YabYum Seven: Cody Rex Chamberlain

cody rex chamberlain 01
All photos courtesy of Cody Rex Chamberlain
Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Cody Rex Chamberlain. I’m a visual artist. I identify as a painter, first and foremost.

How did you get your start?

Some of my earliest memories of are of my parents painting and drawing. They were both creative people, though they didn’t consider it their vocation to be so. I started creating art myself very young. My mother made sure I had the tools to.

cody rex chamberlain 02
Bull
What inspires you?

My inspiration is, in large part, the desert. Being there is a sort of beautiful reality check. The natural process of life and death are starkly exposed to the desert explorer. You’ll see a weathered skull nestled up against a living tree, or the new bloom of a yucca next to a withered juniper.

What do you like about AZ?

Arizona has been a favorite retreat of artists I admire. I remember seeing photographs of Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning hamming it up in Sedona. Ernst said Paris and Sedona were the only places he wanted to live. Arizona lends itself well to surrealism, and I consider myself a surrealist.

cody rex chamberlain 04
Bird Of Prey
Where can we see you(r) work?

The quickest fix is my Instagram.  There you can see a visual chronicle of the various shows, collections, and articles I’m featured in at a given time.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I’d like to have created a body of work that bears witness to the beauty of the western landscape as I’ve experienced it. What I hope to accomplish is what I’m actively working towards accomplishing.

cody rex chamberlain 06
Inside The Mesa
What is your mantra?

The earth is forever.

~

cody rex chamberlain 05
Rush Valley
cody rex chamberlain 03
Aquarius

YabYum Seven: Genevieve Rice

genevieve-rice 01Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Genevieve Rice, and I am a stand up comedian and writer. I’m also the founder and executive producer of Bird City Comedy Festival, which is going into its third year in downtown Phoenix March 29-31, 2018.

How did you get your start?

I started doing stand up in 2007 at an open mic in Norman, OK, my college hometown. I thought it was something I would do once, but something told me to keep going. This has been the worst decision of my life.

What inspires you?

I tend to gravitate toward people who consistently find the funny, even in bad situations. I like positive people who like their lives and are committed to making things better for themselves and the people around them. To me, that is always heartening. I also look up to people who know how to fold fitted sheets.

What do you like about AZ?

In regards to the arts, Arizona is still very much the wild, wild west. There’s so much potential here for development, and I feel like it’s anybody’s game. Churros and balmy winter weather don’t hurt, either.

Where can we see you(r) work?

I perform a few times a week at various places throughout the Phoenix metro. I also host Jazz & Jokes, a comedy and music show at The Nash in downtown Phoenix, every third Thursday of the month.

I co-host a podcast on The Golden Girls called Thank You for Being a Podcast, which you can listen to pretty much everywhere. Oh, and Bird City Comedy Festival is taking place March 29-31, 2018. Go to birdcitycomedyfestival.com for a complete lineup & schedule.

What would like to accomplish before you die?

I’d like to write a book. I’d like to look through the eye holes of a painting in a haunted mansion. I’d like to convince at least one neighbor I’m a witch. But mostly I’d just like to have an interesting life.

What is your mantra?

I have a few, I suppose. Laugh early and often. And if you’re looking for a good restaurant nearby, just put “small plates” into Yelp. Also, don’t be the server who sits down at the table to take orders. Sorry, this is mostly just restaurant advice.

~

For more Genevieve Rice, check out her webpage and follow her on Twitter.

YabYum Seven: Donna Bernstein

Donna Bernstein 01
Donna Bernstein pictured with Amadeus
Who are you and what do you do?

Donna Bernstein: I am a contemporary equestrian styled artist, creating both abstract and modern horse paintings. I use mixed mediums, acrylics, inks and archival sprays. I paint on linen, canvas, wood. Whether a textured, complicated painting or a minimalist graphite, pastel or charcoal sketch, my vision is always centered upon the beauty, balance, sensuality and wisdom of the essential, classic equine.

