I came across Lissa Bockrath's work early this year, and was drawn in by both her use of colour, and how her work seems to just glow...so lushNature is a big inspiration for her, and that definitely shows.
Lissa works with no final vision in mind. She prefers to work intuitively, letting the medium inform her work. She has benefited greatly from staying in tune with her self-conscious, so that's how she prefers to work and live. I am inspired by Lissa, and excited to introduce you to her beautiful work!
What does Creativity mean to you?
Creativity is essential to life - it has no boundaries. Creativity asks questions and doesn't follow any preconceived path.
How do you expand yourself creatively?
I always try to keep an open mind, always ask myself how far I can take something and never become complacent.
Were you creative as a child? If so, how have you evolved through the years? Did anyone encourage you, especially?
The first time I ever picked up a brush was in Kindergarten and I fell in love with the process! We were only allowed one piece of paper and three jars of the primary colors. I loved the smell, the feel of the brush hitting the paper, the whole process! I didn’t want to stop so I kept painting over and over it. Needless to say if you add all the primary colors together you get brown. I ended up with a big hot brown mess.
As much as I loved art throughout my life I didn’t realize it was a viable profession and thus I fought pursing it as a career. When I was a junior in High School I realized nothing made me more fulfilled than producing art. I gave into my passion and have never stopped actively painting and creating since that point.
What inspires you most?
My current body of work depicts nature’s interplay with human fragility that has been impossible to ignore in recent years. The volatility we all have witnessed drew my focus to images that reflect our changing environment. My inspiration stems from my awe of mother nature. Even when its force is its most destructive there is a power, force and beauty that I am compelled to portray on canvas.
What turns you on creatively?
As an artist, I'm inspired by nature; but thinking about the persistence of nature, despite its constant cycle of change, is inspiring to me in a metaphoric sense as well. The paintings in my current exhibition were created with that in mind, and the spirit of that renewal is present in the work.
How do you balance life and art effectively? Or, do you?
Painting is my yoga, my meditation and it keeps me (somewhat) sane!!!
How do you deal with creative dry spells? Do you make space for them, or push through?
People often ask if you have to be inspired to work. The answer is if the inspiration isn't there still get in the studio, clean your palette...look at art and force the inspiration. Waiting for it could take forever!
How do you deal with change, especially when it comes to creative mediums and passion?
I start each painting without a preconceived idea of what the final image or end result will be and instead my process becomes a stream of consciousness. Working with the inherent natural elements in the process of painting is what I relish most. The spontaneous reactions of the medium inspire me. When I trust my instincts and work intuitively, the images produced are more believable and powerful than anything I could have worked to consciously produce.
How does criticism affect you?
This may not be a typical response, but I don't want feedback until a body of work is complete. Showing work that is unfinished makes me feel somewhat vulnerable. It feels like giving someone an intimate glimpse of myself suddenly, and without any preparation. I am also concerned that the criticism or suggestions may deter my vision and throw me off my natural creative path.
Once the work is resolved and I have been able to process the image, I encourage, enjoy, and appreciate feedback. I value all feedback, not just from art contesures, but anyone. I am not of the train of thought that you have to be formally trained in order to fully comprehend art. Sometimes my best feedback comes from my 13 and 11 year old kids! They have such a pure perspective and are completely unfiltered.
Honestly criticism about my work really doesn't bother me. I think I developed a pretty thick skin in Art School.
Do you enjoy collaborating, or prefer to work alone?
Definitely work alone.
Do you work in a studio/space designed specifically for your creativity, or on the spur of the moment/anywhere inspiration strikes?
My process is a messy one so I need to contain it to my studio!
Do you plan thoroughly for projects, or go with the flow?
I let the work take me in the direction it wants me to go….even if that is not a linear one.
Do you utilize social media? If so, how?
What is your typical day like?
I paint Monday – Friday while the kids are in school and sometimes I can squeeze a little studio time in on the weekends. I am not an artist that waits to be inspired to get into the studio. I believe you can facilitate creativity by immersing yourself in the studio even if that means cleaning it!
Do you have any advice for aspiring creatives?
You can have tremendous talent, but if you don't have a strong work ethic and are unwilling to promote the business of your art, you will never make it in this field. As much as I dislike dealing with some of the logistics such as entering shows, updating mailing lists, and websites, I understand that it is as important as producing the work if I want to maximize my exposure.
Any questions I did not ask, that you would like to answer?
I used to own an art gallery where I exhibited my own work, as well as represented other artists' works. It gave me an opportunity to hear feedback about the work from a wide audience. Most people didn't realize I was also one of the artists, so I was privy to many unfiltered conversations. It always amazed me how differently people would perceive the work. Everyone comes with their own layered history. Therefore, each person interprets the work uniquely. My goal as an artist is to convey a perspective, yet leave enough room for individual interpretation. Ultimately, I hope to engage and simultaneously challenge my audience.