Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will some day become a reality.
3 essential questions
BY MAGAZINE ART EDITOR AJA BLANC
Aja Blanc Tell me about your creative process – how do you show up as an artist?
Hollie Chastain Sometimes I will have a composition in mind and go scavenging for exactly what I feel is right for that particular piece. Only about 10% of the time will the end result portray the initial idea exactly but if something has been hanging around in my mind for a long time, never changing, then I stick with it.
The very greatest things – great thoughts, discoveries, inventions – have usually been nurtured in hardship, often pondered over in sorrow, and at length established with difficulty.
The composition and subject for some of my pieces were imagined months before I stumbled across the perfect scrap of paper that it required. But most of the time I start with one really great sheet of paper or board and start building up, pulling shapes and ideas and characters from the different scribbles and splotches and colors I find.
Some of my favorite pieces have started from nothing but a coffee-stained book cover and an amazing scrap of blue from a geography book that accidentally overlapped in a great way at the bottom of a crate.
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.
Aja Much of your work uses collage, creating dreamlike and surreal images – what is it about the collage process that speaks to you?
Hollie One of the reasons I’m so drawn to collage is the initial freedom to move things around and change things completely. To be able to add and take away elements as often as I want up until the point where I’m ready to commit to an idea and start to glue and secure everything in place.
Another great part of collage for me is the older materials I use. I feel like I’m going into a piece with so much character in my materials before I’ve even started.
Dreams are necessary to life.
Aja What is one challenge you have had to overcome in your creative process?
Hollie I tend to work best when I can focus long enough to enter into a zone without distraction. I can pick and move things around for up to an hour before I feel I’m really ready to get any significant amount of work done that I’m happy with.
With kids and pets and everyday life this is really hard to do sometimes so I have to jump on every opportunity I can get to achieve a day with the music on and my head down in the studio.
This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.
Hollie Chastain is a collage artist living in Chattanooga, TN. She says of her work, “On the best days I’m found up to my elbows in steamer trunks piled with scraps of crumbling paper, dusty, tattered books stacked to the ceiling. I bring it all back here and give it a second life.”
To view more of Hollie’s work, visit her online portfolio and shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/drkennedyjones.
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Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.