How did you get your start?

I started doing artwork as a child. Always in awe of the horse, this passion for them seemed to be born with me – I was not brought up around them, and no one in my family was connected to them. We could not afford one, so my only way to connect with or obtain a horse – was to draw it myself.
I spent all my youth studying everything about them – their anatomy, their breeds, their illnesses and cures. When the time came that a neighbor got a horse I taught myself to ride. Through reading books, and watching others do it.

I would also watch the horse incessantly – what a pest! But I never drew while I was watching – I was afraid I would miss something… and I think I was right. By drawing and painting afterwards, out of my memory and imagination, my horses have come to be defined by a signature style all my own.

My art was born of a boundless love for this animal. As I have come to understand, because of this, I was painting the horses I never had. I was painting the horses of my imagination and my dreams.

Donna Bernstein 02
“Lover’s Rock”
What inspires you?

What inspires me is the nature of horses. They express the ideals I most value – an honesty, a purity of emotion, courage, beauty, balance, sensuality, a willingness to serve, companionship, and compassion. The most fiery, brilliant, and powerful stallion, will do as you ask when he trusts you.

They are herd animals… family animals, and exhibit tenderness and loyalty, with a sensitivity that has been honored through the ages. From the first cave wall renditions of the magnificent horse, he has been both companion and teacher to man, in every endeavor.

Everything about the horse inspires me. His great vulnerability; his great contradiction. He is such a symbol of freedom; an icon in this regard. Yet his entire history is wrapped in ours, as he has not been at liberty, but has done our bidding, whether in war or at play.

Truly a debt of gratitude is owed.

What do you like about AZ?

Arizona has a wonderful energy, weather that evokes a positive point of view, and a truly growing and expanding business and culture base that is energizing to be around. I started doing art shows in the area a few years back, and my husband and I bought a home not long after, we loved it so much.

Donna Bernstein 03
White Horse Grazing
Where can we see you(r) work?

In Arizona my work is currently shown and represented at a beautiful gallery, Desert Mountain Fine Art, located in the elegant Keirland Commons in North Scottsdale. The business of an amazing young couple, it is just completing its first year in Scottsdale, and I am honored to be included in its roster of artists.

What would like to accomplish before you die?

That is a difficult question! I think living a life I am proud of, and allowing my art and brand to be a demonstrative and, if possible, collaborative expression of that vision. I’m developing my artistic energies into an equestrian lifestyle brand, with products that include jewelry, scarves, handbags, etc., and fashion accessories for the modern equestrian. I see my art as expansive into these areas in a way that allows others, who have dreams of horses, to experience the equine’s wonderful and playful energy through Donna B.

Donna Bernstein 04
Cowpoke II
What is your mantra?

My mantra – Actually, I have two… one that defines my personal commitment to my work, which I learned about myself through the process of making art:

“It is not horse that I paint; I paint the way they make me feel.”

The other – as it defines the Donna B Brand:

“Love Your Horse – Live Your Horse Style.”

~

Check out more Donna B on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Donna Bernstein 05
Hi Ho Silver
Donna Bernstein 06
Two Horses
Donna Bernstein 07
Field Horse Watching // Field Horse Grazing

YabYum Seven: Nigel Clouse

Nigel Clouse 00
All photos courtesy of Nigel Clouse
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Nigel Clouse and I am a multidisciplinary artist who has lived in the valley for 13 years. I was born and raised in Winchester, Indiana; a rural community located in the Rust Belt. I completed my undergraduate degree in digital design at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and worked in the graphic design industry for over a decade. I am best known for my pop surrealist work incorporating femme fatales, pop culture references, and dystopian themes.

How did you get your start?

I spent many childhood summers enrolled in community art and computer courses intended for adults. These programs constructed a foundation in both traditional art and computer programming—fields which eventually merged within my work. I pursued art through high school, completed all available courses during my junior year, and began taking college courses at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana.

