjoy reading more as an adult. Lately, I’ve been into graphic novels, as it is a nice way to still read but I still can get caught up in all the artwork.

 

You studied Studio Art at the University of Tennessee. How do you feel learning about your passion in an academic setting help you grow your talents?

 

A: When I first went to college I was undecided as to what I wanted to do, so I started taking business classes. Pretty quickly I realized that was not at all what I wanted to do with my life. I had never taken any art classes but I had always loved art and wanted to learn how to draw and create, so I switched majors to Studio Art. It was quite daunting to switch over to art, but once I found printmaking I really started to feel like I knew that this is what I wanted to do. Luckily, I also had some amazing teachers that pushed me and helped me start to define my style. So, overall it was a great experience getting to hone my skills in an academic setting.

 

What is your favorite event or festival that you have live painted at? What was so special about it and what piece came about during the event?

 

A: It’s hard to choose but, one of my favorite events I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of every year since it started is Papadosio’s Earth Night event. Held in December every year, it is always my last event of the year and it serves as a point of reflection for me on what all I’ve accomplished throughout the year. I’ve made some of my favorite works during those event, in particular the piece “All I Knew Was Love” which incorporated a bunch of different Papadosio song titles into the design. What’s really cool about that piece is I partnered with Advocates of Change, a non-profit that raises money through art raffles at shows and festivals, and got all the members of the band to sign it and we raffled it off the next year at Earth Night to raise money for some local charities and organizations. Also I got to setup at Red Rocks last year along side of Alex and Allyson Grey and about 20 other amazing visual artists, which was pretty surreal and incredible.

 

Is there any particular song, artist or band that inspires your work? Additionally, do you tend to listen to music while creating and how does it affect the outcome?

 

A: Music in general is my biggest inspiration. More specifically jam bands and down to mid tempo electronic are my favorite genres to listen to. Working in a concert setting, the music tends to change how I approach my backgrounds and how I use watercolor because it’s more of a loose playful feeling that I can let the music dictate my movements. Outside of that, I usually have my concept and color palette already visualized in my head so, listening to music just helps me get into a groove while I work and makes it more of a meditative practice. Even while designing or working at art at my house, music is a necessity.

 

Tell us a little bit about your creative process and the materials you use as well as what your ideal work environment?

 

A: My creative process is quite a bit different from most other live painters you see out. Mainly because all my work is based in the print medium and not in traditional painting mediums. I start most of pieces out by using Photoshop and Illustrator to create a design. After that I’ll expose that design onto a screen, basically creating a stencil that I can then print onto any number of objects in any color. For my pieces that I work on at shows, I tend to just print black onto white smoothed clayboards, which are great for mixed media. I’ll then use watercolor for most of my backgrounds, as well as metallic inks, sharpies, and some acrylics. What surprises people most is that I use highlighters to do all my colors, which is how I get my

 

Jessica Camilli Artist Interview

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Jessica Camilli is a versatile artist who picks her dreams right off her pillow and puts them directly on the canvas. Aside from being an artist, she is guided through life by her travels and yoga journey. Her family and childhood growing up in DC has given her the support and outlet she needs to shine and grow her craft. They continued to show their support as she pursued her BFA from James Madison University with a concentration in drawing and painting. Currently residing in Richmond, VA, she retreats to her studio where her complex and beautiful mind creates images that are graceful while also being unexpected.

What is your biggest inspiration and how does it come to life in your work? How did you arrive at your current aesthetic?

My parents provided me with a very creative childhood. My mother was a modern dancer and my dad ran a Jazz club. I grew up seeing Jazz performances, dances and plays. DC provided me with so much cultural exposure. My dad took my siblings and me to the backyard at night and taught us about astronomy, challenging us to think more expansively about the universe and our role in it. To say the least I had a lot of fodder for inspiration.I have been drawing and scribbling down ideas for as long as I can remember. I consider myself incredibly privileged to have such understanding parents who supported my decision to go to art school and pursue art professionally. I draw most of my inspiration from dreams. I have had an overactive dreamscape ever since I was a little kid. I remember every dream. They tend to be so detailed that when I wake up I can recall the backstories of characters involved. I remember sensory details like the smells of imagined perfumes and foods. Using details from dreams to create art helps with my sanity. It brings order to the chaos. I arrived at my current aesthetic by combining the eerily intangible elements of my dream world with the more meditated logical processes of my design work.

