We were overwhelmed by the talent that flooded our inbox during our Issue 19 Call for ART.
Contributors from all over shared intimate details about their process–the inspiration that drives their concepts, the secret motivators that keep them working. We couldn’t keep all of it to ourselves, so we’re sharing it with you!
Read ahead to meet 10 inspiring Texas artists that we love. Follow their pages to get updates on their work (and maybe take home an original piece yourself!)
Cassandra Clark is a Chicago-born and Austin and Miami-based visual artist who specializes a multitude of mediums. Her recent work is inspired by the fragility and beauty of nature.
“I create because I see. I play with possibility so that inspiration thrives for all, even in trying times. I’m most inspired when I can create, connect, and inspire others through the arts. Rarely do I plan a composition in advance nor search for intrinsic inspiration, as I’m so much more inspired by the process of play, capturing the times, and channeling my creativity through spontaneous creation and storytelling.
I went on a scuba diving trip to Bonaire and fell in love with the sea creatures and underwater beauty, but was confronted with the coral bleaching, plastic in the water, and fragility of the oceanic ecosystem. So after the trip I created an extensive underwater creature series across multiple mediums to drive environmental awareness, and donate 10% of all my oceanic-themed proceeds to the Ocean CleanUp project. After watching a gorgeous sunset while in quarantine lockdown, I obsessed over making tranquil landscapes to give people a moment of zen and escapism and amidst the chaos that has been COVID times.”
Mason Bradley, aka MAEVOLUTION, is a self-taught aspiring print artist born and raised in Austin. His style is minimal, as he blends colors, patterns and Japanese imagery to create poster-like digital illustrations.
“My inspirations center around neo-traditional tattoo styles and Japanese style kanji and references, blending the two art styles into something new. All of my work is done digitally on iPad, though I have transferred my style to paint and canvas from time to time.
I have been developing my style of art for a while, defined by: a minimalism aesthetic and using bold lines to capture my reference while still keeping its important features. I also play with positive & negative space to use my line work over patterns, giving it a “tie-dye” effect. Most of my pieces center around a model or human figure, with Japanese imagery or lettering, and a basic, bright color palette.
I design pieces with people or things that feel the way I am feeling or the way I want to feel. If I am feeling down, I will design either a print involving deeply colored clouds or a model that is crying; on the other hand I could create a print that shows power and invokes confidence, with brighter colors showing a warrior or royalty. Both ways of creating allow me to release a negative feeling or replace it with a positive one. Anyway that I’m feeling, I know that I can design something great out of it.”
Former ART contributor and Issue 13 cover designer Jeanette Nevarez captures the beauty of the human form through intimate photographs.
“The people I photograph inspire me. I like the challenges of creating a great portrait or a great image. Every set of images requires different things. It is never the same.
Life feels dull if I am not creating, so I have to keep on doing it. I recently started doing morning pages; a writing process where you dump everything on your mind on paper and fill three pages. It helps get any blockages out of the way and helps get yourself out of your own way.”
Mixed media and acrylic artist Alyssa Young was always inspired to create something new and unique.
“Something that inspires me to create are bright colors. A majority of the work I create has a bold aspect that stands out and gives the work a “pop.” Capturing images and drawing varying parts of it into one piece of art gives me that excitement and motivation to start creating.
To stay motivated, breaks are important if it’s a larger piece. Also snacks! Snacks are very important to keep me energized and keep me in a flow state. Reminding myself that what I am looking at isn’t the finished product is important, as most artists and teachers say you have to get through the “ugly” phase before you reach your vision. Finally, popping on some Megan Thee Stallion keeps me moving and grooving when the background noise of Netflix isn’t cutting it.”
Litigator Gregory Miraglia, aka Miltiades, pursues painting and practices law at his dream job in Austin, TX.
“My work is large and abstract, using layered geometric structures to explore the human form, scientific concepts, and ancient languages (i.e. Sumerian). With respect to current work, my focus has been on landscapes, exploring depth through mountainous structures. The series centers on large landscapes detailed with geometric structures. That dichotomy, between complex but linear geometry and irregular natural mountain faces, has been wonderful to explore.”
Laree Evelyn’s bold paintings and prints are inspired by dreams, ancient art and feelings.
“My style came as a way to process deep pain and emotions, a way to put my inner world in front of me. In all honesty, these paintings are what brought me back to my feet. I hadn’t painted before last July, I loved sketching, but it was all soft and malleable.
Once quarantine hit I was forced to sit with myself, my memories, my feelings, my pain. No more distractions, no more running. It was brutal. I felt like I might be carried away with the force of it all. I sat in it, I let it come, and I anchored myself with creating. The bigger the better. As I worked through my pain, I painted it. Now it’s my language: feelings personified in shapes.”
Local artist Mason Buchanan, aka SISU, is an artist, creator, maker and painter that combines mixed media to bring his abstract art to life.
“I’m currently working on rejuvenating my work after working ten years in the graphic design and commission based illustrations. I have really fell back in love with my original passion for painting and making images that I love and engage others to take a closer look at. I work in a wide variety of mediums but currently I’ve been working with mixed media on wood panels.”
Polina Pavlinina revels in experimentation as a way to get to know herself, and her art, better.
“I was always attracted to drawing, but trusting negative stereotypes about artists wouldn’t let me take my hobby seriously. After going through therapy I realized that art is something I want to do, and it changed my life, because I don’t feel bad for pursuing my dreams anymore.
My head is always filled with ideas that I usually save on my phone. I try not to leave any pieces unfinished – it takes away a lot of energy and ruins inspiration. Setting a task before starting a new painting helps me to stay involved and makes the process more challenging as it turns into solving a certain problem. My art is inspired by my surroundings that include lots of sun and rich fauna & flora that I adore.”
Austin fiber artist Courtney Cox specializes in hand embroidery, focusing mainly on portraiture.
“I use the humble tools of needle and thread to turn thousands of stitches into faces. Storytelling and investigation are the two guiding forces of my inspiration and creativity. I love to use a face to tell a story. Sometimes I find the face and then figure out the story, and sometimes I know the story and search for the perfect face to help me tell it.
The investigative process of discovering how to recreate my subject in thread is the thrill and challenge of my work. My motivation comes from iced coffee, peer pressure (stitching with friends), and the desire to solve the puzzle of embroidering a face.”
Multimedia artist Zachary Smith manipulates digital images and audio design utilizing techniques like ditch databending, coding and image sonification.
“While each work is singular and independent, these pieces are combined at that introspection of technical surrealism incorporating digital imaging and compression encoding artifacts such as jpeg. Additionally, they were manipulated as paintings or extractions from other glitched images via coding. My most recent work, Bluetooth 5G Dual Diagnostics, is a reflection of the 5G cellular bandwidth during the times of COVID.”