I was one of the first students to graduate with a degree in digital design from the Art Academy of Cincinnati—a fledgling program introduced as computers began to replace traditional media in the design industry.

Relocating to Phoenix to launch my graphic design career, while simultaneously developing a successful website showcasing my performance and street art, I never felt comfortable mixing my artistic persona with my corporate identity—I ended the project after five years.

A career in the design industry provided me with an opportunity to refine my technical skills, but the Great Recession forced me to change tactics. I moved to California to pursue my doctorate degree in psychology, worked for the University of California: San Diego, and spent time examining my identity and purpose.

My father passed away from cancer in 2012 and I moved back from California to help him for the last month of his life. I witnessed a man slowly wasting away after sacrificing everything for his family while working at a job he hated for over 30 years. The disorienting dilemma I confronted after his passing allowed me to envision the future I wanted for my family. I conceived my Dystopian Delights series shortly after his death and have been working on the project for five years.

Never have I considered myself an artist until recently; I believe the title of artist is earned through the melding of skill and aesthetic, which combine to form a personal style—continually honed through experience. The series has allowed me to define my style, acknowledge myself as an artist, and develop an understanding of the world and my place within it.

Nigel Clouse 05
“Yesteryear’s Inn”, dye sublimation on aluminum, 20″ x 16″, 2017
What inspires you?

A variety of subjects, including art, history, music, literature, and technology; but my favorite is film. I was introverted as a child and spent much of my time with my maternal grandmother; a bootlegger from the time of prohibition with ties stretching back to the infamous Hatfield and McCoy feud. My grandfather passed away when I was young, which allowed us to spend copious amounts of time together.

She loved to watch the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, and other silver screen classics; introducing me to film noir, Citizen Kane, and Psycho. She sparked my interest in cinema and I find this love of film continues to inspire and influence my work.

I believe the life and work of Andy Warhol to be highly inspirational. Discovering Warhol through a chance encounter at the library early in life immediately changed how I experienced art. Warhol is the “American Dream” personified; a socially awkward child coming from a destitute immigrant family who was able to achieve his goals despite the limitations of his background. Not only was he able to achieve his dream, but he did so with such conviction it forever altered the course of art history.

What do you like about AZ?

I enjoy the tenacity of Arizona as a state, both in historical terms and the ability of communities to adapt to change. This is a state where the Hohokam thrived as a culture, the Spanish sought cities of gold, desperados roamed the Wild West, and miners eked out an existence underground. I especially adore the old mining towns, which have reimagined themselves as artist communities and continue to thrive.

The Arizona sky at dusk is one of the most beautiful sights I have seen—vivid colors contrasted against desolate and foreboding landscapes. The Sonoran Desert has always reminded me of a Salvador Dali painting with warm hues and expansive vistas. Who doesn’t want to wake-up in a Dali painting on a daily basis?

Nigel Clouse 06
“Derealization”, dye sublimation on aluminum, 16″ x 20″, 2016
Where can we see you(r) work?

My website is the best place to see pieces as I keep it updated with current work; available in my online store. I keep my Instagram account active by sharing work and tidbits of my life—social media has been an interesting experiment for a self-proclaimed recluse. I haven’t shown my work in a gallery since I graduated college, but I am actively seeking space in the valley if any curators are interested in an emerging artist.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

Immortality. I believe art affords the artist the possibility to defy death; creating works which outlive the physical being, while continuing to communicate complex concepts, experiences, and visions beyond the grave. This is how we intimately understand the sorrow of Van Gogh, the madness of Munch, and the whimsy of Warhol. Artwork can readily survive the passage of time and provide a glimpse into an artist’s understanding of the world.

Nigel Clouse 01
“Cataclysm”, digital media, 2017
What is your mantra?

“The night time is the right time.” I have been a night owl since I was born; the early morning hours are when my creativity and productivity are at their peak. I am the primary caretaker of my son, which means nap times, nights, and weekends are when I am able to devout my full attention to art.

