Adrienne Vita of Arcane Arts is an artist based in Portland, Oregon. Her love of the sea, nature, animals and architecture are largely influenced in her art. Her work consists of illustrations in ink, watercolors, cut paper, gouache, and acrylics; depicting scenes of unusual environments, ethereal in nature and all things imaginary. www.arcane-arts.com
What is your earliest art-related memory? I don’t remember my exact age but I have very early memories of how my Mother decorated our house and the clothes I wore probably as early as two or three years old. My early childhood took place in the 70’s so I remember lots of earthen colors mixed with graphical patterns. I used to trace patterns with my fingers a lot. I would admire and study how colors and shapes went together. I used to love going upstairs in my Grandmothers house. It was like a time capsule full of my Mother’s, my Aunt’s and my Uncle’s old things. I remember loving the colors and the design of how old things were made. I still have some of their old belongings and I feel it played a huge part in how I am influenced today.
Who has had the greatest influence on your work?I don’t know if any one person has had a “great” influence on my art but I do admire many artists so it’s difficult to name just one.
What are the main tools of your craft?Paper, wood, pencils, pens, markers, brushes, watercolors, gouache, acrylics, cut paper, scraps, etc.
Is a formal education important?It depends on the individual. I feel ambivalent about this question pertaining to art. I know a few artists that have had no formal training and do some amazing stuff. For me, I don’t feel like my formal art education “made me into an artist” but the experience of going to school, the people I met and the work I did there, played an important part in the journey of where I am today.
What is the biggest misconception about art?That you will master it.
Which is more important in art - concept or execution?Really, they both have to be strong. One without the other feels like something is missing.
What theme or aesthetic are you most drawn too?Graphic patterns, vintage photographs, nature, cityscapes, architecture, textile art, graffiti, abstract art, folk art, etc. I like a mish-mosh of aesthetics, themes and styles. I like to just use what I am drawn to in the moment.
What is your favorite piece of art in your home?I have several I love but I have this one small print I bought by Mel Kadel called “Pusher Woman”. It catches my eye from time to time on my mantle.
If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Again, too hard to narrow this question down. I haven’t collaborated much with other artists yet but there are a few artist friends I know that I would love the opportunity to work together with.
Which emerging artist do you think more people should know about?Most of the artists I know of probably aren’t considered “emerging” but Portland, Oregon has some serious local talent.
What has been your greatest achievement to date?That I am still doing my art. With all the things, people, “creative jobs”, events and distractions that came into my life, I found myself putting artistic pursuits aside for a spell. I have come to realize it’s so important for adults to do something creative in their lives, no matter how the creativity is expressed. I am happy and amazed that I still find my way to keep art in my life.
What has been your biggest roadblock? Dealing with my insecurities about my art and juggling the many things I do in my life.
How do you define success? Success to me isn’t defined by what the success is but how you go about it. I get great satisfaction of moving through a project, seeing it from start to finish and I love the time that I get with my husband and friends after I’ve accomplished it.
What will be the name of your autobiography?When the opportunity arises, I will let you know.
What is the best piece of (art-related) advice you’ve ever been given?Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
15 Questions about Art is an ongoing series in which we ask our collective favorite artists, writers, musicians, sleepy dreamers and object makers from across the creative spectrum to give us a glimpse into how they perceive art through a standard set of questions.
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