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Could you tell us about your creative process and what life looks like in the studio for you? What goes into making a piece, including the mediums you prefer to use?

I tend to work on 3-5 projects at once in varying mediums. Recently, this has consisted of me working on children’s book illustrations in Prisma colored pencils, pop-surreal illustrative paintings in house paint, graphic design work starting in tedious Micron pen drawings, and oil paintings which function as my therapy. Art is my only source of income, so I balance commissioned works, projects created with marketability in mind, and the art of my own personal desires. If I didn’t have to worry about paying the bills I would always be working on dark and beautiful surreal oil paintings. My favorite medium is oil paint. I am enamored with the rituals of the medium. I find mixing a palette soothing, the smell of linseed oil comforting and even the cleaning processes meditative.

How does your love for travel and yoga play into your art work?

Yoga will always be a big part of my life, but I did put it on the back burner to focus on art this year. There was a time where I was putting almost all of my energy into yoga, teaching anywhere from 7-15 classes a week while helping manage a studio. I loved it but found myself longing to put that same energy into my art career. Yoga helps bring me to a place of calm and deep intentionality which allows me to be productive in my art making.

Travel will always be incredibly inspiring to me. I love seeing how other people live and all of the sounds, sights, and sensations that make up their day to day surroundings. I especially find street art compelling and more telling of the actual heart of a city. I hope that the visual fodder I pick up during my travels surfaces through my art. It is the nature of an artist to be egocentric. For me, yoga and travel help balance the ego by providing perspective. It’s good for me to be reminded of how incredibly tiny and insignificant I am.

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What has been your favorite live-painting event thus far and why? How does live painting affecting the outcome of your work versus creating your piece in the solitude of your studio?

My favorite live painting experience was working on the underwater space alien mural at Big What 2017. I could talk all day about how incredible this experience was. Leslie Caneda (who is incredibly dear and inspiring to me) had a giant wood easel and “canvas” constructed for the event. At the time I just wasn’t feeling so inspired by what I was working on so I decided to devote most of my live painting time to the group mural. I had the honor of starting the painting composition with an alien mermaid floating on an asteroid. It expanded from there, each artist bringing so much to the table building off one another. I especially had fun painting alongside Jenée Harrison. Saturday night we donned all black and horns, embracing all our dark feminine energy to attack this painting. I have never been to a festival where a live painting was given so much attention. There was one point when I turned around to see about a hundred people gathered behind us watching us paint. To top it all off no one told me that Dustin Klein was going to be digitally animating the painting. So I was working on adding beams flowing from the UFO when all of a sudden the images started moving. It took me a moment to realize I wasn’t just seeing things and that he had brought the painting to life. At the end of the festival we donated the painting to The Big What. It was truly a beautiful culmination of fun, live music, art collaboration and friendship.

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Every piece is amazingly unique. They contain this sort of grace, juxtaposed with something offbeat and brutal. What emotions do you hope to convey and what do you want to leave the viewer feeling?

Simultaneously my best and worst quality is that I want to do everything. It keeps me motivated, but it also keeps me in a state of being a complete mess. This year I am focusing on getting my children’s book illustrations published, having my first solo show in an art gallery, and being an art director at The Camel. If all of that goes well I hope to then focus on doing an artist residency, painting a mural on a building, and creating a series of resin coated oil paintings giving voice to those in the community who often feel silenced or ignored. The art world is so expansive and I hope to dip my toes in as much of it as I can.