~

Nigel Clouse 04
“Sentimental Journey”, digital media, 2017
Nigel Clouse 02
“Deluded by Dilaudid”, dye sublimation on aluminum, 20″ x 16″, 2016
Nigel Clouse 03
“Industrial Resolution”, digital media, 2017

YabYum Seven: Jeff Schaer-Moses

jeff schaer-moses 01
All photos courtesy of Jeff Schaer-Moses
Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Jeff Schaer-Moses and I consider myself to be an all-around music person. I am most well known for being a music writer and photographer, as well as a promoter. But I have also worked in public relations and managed bands, produced records, slung merch, tour managed, and everything in between for the bands, artists, and projects I believe in. I’ve also been known to step on stage and perform as my poetry/comedy alter ego Untouchable Jay and even DJ once in a blue moon as The World Famous DJ Fresh Hoffa.

How did you get your start?

That is a question with many answers for me. As a concert promoter and organizer, I can trace my beginnings back to watching my late mother Anita Schaer organize PTA events when I was just a jit in grade school. She left me with a lot of the necessary skills to organize some of my biggest events like It Get’s Weirdfest and Sharefire Music Festival.

But in a more practical and tangible sense, it was my collaborations with Alan Beveridge on Mesa Legendfest at Mesa Community College and my work with Joe “Dagger Pan” Sawinski on For Us Presents, The Firehouse of Punk Rock, and Weirdfest that really got me going in the Phoenix music scene as a promoter.

small leaks
Small Leaks Sink Ships

My passion for music journalism got started by working for the Mesa Community College school paper, The Mesa Legend. When I first started with them I was a sports writer and later Sports Editor. While working for them I realized I could use my newspaper credential to cover big concerts that I was interested in. So that March, I decided to cover the annual Flogging Molly show at Tempe Beach Park. I really enjoyed covering the concert, so much so that I decided to ask my editor-in-chief, Phoenix music photographer Ben Garcia, if he would move me to Features Editor in the fall semester so I could try out writing some news from a different perspective than sports. Later that summer, I went to the 10-year anniversary of Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and my fate was sealed. I knew from the first band I saw, Sleigh Bells, that I wanted to be involved in the music industry for the rest of my life.

As a “performance artist,” (and I use quotations because I feel a little silly calling myself that), I can thank the great Phoenix artists Joanna and Michael 23 and a large chunk of The Firehouse family for helping me gain the confidence to get on stage and get a little silly.

From all the different platforms for performance that were offered at The Firehouse, like Organic Poetry, Firestage, Comedy on Fire, First Friday Night Live and the rest of them, to the wildly encouraging atmosphere that that little orange spaceship bred, I feel confident in saying I would never have gotten on stage to perform if it hadn’t been for the best damn DIY production crew in the history of mankind, The Firehouse Crew.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t throw in shout outs to Jennifer Michalson, Ting Ting Phx, Aaron Johnson, The Hourglass Cats, Jack Mullins, Ben Leatherman, John Guzzon, and Matt Spastic. They are certainly not the only people who helped me along the way or even just to get started but without any one of them this whole thing could have easily been over before it began.

andy warpigs
Andy Warpigs
What inspires you?

My own musical network inspires me daily. Whether it’s my favorite band in the world, Small Leaks Sink Ships, signing to Lefse Records and touring nationally, or the homie Mega Ran playing bigger and better shows every time I see him in New York City, having the privilege of knowing and watching these fabulous artists get closer to fulfilling their true potential is awe-inspiring to me.

Groups that I wrote on back in Phoenix during their house show days like Injury Reserve and Spafford are now coming to New York City to play premier venues and it’s really one of the most life-affirming things that has ever happened to me. It speaks to me and inspires me to continue finding acts that I think are great and giving them all the exposure I possibly can in hope that one day I will get to sit back and say “I knew them when … ”

mega ran
Jeff with Mega Ran
What do you like about AZ?

