|"Prelude To A Monster" 2011|
David Camisa, an artist from Vancouver, British Columbia, creates fantastic, surreal paintings that explore mythology, nature, feminine beauty and more. Camisa spoke with ArtSeen about his artwork and his artistic inspirations.
Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic process, and what types of artistic materials you use?
My work has changed a lot over the years but I'd say I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. I grew up obsessed with comic books and, as a result, spent a great deal of my time emulating my favorite artists. It wasn't until I left high school that I began exploring with other mediums and fell in love with painting. After trying my hand at a number of techniques I began exploring with oil paint and wood and finally found the perfect fit for the type of work I wanted to create. Now most of my pieces generally go through the same transformation process: sketch, to full scale illustration, to completed painting.
What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?
As generic as it may sound I draw a bit of inspiration from everywhere. Whether it's our relationships with one another, the world of nature around us, or even the lyrics in a song - the catalyst for that next idea could be anything. For me, the challenge is to take something we can all relate to, something familiar, and twist it slightly; creating a surreal image unlike something you're likely to see in real life. I can't say exactly what it is that drives me to create art, it's simply something that has always felt so natural to me and I don't think I'd feel whole without it.
What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?
I think a great piece of art is like a great story; it pulls you in and begs you to know more about its characters and surroundings. My aim for each piece is to convey emotion in such a way that people feel that connection and become compelled to delve deeper into what that piece means to them. There's no right or wrong way to interpret my work, simply discovering what story it unfolds for you.
Who are some artists that you admire, and why?
There are a number of artists whose work I love but I would have to say two artists I really admire would be Alphonse Mucha and Audrey Kawasaki. Both of their works are so unique but they share a crisp, clean style and feature captivating characters whose emotional state always packs a punch. Mr. Mucha is obviously no longer with us but I'm always awaiting new work from Audrey Kawasaki and she consistently blows me away every time.
What’s the best and worst thing about being an artist?
The best thing about being an artist is getting to do what I'm so passionate about while getting to share it with others. It's wonderful to create art and be given the time to produce work I'm interested in making and it's equally as rewarding to share that work with an audience and have them respond to it.
The worst thing would have to be that it can sometimes be an awful lot of work with little to no payoff; shows can fall through, submissions can be rejected and, all in all, a fairly uncertain road can lie ahead. That's why it's always important to be up for an adventure and continue to create work that means something to you because that's the one thing you can be in control of.
Can you talk about any current or future projects you are working on?
I certainly can! I've spent the last few months preparing for an exhibit featuring my work at Tasty Gallery (www.shoptastyart.com) in Seattle. Opening on November 9, "Triumphs & Tragedies" is a collection of work all inspired by Greek mythology. I've always been drawn to dramatic stories and myths and it's been so much fun to put my own spin on such classic tales.
And finally, what advice would you give to other artists?
Just keep creating. If you're pursuing a career as an artist then keep practicing, persevere, and never give up. You're bound to hear a few "no's" along the way (and if you don't, I'd love your secret as I certainly have!) but stay true to yourself and keep honing those skills. It will pay off in the long run.
For more information about artist David Camisa, you can visit his website, blog, Facebook page, Myspace Page, Deviant Art page, Artslant profile and follow him on Twitter for more details.
All images courtesy of David Camisa.