1. Who is your favourite artist?
It's hard to choose a favorite artist. Art to me is like music and is influenced and can influence your moods on any given day. I had to REALLY think about this question for a while and I think I would have to go with Jim Henson. This may seem like a strange choice considering how many fantastic artists there are in the world, but Jim Henson came into my life when I was very young and showed me a completely new realm of possibilities. He not only created art, but gave his art unique worlds, stories, and personalities.
I would be remiss not to mention David Irvine of the Gnarled Branch as well. His Re-Directed paintings inspired me to get off my butt and go create something. His friendship and support has got me where I am today and I'm very lucky to count him as not only an inspiration, but a friend.
2. What were you like as a child?
I had tonnes of energy, loved to run. I loved taking chances and going on adventures, either real or in my head (which is where I spent most of my time). If there was nobody around to play baseball, I found a way to play a whole game by myself on the front sidewalk. At the same time I always felt like I was different. Whenever I tried to share my ideas, I would get teased for being weird. I cared more about games and stories than my appearance, which lead to even more teasing. The friends I did have were the ones who could follow along and contribute to the thoughts screaming through my brain. I was friends with everyone, but my closest friends were the weird kids...like me.
3. What inspires you the most?
Experimenting. Trying to do come up with things that I've never seen before. There are many amazing artists out there with all the talent in the world, but (and don't kill me for this) there's only so many paintings of flowers I can look at before I need something new. Something that makes me say 'Oh, what is THIS!'. I joke that I work in theoreticals. I have no idea if what I'm doing will even work by the time it's done. There are no blueprints, no pre-sketching. This allows me to keep thinking the whole time I'm working, and also allows me to make changes on the fly. Often times my final product looks nothing like what I originally set out to do.
And Music. I can't create unless there is music on. Anything but Country and R&B/Pop. Those make me want to mutate myself instead of my art.
4. Do you have any rituals for creating your art?
I just dive right in. My brain goes into cruise control and I go to town. If I feel like I'm forcing it I will make myself stop, but other then that...no, not really.
5. What impact do you hope your art has on others?
I want people to not take everything at face value. I look at the world and see not only what is, but what could be, and what was. It's like I can't register something until I know why it exists and what it's purpose is. I want people to think more about the beauty in everything around them, not just walk around with blinders on. Find the image in the stain on the wall, think about the person in line in front of you...who they are, where they came from. I want people to smile more.
6. Do you think you are ever misunderstood as an artist?
When I first started making my mutations I was terrified what people were going to think. I was afraid my kids friends were going to go home to their parents and I was going to receive nasty phone calls. I'm so relieved when people tell me they get it. I'm always pleasantly surprised when someone I'm sure will hate my work, smiles and tells me they enjoyed it. There are of course those who roll their eyes and make a hasty retreat before I can talk to them...but I get it. I think my neurosis of being misunderstood as a child adds to my anxiety every time I'm at a show or market...but I think those who take the time to talk to me walk away with a better understanding. So I think yes and no, I am and I'm not misunderstood...if that makes sense.
7. Where do your ideas come from?
I'm not really sure. I often drift off into La-La land and when I come back I have an idea of something new. Most ideas never see the light of day...but the good ones I try to bring to life. Little things trigger my imagination. Often times I'm lose track in the middle of a conversation because something the other person has said has sent me off track....which I always feel bad about because it's super rude, but I can't help it. lol. With my mutations, it's something about the piece itself that starts it for me. An Akward stance, an odd expression or simply the need to turn something so sickeningly sweet into something dark and twisted.
Selina Jane Eckersall is a content marketing strategist, freelance writer and entrepreneur living and working in Burlington ON. Selina is the Executive Director of No Vacancy.