Interview: Marcy Ann Villafaña

Marcy Ann Villafaña

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Describe the time you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?

 I am not sure. I just know when I create I feel complete… a sense of freedom.

How old were you?

I must have been about 8.

Who or what inspired you at the beginning of your art life? 

Walt Disney. Being born in California, what kid wasn’t. The Magic Kingdom and the saturated colors of the California Ocean, happiness, the belief in myself, the belief that there is no such thing as the impossible or the unimaginable…only dreams not brought to life…yet.

Who or what inspires your art life today?

Everything in nature…but the sky, ocean, the mystique of the feminine form, and the innocence & love of animals, all are very empowering in a spiritual sense.  I guess that is a rather cliché answer. In truth – I enjoy the freedom nature, the motions, sounds and the inner breath that speaks to me.

Why do you make art?

Making art brings me an inner sense of joy, of peace, of oneness… a connection to source.  It’s something I find incredibly hard to put into words.

What are you trying to communicate with your art? 

Not really a message maker or story teller that I am aware of.  I know people like to read into my work placing their own experience and inner issues on my work. I am not that heady - that is their reality. I create for me, my sense of freedom – spiritual freedom, emotional freedom, my desire to be simply an truly be.

What element(s) of your inner spirit is reflected in your art?

I hope my liveliness, strength, and joy is what is being reflected. But you never know what others see.

Is the atmosphere or design layout of your creative space/studio an important element in your creative process—why or why not?

My internal mental atmosphere is just as important to me. I like my studio to be light and airy so I can feel safe to create… free from judgment or expectation from those around me.

Is there something—a keepsake, an inspirational quotation, a photograph—you keep in your studio for inspiration or motivation?

Spiritual quotes, sand, shells, rocks, pictures of the oceans & skies – my happy things, and of course I have to say my biggest motivational help is my music.

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What kind of routines or rituals do you incorporate into your creative time?

There is no rhyme or reason…. Otherwise I feel my work would be more contrived or manufactured.  I know I like to have some music and sunshine. But not all art is created in a mood making, feel good day.

If you have one element or principle of art you enjoy working with the most, please describe it? 

COLOR.. color sets the mood, continues the expression, and the inspiration evolves.

Currently, which creative medium do you work in?

I work in three very different styles and mediums: charcoals & graphite, acrylic paints, and papers – layers and layers of handmade or hand painted papers hand cut to create an image to awe.

What, if any, other creative medium would you love to pursue?

I would love to work in- metals and glass!

What is your most important artist tool?  

The desire to create is my most valued artist tool.

How does this tool factor into your art making?

The desire to create beauty is the only factor in the creation of my art.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Meditation, inspirational quotes, gratitude mantras, self-discovery stories, photography, and laughter keep me motived and inspired.

What one piece of advice would you give to an artist just getting started?

Create, create, create, create, and then create more. NEVER worry about what others think or see. Just follow your heart and be you!

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If you wish, please share with us any other aspect of your art life—professionally and/or personally—that hasn’t been answered in the above questions.

“As a young child I drew on any and everything, making my mark on all my surroundings. I drew anything I could imagine. I was blessed in always having drawing tools, glue and scissors at my disposal. I was even cutting my sisters’ eye lashes off at the age of three, without my parents’ permission of course. A very exact and precise form of cutting and drawing soon developed.

Inspired by the works of Disney in my early childhood, and the heavy influences of Patrick Nagel, Robert Wyland and Robert Mapplethorpe, a child of the 80s’, I derived my own style through my love of cutting paper. This form of art is an expression of my need to control my environment. Unlike other artists who can paint and draw (which I do as well), I find my satisfaction in the precision of cutting the papers with a plain old Exacto knife and their textures. Nothing new… nothing fancy. No templates… no machines. Not the new cutting techniques or gadgets…no curved blades, just my hands, my eyes, and a straight blade. I developed this style when I teenager because of my near-sightedness.

My work is mostly of the feminine form. I see the beauty in the light and dark spaces of the figure and enjoy expressing it through color and or texture.

I have been exhibiting and selling my art since the late 80s, and have taken time in between to raise four children and grow a thriving art and marketing career in graphic and web design (ModCat for the past 30 years.”

For what one thing would you like to be remembered?

That I was TRUE to MYSELF!

Describe yourself in one word. 

Unapologetic!  I refuse to apologize for my art. I refuse to apologize for the way my art makes people feel. My art isn’t for the masses. I create for me.

Susie Kelly FlatauComment