As an artist I aim to change people’s conventional thought patterns. I think we grow stale in our day to day lives and tend to get set in our ways and ideas. I hope to shake the dust from the routine. Even if it’s just for a moment. That is why I am drawn to strange and sometimes dark imagery. Why I am so inspired by the works of Tim Burton, Miles Johnston, and Lori Nelson. I find balancing the eerie with the beautiful allows for some sort of accessibility into the weird. I want someone to think “That makes me feel uncomfortable. But I kind of like it… what does that say about me?” It is all just perspective. A perspective that we often allow to be dictated by what is socially accepted or what we are trained to think by the existing establishment. But that perspective doesn’t mean anything. Ultimately I want to make people squirm a little, then question why it is that they squirmed.

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Be sure to follow her or check out her site here!

@jessicamilliart

Jessica Camilli Art

 

Tammy’s Asia Tour: Part 1

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She’s finally here! My mom arrived to Bangkok late, so I went to check in before a night on Khao San to celebrate Cam’s departure. I tried to make it there before dark which didn’t quite happen. Soon, I found myself wandering alley ways. My map was telling me I was there when I clearly wasn’t. I saw a little stand and asked a motor-taxi driver as I figured he would be of assistance.He wasn’t sure, so next thing I knew there were 7 locals surrounding me offering help and to call the hotel for me. IMG_2531Around 2am, she finally arrived and it was time for bed, except we had a small issue. We couldn’t figure out how to turn to lights off without the AC going off too, which is a total necessity. We were left to sleep with the lights on, which wasn’t too bad for Tam since she had a sleep mask.

The next morning, we woke up early to try and beat the heat and check out The Grande Palace, a must see while in Bangkok. I had been putting off going, so we could enjoy it together for the first time. It was truly amazing. It was a sensory overload of glittering gold and bold colors. Everything was crafted with such ornate detail. Soon, we were ready for a nap! After several attempts at find a meter cab, we finally found the most precious old man who was willing to take us. *Sidenote: You ALWAYS want to ask for meter over set price. If not you will be exponentially ripped off*

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Our cab driver was quite the chatter box, but he had great English. All of which he learned from old western movies and music. He even whipped out a Hank Williams bootleg of his to show us. When we finally arrived in Bang Yai, I had a few errands to run, so we went to the HUGE mall by my house and had dinner at a staple of ours with my teacher friend, Hannah.

We woke up extra early the next morning for our flight to Siem Reap! I am so happy I choose to bring her here. It blew all my expectations out of the water. The people, the service, the sitesall of it was impeccable. IMG_2786I know, when I told her I was dragging her to Cambodia, she was apprehensive, but down for anything! I had a quick scare thinking I lost my wallet 15 minutes before boarding. After frantically running through the airport, it was under my seat the entire time. Whew!

The visa/customs process was super quick and easy. We were greeted by our absolutely amazing hotel staff with traditional Cambodian scarves, cold towels and drinks. Every second of our experience at The Golden Temple Villa was filled with excellence, class, kindness, and detail. That afternoon we enjoyed time by the pool, an early dinner and spa treatments. We hit the hay as we had a super early wake up call the next morning. I told you traveling is all about early mornings!

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This, unfortunately, was a very sad day for me as I learned one of the most influential people in my life had passed away, my Papa. I felt many emotions, but mostly guilt that my mom was all they way out here and not at home with my dad. I feel guilty that I am essentially on vacation while the rest of my family is back home taking care of everything. Luckily, she was able to be home in time for the celebration of his life and that my brother read my sentiments which meant the world to me. It will hurt me everyday that he is gone, but he was the most selfless man I’ve ever known. The last thing he would want is me crying over him. He would want to be celebrated and that is exactly what I tried to do.

