Austin painter Aimèe Everett attempts to reach her audience in a way that words cannot.
She communicates through her art.
By using highly emotive colors, combining materials, and manipulating simple lines and shapes, Aimèe believes she can overcome the shortcomings of verbal communication. Her works are the message and her paintbrush, her voice.
Aimèe is featured in the Artist Spotlight of Issue 19 “Make/Do”. Read ahead to learn more about how her distinctive style came to be, and better yet, let her art speak to you.
What are you inspired by?
I’ve always been interested in communication, how the words we use don’t really serve us as well as we need them to. Language can’t measure how you feel. Being a black woman you’re not listened to. It makes you think, why is what I’m saying not important. Why are you still not listening to me? Why are these words not serving me?
Why work with wood?
After painting on traditional canvas, I found that I wanted the colors to be more vibrant. I went through different variations and focused on wood. It has a weight to it and I can get multiple cuts out of one slab. I respect the fiber that I’m using–this was alive once. We can use our language together.
“The more I can work this muscle, the more it feels true to me. I can paint in a way that mirrors my speaking voice.”
How did you find your style?
When I paint, I don’t go into it like, “this is going to be my style.” I just work.
I paint everyday. I can turn out paintings. I paint so much that now I’m having to get storage. The more I can work this muscle, the more it feels true to me. I can paint in a way that mirrors my speaking voice because I’m constantly using it everyday.
How do you motivate yourself to keep making work?
Before COVID, I was already painting everyday. So I didn’t lose motivation. I had more time to be home and work. I started a series in November 2019 and finished it in August 2020. I had two residencies. I keep myself busy.
My motivator is death, which sounds morbid but I know I’m going to be dead one day. I work for somebody else so hard, why can’t I work for myself that way?
When I’m off work, my partner asks if I’m going to sleep. But I say no, I’m going to start my fun time. Working on my stuff and working with other artists is fun.
did you ever question your choice to pursue a creative career?
I had doubts. I was doing a work study job in college and a friend I was working with was an art major. I was like, “You’re a what major?” I had to make it make sense. But there are people living off of their art. I thought, I can give my life to a job and make $50,000 a year, but if I can make that same amount off of art, what’s the difference?
Is there a time you had to “make do”?
I was working on a series right before the world shut down. But there was no way to get to my carpenter or the lumberyard to get wood. I had to make do with the remnants of what I had left in the house.
It changed the idea of how many pieces I was going to make and how big they needed to be. The series was about memories so it fit, using all of these bits and pieces of wood.
Where do you see your work evolving from here?
I don’t know. But I know it’s going to evolve. I hope to do more site specific installations and make larger pieces. I’m working on ideas and proposals and have two coming up, the Cage Match at MoHA and the Bartlett Project with ICOSA.