Once again I’ve been fortunate enough to interview another artist who’s work I really admire. This time it’s Wisconsin native Audifax who’s taken time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions. Expect talk of fairies, a love of Barcelona and strange crushes…
Hi Audifax, how are you? Tell us a little about yourself, you are American but have spent a bit of time living in Barcelona correct?
I’m fabulous! Yes! After recently visiting Barcelona, I immediately fell in love with the city and knew I had to return. The U.S. is where I was born and raised, but the energy of Barcelona made me feel as though I was finally home. It’s the one city I have been to, so far, that truly embraces modern and classic art. And, the weather is great for painting!
What was it that brought you to Barcelona from the states?
There was a spark that ignited inside of me whenever someone would mention their travel to Barcelona, so I knew I had to check it out for myself. Growing up, I held a great appreciation for Gaudi, Dali, and warm weather. Whenever I would see a photograph and say “oooooo,” whether it be style, architecture or landscape, chances were after viewing the footnote, it was from Spain.
How did it all start for you? Were you one of those kids always scribbling on notebooks at school?
My interest in art and design began to show at a very young age. When I wasn’t deconstructing a toy to see how it worked, I looked to the classics; blocks, legos and of course crayons and paper for entertainment. I have always loved to build! With a strong imagination (firm belief in “magic”) and appreciation for the intricate designs of nature, I spent much of my time exploring and creating. Not much has changed since then.
What was the first ‘spark’ for you to pick up a spray can and hit the streets? Were you ever into graffiti and tagging your name or did you jump straight to murals?
Coming from a city not far from Chicago, I have always respected tagging, but hadn’t been exposed to anything else growing up. After a recent trip to Wynwood, Miami, my eyes were opened to the vast world surrounding this medium. It wasn’t until my 6.5ft (198cm) canvas began to feel too small, that the fuse was lit. When I picked up that first can, the fire quickly engulfed me and I was hooked.
Is there a big graffiti scene in Wisconsin?
Like most places in the U.S. graffiti is finally coming around to being accepted as art. The mural scene is in it’s infant stages for many cities in Wisconsin, but often as I’m traveling throughout the state, I’ll see a new one pop up; which is a wonderful shift to have prominent public art becoming the norm here, rather than a rarity.
Where does your artistic inspiration come from? The pieces I saw here were usually a female character with flowing hair and wings, what drew you to this style?
That just made it sound as though I paint fairies, haha. Though I’ve had a streak of the flowing hair, I have yet to paint a female with wings that is not Egyptian on canvas. And, I do paint dudes as well and plan to even out the gender usage in future designs. Most of my past work has been focused on male figures, so it was somewhat of a shock to be painting female images recently. Like many artists, my ideas come from a place beyond me. Sometimes I will have an idea, sketch it, and the universe will align information of where it came from after it’s created- seriously. The initial idea is there, but once I get lost in that creative flow, something else takes over and the piece will become whatever it’s meant to. At times I have to let go of expectations, because this final result will stray so far from what I thought my style was, that accepting it was made for someone elses growth and possible healing is more important than what I think is “cool.”
Good to see gender equality in your work haha! Do you have a plan in mind when you start a piece? Or do you like to look at the wall and the surroundings and take inspiration from there?
Both. At times I’m heading to a location I’ve never been to. Having no clue what’s in store, I’ll bring along a few ideas and feel out what the best design is for that specific place. If it’s a wall I’m familiar with, I let my intuition guide me with the initial idea, then the creative flow takes over. No matter what, it’s all about working with the wall and what the energy of that specific space is calling to become.
With this in mind what do you find to be the most difficult part of the creative process? I’ve read other artists speak about the fear of the blank page/canvas, do you ever get this?
Knowing I can do better is the toughest part of the creative process. My concentration can be there, but the can or cap isn’t cooperating, or my hand won’t produce lines as precise as I’d like. At other times, I keep tweaking the details to the point of having to revert back to the original design I made just steps before- this I must say is the most frustrating. However, as soon as I complete a piece I look at it and get inspired to get back out there and try again with what I just learned. It’s all about experience, so the actual process is necessary for growth, and though vexing at times, not to be feared.
Do you have a favourite city or place to paint? Is there a dream city or country or wall even that you’d like to paint?
Barcelona is buzzing with creative energy, so it’s my favourite city to paint so far. A dream of mine is to hit Paris, and in the future, Brazil. No walls in particular, yet. I would just enjoy being immersed in each cities vibe and see what transpires.
Do you like to collaborate with other artists? You worked a lot with BuBu over summer didn’t you? Do you feel that working with other artists brings something else out of you?
Yes! Bubu and I had some fun painting together this summer. Her pieces are bold and bright with a positive message, which I appreciate. I love collaborating with fellow artists whose intent is to shift humanity through their passion. This doesn’t necessarily mean their work has to be lighthearted, since often a shift comes through a deep, intricate and soulful painting, when the viewer responds to that intent. One can also learn from combining styles, given everyone is so unique. Even two similar artists will hold a different process, so the end result is something you would never have dreamt of on your own. This can be challenging at times, because it isn’t just your vision, but this is where the beauty lies; creating something unexpected and totally original to share with the world. Plus, if the person is cool, it’s a great experience overall, and to me represents the best things in life; good company, creating, and hopefully warm weather!
Something I really enjoy is hearing which artists inspired other artists. Which artists inspired you growing up and who’s work do you really like just now? And is there any artist you would love to work with?
As I mentioned earlier, Gaudi and Dali, Frank Lloyd Wright- the classics of course were always favourites. There was also H.R. Giger (I have a soft spot for 80’s sci-fi), Francis Bacon, Santiago Calatrava (Spanish- go figure!) can be added to that list in recent years. Now, I follow so many incredible artists through social media, it’s difficult to keep up with the amazing talent we have access to. I’m inspired by other artists whom I’ve never heard of on a daily basis- it’s fantastic! As for graffiti artists I would like to work with (as I mentioned so much talent), but specifically Barcelona artists, would be SAV45- I have no idea what he’s like, but I have great respect for his style.
Got to agree with you on SAV45, one of my favourite artists for sure! Just to speak about something different for a minute, tell us something about yourself that maybe not many people would know!
I designed and made clothes a few years back, and have always appreciated fashion. I would like a sailboat, or to find a friend with a sailboat, so I can just be out on the sea once in a while. Also, I had a crush on Darth Vader and Storm Troopers as a kid. Something about those masks I guess 😉
If you could be anyone or anything for a day who or what would you be?
A hawk, after lunch.
Back to the art! Are you only painting murals or are you also doing canvas work, commissions etc?
Aside from the murals, I paint with acrylic on canvas, and have been trying out dying fabric and painting on that as well- but am open to any medium really. Some day, I would love to incorporate 3D printing with traditional methods for creating life-size public sculptures. For me, it’s all about the idea and finding a way to create it. Right now my focus is mainly on canvas and murals, with commission pieces for both business and personal/ interior and exterior walls. (And I make some bracelets on the side.)
Do you have any upcoming shows or projects we should know about? Are you currently exhibiting your works anywhere?
I have large acrylic paintings displayed at Momentum Art in Madison and will be spray painting their exterior wall in November. You can find my photography and jewelry pieces in Olson House, Milwaukee- both in Wisconsin. Since I plan on going to Barcelona to paint soon, I don’t have anything in the works as far as a show; keeping my schedule flexible the next few months.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before you go?
Meditate. 10 minutes a day will change your life and give you the courage to discover and live your passions.
Many thanks for your time Audifax and all the best with your future artistic endeavors!
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story!