Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Conversation With Christina Lank

"Equilibrium" 40 x 100 cm acrylic on masonite board

Christina Lank, a self taught artist originally from Maryland and currently living in Sweden, creates beautiful, striking imagery that explores human emotions, nature, dark vs. light and the female form. What I love the most about Lank's artwork is the emotional weight each artistic piece has. Lank spoke with ArtSeen about her artwork and her creative process.

Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic process, and what types of artistic materials you use?

My artwork is mainly acrylic on Masonite board – depicting women in settings which I find to be symbolic to emotions and situations people go through in life. I use Golden Open Acrylics, which are my absolute favorite! Ever since I switched from standard paints to the Open range I could see the immediate difference in my artwork. I like to paint on Masonite as it’s nice and smooth, letting me get lots of little details in there. My process is pretty simple at this point – I get an image in my head and I find a model (sometimes the two are intertwined! You’d be amazed how my models can inspire me!), I make a sketch, put it on the gessoed Masonite, and have at it!

Creating my art this way allows me to make express changes along the way. Often the image I think of and the final product are vastly different – but I really do enjoy learning throughout the process!

"Rebirth" - acrylic on masonite board 43.5 x 60.5 cm

What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?

I am like many other artists; I have just always created art. When I was a child I would make entire journals full of stories using only pictures, and got into endless trouble for doodling on everything I owned. I think we all have our way of expressing ourselves, and for me it’s through my paintings.

Things that inspire me are stories I hear from others; basic truths that come out of their words. The journeys people have to go through in life are quite amazing but their emotions are something we all can relate to. I like to take those thoughts and turn them into images I love: forests, birds, animals, and beauty. I know the meaning behind each painting but I like others to look at them and find their own as well.

"Torn" acrylic on masonite 40 x 80 cm

What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?

I think one theme that has come up as of late is the dark and light in people. It can be seen clearly in my paintings “Torn” and “Equilibrium”, but also in many others in more subtle ways. We get beaten down by others, or we beat ourselves down. What’s worse is we tend to think everyone else is somehow perfect, and we are isolated in our own bad traits.

But the more people open up to you, no matter how perfect on the outside they may seem, they are all struggling with something. It’s this cohesive battle we all fight that I like to paint at the moment.

Are there any artists that inspire you? If so, who would they be and why?

Oh, there are so many! The amount of talent in this world is incredible. However, people who inspire me most are actually those I know. All the artists in Red Siren Art collective are daily inspirations to me! For example, every morning I wake up and have a breakfast chat with Laurie McClave and my fiancĂ©. We gabber a lot on our forums, complain, cheer others on, and collaborate. 
My fiancĂ© is my greatest support. He is incredibly honest, understanding, and has a wonderful creative mind. If I didn’t have him to help me see things from another perspective and push me to greater heights I could never be where I am today!

"Omen" 40 x 60 cm acrylic on masonite

What do you think the role of the artist is?

As it is for anyone in the creative field, I think it is to communicate with the viewer. Even just painting beauty can communicate with a person. We are all visual creatures and I think an artist brings into the world the visions inside our heads not everyone is able to capture or bring to light. It makes us think without words, and share pieces of souls within moments.

What do you want viewers to walk away with when they view your artwork?

Probably understanding, even if it’s just within themselves. I like to make art that transports the person into the image they’re seeing so that they can find their own meaning and feel at peace that someone else understands maybe just a bit of them. 

"The Messenger" acrylic on masonite board

And finally, what advice would you give to other artists?

There’s no simple road to making art. It can be a long isolated path without a map so try not to stay stagnant. Be honest with yourself each step of the way and find good friends around you who will do the same. If you listen and don’t stop pushing yourself out of your comfort zone you’ll find you’re capable of more things than you give yourself credit for.

For more information about Lank and her artwork, you can visit her blog, Facebook page and Etsy shop for more details. 

All artwork provided by Christina Lank.


MoonSpiral said...

Great interview Christina. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts, lots of things about your art I have never heard you put into words before!

Unknown said...

Thank you tammy dearest!! haha yes i suppose so, but i guess thats why interviews like this take place afterall huh ^^ <3

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