I’ve always loved the way Arizona lets its artists experiment. Some of the weirdest music and art projects I have ever encountered in my life I found in Arizona. Whether it was Ryan Avery and Fathers Day, satanic pop band B4Skin, Ashley Naftule and his off the wall theater productions at Space 55, or First Friday Night Live at The Firehouse, Arizona always seemed very welcoming to good ideas even if they are being executed by complete amateurs.

One of the biggest and most fun projects I ever got to be a part of was Rocky Horror at The Firehouse. The reason it was so much fun was that a bunch of misfits and outcasts got together to sing karaoke onstage with DIY set pieces, costumes, and props, and we got to feel like the biggest thing going in the arts district for a week, popping up in the Arizona Republic, Phoenix New Times, right here at YabYum, and a handful of other blogs and publications. It was the kind of thing that could really only happen in Phoenix because anywhere else would have wanted more nuance, more theater, and more production value. But what Phoenix was able to see in that production that other cities might have overlooked was that production’s heart and soul and its true message: you don’t got to be classically trained or critically acclaimed to be a real artist.

wolvves
Wolvves
Where can we see you(r) work?

First and foremost you can see me at my best on Oct. 19, show-running at Yucca Tap Room for DJ Scapegoat and Mazel Toast Presents The Big Fant. We’ve got Scorpion Vs. Tarantula, Skull Drug, B4Skin, Black One, The Redemptions, Andy Warpigs, Shining Soul, and Scapegoat all under one roof starting at 6:00 PM.

My most up-to-date stories are available online at rBeatz.com and DyingScene.com, as well as in the hardcopy issues of Pages Per Content. My writing can also be found in the archives of the Phoenix New Times Music Section, ModernTimesMagazine.com, and Flowersinagun.com, as well as one byline in AZCentral which I am particularly proud of.

My photographs can be found in all of those publications as well as on my Facebook photo gallery Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography and my personal Instagram account @TnecksJeffMoses.

injury reserve
Injury Reserve
What would like to accomplish before you die?

Before I can check out for good, one of the things I would really like to accomplish is a byline or photo credit in Rolling Stone. I’d like to book the so-far-elusive-to-me Playboy Manbaby for a concert, I’d like to write a memoir of my life and career in the music industry, and of course to see Small Leaks Sink Ships headline every major festival in the country.

What is your mantra?

“Just because you are one man and they are many doesn’t mean they are right.” -Jeff Schaer-Moses

~

KONGOS
KONGOS
decker
decker.
Noelle Scaggs
Noelle Scaggs
Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels
Hotrock SupaJoint
Hotrock SupaJoint
jeff schaer-moses 02
Mazel Toast

YabYum Seven: Heather Freitas

heather freitas 01
All photos courtesy of Heather Freitas
Who are you and what do you do?

Heather Freitas: I am an eco arts artist who’s main goal is to impact people around the world with my artwork and in doing so educating them about the current environmental issues we face today!

How did you get your start?

I have been painting since I was a child and even went to college for art. It was not until two years after graduating that I finally found my signature style and voice. I landed my first real gallery show within 3 months and the ball has continued to roll ever since, but not without very hard work!

Desert Pupfish
What inspires you?

The natural world. Creating something beautiful out of something that was once toxic and impacting people enough to maybe even just stop using plastic bags for the first step! The impact that artwork can have on people is far greater then a speech or article. It speaks every language and is something that each person can identify with. That is powerful and a large part of my inspiration.

What do you like about AZ?

I love the weather here and the location is perfect to me. In the Valley we are driving distance from forests, ocean, and snow! You get the best of all worlds here!

heather freitas 03
Fur
Where can we see you(r) work?

Currently right now I have artwork on display at the Tempe Public Library until December. October I will have a lot of work up at First Studio in Phoenix and November I will have some work at Public Imagery!