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The next morning, 4:45am to be exact, we made our way to Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world dating back to 12th century.  Sunrise is the best time to visit as the view is spectacular. You stand and watch the sun glide its away over the pillars and settle into its position for the day. The colors evolve from warm to cool hues. There were hoards of people and it was difficult at times to get a photo without a posse in it. *Reality of traveling. And this was the uncrowded spot*

There were tons of kids walking around begging over you to buy their tourist trinkets which is always so sad. That is one thing I noticed in the parks and sites we went to in Cambodia. There is much heckling in Cambodia than in Thailand. In Thailand, you obviously have to bargain the price down, but you don’t have people chasing you down or bothering you while you shop.

Angkor Wat was amazing, as it should have been, I just wish it was a little less crowded. Our driver later told us March is high tourism season in Cambodia. There was this extremely awful smell walking into the front gates though. It reeked of just decay, which I guess is appropriate for something so old.

As we walked out of our first temple of the day, there was a man outside selling boiled peanuts. So crazy! I thought this only existed where I come from, since you can barely find them outside the southeast. IMG_2766This moment immediately put me at ease because I felt like it was a sign from my Papa. Anyone who knew him knew he boiled peanuts by the bushel. As we made our way to the next temple, there was a big colorful “gamecock”. I see you up there dropping hints at me and making me smile!

My favorite temples we visited was Angor Thom where Tomb Raider with Angelina Jole was filmed. I loved it because it was so intertwined with nature. There where sturdy roots and whimsical trees, wrapped and twisted through the ancient stone. After, we had made our rounds and sweat out a gallon of water, we made our way back to the hotel for some R & R. We enjoyed some pool time, a quiet dinner and composed our plans for the next few days.

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The next day we set out to the explore the markets of the Old Quarter where Tammy had her first rolled ice cream, Nutella and Banana mix. Best flavor I’ve had to date. I will miss these stands being on every corner when I go home. We had big plans later that evening, tickets to the Cambodian Circus followed by an hour couples massage (lol). Did I mention this came complimentary with our $48 a night hotel room?

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Not only were the performers at the circus extremely talented and energetic, but the premise behind the entire act was for a great cause. The school where they trained takes under privileged children and gives them an outlet in the arts. A chance to channel their talents into a better life off the streets. The funniest part was the whole crowd was over 65. I just don’t see this many people at that age saying, “Honey, why don’t we got to Cambodia where its 100 degrees and filled with 20 year old backpackers.” It was so cute after the show concluded they all piled back onto their tour bus. I hope to be them when I’m older.

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I had booked a painting class for us the next day, but in typical Kara fashion it is rare that everything goes smoothly. The weeks here run Monday-Sunday, so I wasn’t paying attention to the number date just the position. Naturally, I had chosen the wrong date and immediately contacted the host the morning of our intended appointment when I realized my mistake. When we arrived back from our morning facials with no reply, I figured we would have to make new plans for the day. Just has we had given up hope, they had told us we most certainly could still come today, and I am so glad this was the case, as it was one of my favorite experiences I shared with my mom.

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Our tuk-tuk driver did not seem to have a clue where he was going even though it was set up by our host. We road down rocky roads into a village and down a drive way to a big sign that read “The People’s Democractic Party”. It kind of had a creepy vibe, I won’t lie and my mom immediately shot me a “what the hell did you sign us up for” look. It was just us two not a full class and it was set up right outside his house on his studio/porch. He had us a stack of photos to choose from and said go for it. The class was based around a spoon painting technic that is used to created many traditional Cambodian pieces. He was so kind, warm-hearted and helpful. It was a truly authentic experience.

That evening we boarded our flight back to Bangkok. We said our goodbyes to our favorite hotel staff and were sent off with more gifts and love from our favorite place! We even had a personal ride to the airport in a brand-new Range Rover, once again included in the cost of our room. Truly a sad moment to leave Cambodia, but super excited for the next leg of our journey!

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Music this week!! I’m super into this new band I discovered call “The Districts”. Kinda like low-key California indie rock. Anyways, this song just reminds me of what its like to keep up with all your relationships that are at a distance and the difficulties that come with that. Being away from home is beautiful, but strange. It is nice to get away, but that comes with its own obstacles. So is it easier to runaway or face up to what’s ahead?