This week we had the incredible pleasure of getting to know more about local Artist Esther and here’s what she had to say.
How would you explain your artistic vision to someone you just met?
Bright colours on a paint brush brings me as much joy as what colourful candy brought me as a child. For me, colour carries so much meaning and emotion, and that by using different shades and hues, one can convey so much. The use of colour, different textures and experimentation are the only constants in my art works. I don’t have one specific signature style as I love to play around.
What inspires me as an artist is the process of creating which feels like a game, a form of therapy, relaxation and escape – all thrown altogether. If I think about it, it is probably mostly fuelled by my excitement about what will happen if I simply trust and allow the creative process to take its course. Painting a canvas in my little studio is where I find myself in my happy place – it is, after all, the one place where no rules apply.
What process do you go through before starting a new project?
I seem to apply two different processes. On the one hand, I will have a definite theme in mind – something that I want to depict that has either inspired me, like the beauty of Johannesburg, with scenes that touch my heart, or that took my breath away, or even an emotion or a theme that I want to express. In these instances I will do research and gather items or photos to use as inspiration, which I then combine with a free-styled background. On the other hand, I often follow a more intuitive process – where I start a project without any end product in mind. Then it is about the process, the journey, so to speak. In fact, I am often surprised myself to see what the completed work looks like, as I have let the process guide the outcome. Some of the most amazing effects or results are sometimes those achieved through mistakes or interesting things that happen during the process.
When I now look back at the variety of paintings I have done throughout the different phases of my life, I am often astounded by how they reflect the experiences, places and people that formed part of in my life at that time. That is what excites me most about art – the way in which the creative process can regulate the brain.
What other local artists would you love to collaborate with?
I find so much inspiration from many artists, especially South African artists. I am grateful for platforms such as Instagram where I can spend time looking at all the beautiful works shared by the many amazing South African artists – and others. It is the originality of how each artist portrays art that excites me. My absolute art ‘hero’ who really inspires me is Munro (www.munromunromunro.com), who’s paintings, just exudes so much energy, joy, vibrancy and narratives behind them. Other people like Sheila Jarzin [Levinson] and Bernard Levinson also inspire me greatly through their painting and beautiful sculpting works of art.
How has Jozi influenced your perspective as an artist?
Jozi is my hometown and my heart’s place, I have lived in other places, yet, for me Joburg remains the best and the one I would chose over any place in the world. Its diversity, hardship, joys, multi-cultures, smells, sounds, sights, views, thunderstorms, quirkiness and friendliness makes it an artist’s paradise. Jozi is an open and inviting city and if you respect it and pay attention – you will become mesmerised by its people and its beauty.
What words of advice do you have for young artists looking to sell their work?
My advice is to create and keep creating fearlessly and follow what brings you joy. Ultimately, I believe that fortune favours the brave. Take the risk to invite people to see and share in your work, in any way or form fitting to what feels right for you. Bernard Levinson said, and I agree with him: “people are craving the things that engage their senses and feed their souls, and it is the job of artists to help with this process”.