I have started a GoFundMe for my Mobil gallery and you can visit my website as well.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

My sole mission in life is impacting people through my work. My long term goal is to be able to travel the world with my artwork and help educate areas where waste is a large problem. I would love to create an organization that helps clean up our oceans and forests as well! There is nothing for us if we do not save our planet!

What is your mantra?

It is said that one person cannot change the world but it is with my deepest hopes that my artwork can!

~

heather freitas 04
Bleach
heather freitas 05
I’ll Have Another
heather freitas 06
Ivory
heather freitas 07
Spotlight
heather freitas 08
Welcome To America

~

For more on Heather Freitas, visit her website and GoFundMe.

YabYum Seven: Holly Anderson

holly anderson 01
Photo by Angela Adams. Images below courtesy of Holly Anderson.
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Holly Anderson. I have been creating my entire life but it wasn’t until seven years ago that I became a full time, world-collected artist creating large scale, heavily textured mixed media paintings. Painting with acrylics, watercolor, ink, and prefering to use nontraditional tools, I have been fortunate to work with architects, designers, hotels and resorts on large projects as well as creating art for movie sets via Paramount Pictures.

I run my business Anderson Modern online and through my studio in downtown Phoenix. I am a collaborator and have a few side projects, one being Halcyon Fine Art which involves spirit, science & energy. All of the art revolves around water, the universe, and electro-magnetic media with co-creator Jessica Speer.

I also have a side project called Green Girls Life which is a line of eco-art created with all recycled materials or items that would have ended up in a landfill. Each eco piece carries an important message and is my way of educating others through art how to better take care of our environment and how our waste affects domestic and marine life.

When I am not creating art I focus on eco-activism, animal rescue and volunteer with multiple organizations that work with the homeless. You can find me in the most random places picking up trash, beautifying neighborhoods, distributing water and goods to those who live on the streets or bottle feeding kittens in the ICU at the Arizona Humane Society.

I also enjoy playing hand drums, the ukulele, didgeridoo and singing. I love the outdoors, traveling, and archery.

holly anderson 06
Autumn Sky
How did you get your start?

I could not work because I was on narcotics and I kept making too many mistakes. For the last 17 years I’ve battled a very debilitating muscular skeletal disease and just had back to back surgeries including a spinal fusion. I did not know what to do, I’d always had a desk job and I could no longer sit at a desk anymore.

Everyone told me I would have to be on narcotics the rest of my life but one day I decided to stop taking them because they don’t fix anything, they changed my personality so much I didn’t even know who I was anymore so I quit cold turkey and wasn’t sure how to deal with the pain.

I had inherited a bunch of art supplies from my grandmother who was a professional artist and art teacher. Plus, I didn’t have any capital to start a business and wasn’t reliable or stable enough to get a “real job” so I started experimenting with paint. Painting helped me get through the pain and was a great distraction. I had no idea what art rules were, what I was doing, what complimentary colors were but I painted and I loved what I had created.

holly anderson 04
Eon
What inspires you?

Water, nature & the opportunity to educate others about environmental issues through my art.

What do you like about AZ?

I moved to Arizona from Portland, Oregon hoping for a better life with more mobility and less humidity and I love waking up to a beautiful blue sky and seeing the tops of palm trees. I’ve really enjoy all the places I’ve hiked, I never imagined Arizona could be so beautiful.

holly anderson 02Where can we see you(r) work?

By appointment at my studio, 701 N 15th Ave in downtown Phoenix or my work can be seen at the Vali Homes in Central Phoenix which is a modern eco villa. It is one of the most sustainable homes in North America.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

Oh gosh, there are so many things I would like to do. I honestly don’t have an answer as each day I focus on the present, the right here, right now. I strive to be the best human I can be every day and no matter what, always practice compassion.

What is your mantra?

