Sunday, January 1, 2012

Frances Marin

Name: Frances Marin

What do you do?
I mostly paint and draw, but also sew and print.

Where can we find your work?
You can see my art on my website I show at libraries, bars, galleries, shops, wherever. I’ll have work in an upcoming group show at Empire Seven Studios ( The opening reception will be Friday, January 13, 2012 at 7pm. Also, I’m in a group show at On the Corner on January 27th.

I recently did an illustration for a magazine called Made in San Jose and I designed a t-shirt some years back for the best college radio station, KFJC. It’s available still. I think?! I also just finished a zine with my boyfriend called Ladies and Gentleman Quarterly. You can buy it at The Arsenal for $2. We are hoping to make another issue around February or March of this year. I want to do a silkscreened cover and sew the pages together this time.

What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get tough?
Both manmade and natural things inspire me: stacks of records and books, animals and their symbolism, buildings, plants, patterns, structures, history. I like aged colors and using scraps of wood to paint on. I am a very nostalgic person and I think that shows in my work with the colors being diffused and unsaturated, like a faded photograph.

It feels easy to stay motivated in my small and crowded studio. There’s so much to look at and think about.

What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?
I love the feeling of being done with a painting, but the process is when I’m zoning out, doing a lot of thinking and figuring out. I love that part.

Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?
Tania Aebi. I read her book when I was 15. She dropped out of high school like me, but unlike me, sailed a boat by herself around the world with her cat. I hope to get a boat and learn to sail someday.

I love artwork that is loose, carefree or kind of slanted like the illustrations of Miroslav Sasek or drawings of Mingering Mike and Ben Shahn. These artists put a lot of feeling into their work and it shows. A lot of the art I like looks effortless or like it was really fun to make, like Karin Mamma Andersson, Peter Doig or Egon Schiele. I also like art that tells a story like the work of Pieter Bruegel, Raymond Pettibon, or Los Carpinteros.

I also have incredible friends with incredible talent and they’re pretty influential.

If you could be any fictional character who would you be?
Brian Sweeney "Fitzcarraldo" Fitzgerald. I admire his determination. Plus, I can relate to his questionable decision-making. He’s the main character, played by Klaus Kinski, in the Werner Herzog movie.

When do you get your best ideas?
When I’m left alone. Also, on road trips.

What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
Ink, paint, watercolor, gouache, acrylic, oil, paper, thread, wood. Lately, it’s mostly scraps of redwood or pine and acrylic paint.

Are you self taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
Educated. I have degrees in art and library science. Words and images are fascinating to me, so it was perfect for me to study those two things. My education was kind of spotty, I dropped out in my freshman year of high school and was on and off again for years with college, mostly because I was more into music. It’s funny, the reason why I went back to school for art was because I was sick of my job at a record store and when I started looking for other work, I didn’t want any of the jobs I saw…so, school it was!

Art school was confusing for me. Sometimes it makes you think too much because you start to contextualize everything. I’m now about 5 years away from it and it feels good. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot about sculpture, photography, printmaking, drawing and painting, it’s just that it’s more pure when you aren’t getting graded for it. Still, it was good because it made my work more dimensional and layered.

What would your creative work taste like?
Kale, bread and butter, rice and beans, persimmons and coffee.

When you are not creating what do you like to do?
Read, listen to records, camp, walk, bike, and take photos. I love coffee. I love drinking it alone or with people close to me.

How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience?
I was really creative when I was young and never outgrew it. When I could I would fake being sick to stay home from school to draw in bed all day. I would draw anything and everything:Garfield, horses, fashion, lizards, cars. I also made my own books, embroidered, crocheted, knitted.

When I was in college early on, I had a professor, Erin Goodwin-Guerrero, tell me I should pursue painting. That definitely got me going. I’ve done shows since I was in school, but am working a lot harder at it in the last year.

What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures?
Learn about everything you can, not just about “art”. Be disciplined and selfish with your time. Stop making excuses. NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR IT! Don’t be too attached to the work you make. I recently gave away a ton of old paintings and canvases for friends to paint over. That felt great. I know they’ll improve whatever I had on there.

Portrait by Bryan Lopez

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