Review Me: Tanya Dora: Electric Rhythms
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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Tanya Dora: Electric Rhythms

Tanya, thank you a lot for accepting our invitation to this interview, and we are so glad that you are talking to us about your artistic life. Tell us about your artistic background story and if there was a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as a visual artist?

Growing up I, fortunately, explored art on my own at home quite a bit for my own enjoyment. I could easily get very creative with different ideas. People used to always love the appeal and aesthetic that my art projects carried with them - as I was easily able to get in the zone while drawing, painting, crafting, etc., even at a young age. Art was my favorite subject while in school, and I was naturally drawn toward the aspect of exploring, or growing with the art project. My personality would show the most in my artworks, as if I was putting something on to wear that was my own individual style.

So, you established a satisfying relationship with art from an early age, and displayed your art and creativity with pleasure and satisfaction. Was there ever a moment of doubt to question your art career entirely?

In a way, I feel that I may have grappled with the idea a little bit. I already know that I am an artistic person, but I sort of think of the future road ahead. If I wanted to do it and get involved in the art world, I would have wanted to know more about it. There are things like artist talks to attend, but I feel that the strongest point an artist can have is the passion and inclination to keep creating. And, it’s important to meet people with an interest in art. I have been studying more art history on my own, just for the sake of it, as well as attending webinars, especially during the pandemic.

Yes, that’s right. There’s no must in art, but just passion and inclination. What is your daily routine when working in your studio?

I love working in my studio on a daily basis. Over time, I have realized that I am honing in on a space within 4 walls, and the space becomes a personal and professional hub for an endeavor I enjoy -where I spend time for drawing, journaling, reading art history, looking at magazines, printmaking or editing photos on Adobe Photoshop for digital paintings or cyanotypes on paper. I do love using the software, editing the brushes, using my photos, and digital painting every day. And, sometimes I give myself time to explore with new mediums or techniques, or even try out the endeavor of papermaking, or sewing and see my ideas come to life and fulfill the pursuit of making things tangible. My routine mixes with my commitment to my studio, which once I’m there I just go with it from one thing to another. This is the main thing. My nights are open to sketching or jotting down notes for current or future works, as well as doing other things like scanning, or research online, etc.

Great job! You try to study art history, as well as using different materials, levels and techniques. You obviously have a creative and searching spirit. Now, take us through your process of making your artworks. How do you move from an idea to an artwork? Where does an artwork begin for you?

I think my artworks start from a few different places each time. Sometimes it does start with the photo. Other times, I am heavily influenced by a topic I am reading about or a movie I am watching. My personal thoughts and feelings drive me to react -to communicate via drawing and eventually painting… Sometimes, I want to spend time developing the concept beforehand. Thirdly, I might actually start with a drawing that I drew randomly or earlier in my sketchbook and think of the message or color scheme I want to add to it. It’s a visionary-type approach. I think and observe while I’m walking around, as well as while traveling.

Some of your artworks impress the viewers by depicting a woman as the one who boasts her strength or solitude, and some pieces are inspired by the aspect in life and nature all around you. Is there a central concept connecting all your works together or each series or artwork is unique?

Mainly the central concept is the concept of womanhood. The idea of a woman’s emotions or state of mind or life experiences, good or bad. Subjectively speaking where a woman can get in touch with the emotion behind the painting or the story behind it. Things like a woman and strength, or the idea of the everyday woman dealing with stereotypes, or image or identity issues, etc. One piece, titled “Pretentious”, relates to the aspect of being perceived as being too boastful about oneself.

You say you are essentially a creator of what you would like to see in the world. How would you like to convey this "creation" to your viewers? Would you like to give a particular interpretation of your work to your viewers or you prefer to leave the whole interpretation to your audience?

I think my own interpretation is close to what I mean by the situation that is being shown in the painting. But I love it when another woman can also relate to it, I think a lot of other women can connect to my pieces even in their own lives. There could be some common ground that meets the eye when looking at my works.

Creating artwork is naturally the result of artists’ understanding of how they see, hear, feel, and what motivates them. How do you seek and use inspiration for your works?

I might seek for inspiration going through old photos I have from traveling. I get intrigued by sometimes constantly taking photos, even random ones with my iPhone. I also seek inspiration by looking at magazines, or watching tv or movies. I also get inspired by material things out and about like texture, or lights. In addition to that, I have my own life experiences, including conversations and opinions, which propel me to paint along the lines of my own thinking.

What about the subjects? How do you select your artworks subjects? Where they come from?

I choose my own way of communicating on the topic - for that, I spend time thinking about which elements do I want to include in each piece. I do want it to all come together in one piece or each time.

Tanya, is there an artwork or series that you would like to be remembered for? And if yes, what is it?

As of right now, I do not have a singular piece that I would choose myself. I am already working on several pieces at once throughout the year, and just as long as I am constantly working, I feel fine.

Our readers want to know what new works of art you have for them in the future. Any upcoming works or future projects that you would like to share with our readers?

I am currently working on a digital painting titled, "Judicious Passage.” The colors are really intertwined together, and it’s a little bit romantic. It has a feminine flair which I truly appreciate. It is more of a landscape, and it has arches that look like one is just entering a building or monument.

You are interested in art history and study about it a lot. What are your art influences? Who are your favorite contemporary or historical artists and why?

I do love art from the post-impressionist movement, works by Van Gogh, and Matisse. I also love Schiele, Modigliani, and Tarkay who are all figurative painters.

Now, if you could meet one of your ideal artists from the past who will it be and what will you ask about?

I think I would like to meet Picasso and ask him about his approach to figure drawing. He was the most modern in his use of shapes and structure that was applied to his cubist paintings.

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