I have two: JUST BE and PUSH THROUGH

~

holly anderson 03
Tidewater Glaciers
holly anderson 05
Tango
holly anderson 07
Water and Light

YabYum Seven: Kris Kollasch

kris kollasch 01
All photos courtesy of Kris Kollasch
Who are you and what do you do?

I am Kristine Kollasch, a full time artist making a living creating for over 20 years. I have a business, Fine Art & Creative Environments, LLC established in 1997 after leaving an 11 year career at Habitat, Inc., a Tempe based design firm. There I built architectural and topographical scale models, and managed a department creating all things 3D, primarily for marketing centers for new housing developments. Since then, my business has focused on fine art, murals & themed environments, as well as public art.

My fine art ranges from playful and whimsical to highly finessed abstracts. I work in acrylics, mixed media, ceramic and steel. I don’t like to limit my possibilities. Not only am I a full time artist, but I am also involved in the Phoenix community through Valley Leadership and other non profits I believe in.

I also actively participate in the art scene through curating First Studio’s Gallery in the historic first TV Studio in Phoenix. I work directly with youth through Free Arts of Arizona, helping kids in shelters and group homes heal through artistic expression. I also support GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network on a variety of levels.

A long time Phoenix resident, I was born in Gary, Indiana and raised in Colorado, settling in the Valley of the Sun over 30 years ago. I live with my life partner and quite a menagerie of critters in our home in Central Phoenix where my art studio also exists. In my spare time…hmmm, what’s that? I do like to hang out with friends, enjoy live music, sing & dance and play when ever possible.

kris kollasch 02
“From the Fire Grows”, 48″ x 36″
How did you get your start?

I got my start through my 11 years working at Habitat, Inc. I have a degree in Art Education, but got involved in a very creative design firm fresh out of college. There I was given the experience and guidance to learn the skills needed to start my own business. But before that I had parents who believed in me and my art, and teachers who did too…and the talents I have from somewhere deeper than my own doing. That’s really where I got my start.

What inspires you?

What inspires me? Everything! Nature, love, war, color, the sky, the wind, the rain and sun.

What do you like about AZ?

I do love Arizona! I love the potential it holds and what it has given me and I think there is a lot of opportunity in this state that is constantly growing. Politically AZ’s always (since I’ve been here) been a bit crazy, which stirs opposition and expression. It’s still the wild west, where a person can carry a gun and once you’re out of the city, heck even sometimes in the city, horses are a common creature. I like the diversity of climates within the state. And I like the heat. Paint dries real fast most of the time, and I like that.

kris kollasch 03
“Love and Other Things”, 24″ x 24″
Where can we see you(r) work?

You can see my public art all around town with projects in Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria. Much of my public work is ceramic/ tile based, often with accents of steel. You will also find my work in any Adelante Healthcare, from pediatric interactive works to fine art throughout the lobby spaces.

The majority of my fine art you will find at First Studio in Central Phoenix on 631 N 1st Ave. Usually my work fills the upper gallery space, with other shows rotating through the first level space. You can also see current work on my business FB page or my website.

What would like to accomplish before you die?

Before I die…that’s a tough one. Not planning on it any time soon. I like to make the most of every opportunity, so it’s hard to tell what that might be in this lifetime.

“Wilderness”, 16″ x 16″
What is your mantra?

I have a couple mantra’s… “if it’s not moving, I can paint it”… “there’s not too much we can’t fix”… and “until further notice, celebrate everything!”

~

kris kollasch 05
“Complicated Conversations”, 37″ x 24″
kris kollasch 07
“Love Grows 2″, 24″ x 24”
kris kollasch 06
“From the Fire Grows 2″, 30″ x 30”
kris kollasch 08
Pinkspiration process
kris kollasch 09
“Wild” (detail)

YabYum Seven: Dino Paul

Dino Paul 01
All photos courtesy of Dino Paul
Who are you and what do you do?

