This past week the Jozi-Deep team had the privilege of interviewing and introducing yet another amazing artist from our incredible city: Lisa Nightshade as she’s known among the art community is a triple threat as she is a performance, visual and graphic artist whose won a selection of awards:
Best Actress in One Act Play Festival (2012)
Display Certificate (2001)
Walter Battis Visual Arts Trophy (2000)
Masazane Presige Award (1999)
Springs Musical Festival Award (1999)
Carpe Diem Arts Festival Award (1999)
Beyond all these awards Lisa still remains very humble and eager to go further and create more, we sourced a few quotes from Lisa’s social media pages before the interview and found a few inspirational ones we thought you’d enjoy:
I don’t force one interpretation onto an audience: I execute my idea with purpose in mind and explain it from my point of view, but I always leave a little gap for their thoughts to climb through and let their ideas shape what the artwork means to them personally.”
“Art is everything; it cannot be put in a one-size-fits-all package. It is a thought, dream, an idea, an unquenched need to create.”
Where did I get started as an artist?
I was fortunate enough to attend a high school with an excellent art department, where I honed my skills in realism. After I matriculated, I went to a graphic design college, but still kept drawing and painting. After years of corporate jobs I struggled to find my niche as an artist and eventually put away the paintbrushes for a short-lived career in acting. I kept searching for the elusive happiness by trying out many different jobs. My world became a grey mess in desperate need of paint. I missed drawing and painting so much that I finally mustered up the courage to pursue art as a career. Everything simply fell into place and I finally locked down my style: Surrealism (with a whimsical twist). I’ve been creating and daydreaming ever since.
How long have I been Illustrating?
Since I can remember. But professionally, I’ve been actively busy for 3 years.
How do I describe my style?
Surrealism is at the core of my creations. Sometimes the subject matter leans more towards Dark Surrealism, and other times more towards Low-Brow. I always include some form of realism in my execution, but I keep it light and airy. When I paint, I tend to let the canvas texture come through (thin layers of paint) and I’m not that strict on smooth blending. The colors I use are very desaturated and rarely vivid. When I draw, however, I opt for smooth blending and dark contrasts.
How do I get started / interested in what I do:
I daydream all the time and that is where most of my ideas come from. It can be triggered by a memory, a passage in a book, or a song. Once a specific idea latches on, it will plague me until I draw it out mentally (or sometimes physically in the air around me). I’ll do research on the subject to make sure that I’m not copying another artist, and to fully understand how to get from ‘idea to canvas.’ From there I either sketch it out or make a composition in Photoshop. Then, I start creating.
My work is mostly organic and inspired by nature. I also have a deep-seated fascination with death and decomposition. I’m heavily inspired by progressive metal and dark classical music. Sometimes the simplest things will inspire me: the sun casting a reflection on the floor, my little cat, books, and even food.
My advice for struggling / starting artists:
Learn as much as you can, draw / paint / sculpt /design as much as you possibly can. Try different styles and see which ones tend to repeat in your artwork. Don’t pressure yourself too much when you’re still figuring things out: there is time, just relax into it. Keep a journal and jot down all your ideas, even if they seem trivial. Make allies in the industry: go to exhibitions, talk to creative people and use your social media skills for getting your art out there. Even when the going gets tough, don’t ever give up on your dream, fight for it.
To find more of her work or if you’re interested in contacting Lisa you find her on her social media pages links below:
Manus Autem; Oil paint on canvas board