|"Wind-up bird" 2012|
Jaclyn Alderete, an artist from California, weaves together powerful imagery, potent emotions and beautiful, dreamlike female figures. Alderete spoke with ArtSeen about her artwork and artistic practices.
Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic background, and artistic processes?
Since I was a child I have been interested in art and have rarely been without a pencil or art tool in my hand. I pursued that desire and graduated with an art degree in 2009. I primarily paint figures using oil and acrylic paint, but also enjoy working with ink and watercolor. Each piece begins with a concept and a sketch. Once the idea has solidified, I then photograph a model. I rely both on my photo references and my imagination to complete the composition. I have learned to be flexible with the outcome as each painting seems to evolve on its own and often looks quite different from the original idea. For me, it’s important to allow myself to make changes, play with new ideas, and revamp as I’m working.
What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?
I believe most artists find inspiration in anything and everything around them. I am inspired by the human condition, social and environmental concerns, the birds and animals I’ve helped rescue, memories, and our connection to other living things around us. Having grown up in New Mexico, I was greatly influenced by the desert landscape and rich culture. I am also especially inspired by other artists I meet and whose work I follow. Seeing others create is a huge motivation for me. In addition to having diverse sources of inspiration, I simply can’t stop creating. When I’m not making stuff I feel anxious and bored. I am happiest when I can create.
What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?
My concepts vary, but there is always an underlying concern with social issues, often dealing with gender or class. I am also very interested in our relationship and response to other living things, as well as a lack of awareness about our effect on our environment in general.
Are there any artists that inspire you? If so, who would they be and why?
So many! I am especially inspired by artists whose work reaches beyond aesthetics. Artists like Jenny Saville and Marlene Dumas who touch on issues of body image and sexuality are inspirations to me.
|"Flying Blind" 2012|
What do you think the role of the artist is?
I suppose it is different for each artist, but I believe the overwhelming desire to communicate with, and find a connection to, the world around us plays a major role in each artist’s work. I really believe content is just as important as technique and aesthetics, if not more so, which is used to further illustrate your ideas. I think artists of all types shape creative thinking in general and can be a catalyst for new ways of approaching challenges or problems.
What do you want viewers to walk away with when they view your artwork?
I try to employ symbolism that is open to interpretation. If a work is too personal I feel it doesn’t deserve an audience, so I try to leave some things open-ended. Oftentimes people find certain meanings in things I didn’t anticipate because of their own personal experiences. Other times people are spot-on and describe my intended message better than I could. I always hope I have been successful in conveying an idea or message, or even just imparting a feeling that my audience can relate to or are at least left thinking about.
|"La Misma Sangre"|
And finally, what advice would you give to other artists?
There are so many things I still have to learn myself. The most obvious, and I believe most crucial, thing is to simply keep making stuff. Spend as much time as you can creating and use every resource at your disposal, and look at lots and lots of art. Be informed about what other art is out there, and what came before you, and it will help you identify your place in the art world.
For more information about Jaclyn Alderete and her artwork, you can visit her website for more details.
All images provided by Jaclyn Alderete.