Dino Paul. I split time between Creative Direction/Design and my Fine Art. I work in a variety of mediums and love to explore. My signature work and what I do most often is mixed media. I combine litho print techniques with chemical solvent washes, literally melting ink into paper from tight refined drawings. I then merge these multiple layers digitally into refined prints. Each piece is then embellished with pastels, acrylics and other mediums depending on the look I am trying to achieve.

How did you get your start?

As long as I can remember I have drawn, painted and been exposed to a variety of art disciplines. After spending years refining my melting ink technique I started showing my work to friends family and other artists I know. I got a lot of great feedback so I started sharing my work with the world.

Dino Paul 02
“We Are All Just People”
What inspires you?

People and Hats. My appreciation for the human spirit has become a focal point of my work for the last few years. Who we are, what we do, our beliefs, interests and the diverse paths of life we take are all embodied in my work. The idea of straddling the line between individuality and conformity always crosses my mind. All types of other artists, photographers and writers also inspire me.

What do you like about AZ?

Fall, Winter, Spring. I like the uniqueness of the landscape. And food, great restaurants.

Where can we see you(r) work?

I don’t have any shows currently so Facebook, Instagram and my website.

Dino Paul 03
“Master Hatters Meet”
What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I don’t think much about future accomplishments of even death. I have had a great opportunity to see so much, meet some amazing people and accomplish more than I was expected to. Of course we would all like a little more icing.

What is your mantra?

To be different, you must strive to be what no one else but you can be.

~

Dino Paul 04
“Lilly”
Dino Paul 05
“Pink Chapeau”
Dino Paul 06
“Head in The Clouds”
Dino Paul 07
“Fruits of Our Labors”

YabYum Seven: Swapna Das

swapna das 01
All photos courtesy of Swapna Das
Who are you and what do you do?

I am Swapna Das, a visual artist living in Phoenix, Arizona for the past six years. I was born and raised in New Delhi, India.

How did you get your start?

Ever since my childhood, the innate creativity came naturally to me and I have always had an ever-growing desire to explore my talent. My high school art teacher encouraged me to study Art and earn a Bachelors in Fine Art (BFA) degree. I realized that art is not merely about the tools used in its making, but also a medium of expression. Doing my MFA from Arizona State University also fostered my passion and opened me up to the infinite number of creative minds and possible artistic avenues.

swapna das 09What inspires you?

My work reflects the values of Indian narrative art and has always been a mirror image of my internal and external environment. I get inspired by the current social and political environment and how it affects my personal life. I derive my inspiration from the works of Julie Heffernan, William Kantridge, Aneesh Kapoor and Indian contemporary artists like Jamini Roy, Jogen Chowdhury, Vivan Sundaram and many more.

What do you like about AZ?

Arizona has been my home for the last six years. I like the warm and sunny weather which reminds me of my birth place and at the same time I love the winters in Arizona as I have never been a fan of bulky winter coats. I love the dramatic beautiful silhouette in the sky during sunrise and sunset and the desert landscape of pastel colors. Phoenix has transformed into an art hub of various opportunities for upcoming artists, art communities, culture and creative practice. I see the city has great potential for the future art world.

swapna das 02
“Ordeal” | charcoal on paper | 30″ x 22″ | 2015
Where can we see you(r) work?

swapnadas-art.com

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

My goal is to showcase a unique blend of eastern and western culture through my artwork based on my personal and professional experience in life. I learnt that art is not merely for artist and art appreciators but can also play a role in creating harmony and peace in society. Before I die, my dream is to open an Art school for under privileged kids because my mission as an artist is to grow beyond my niche and establish my identity; and touch human lives.

swapna das 1What is your mantra?

My spiritual practice of Buddhism is my mantra which helps me to experience the deeper understanding about my work. The spiritual practice has made me believe in my life’s greater purpose and to pursue a path which can bring happiness into lives of every human being who becomes a part of it, directly or indirectly.

~

swapna das 03
“Instinct” | charcoal on paper | 22″ x 30″ | 2015

swapna das 13