Friday, June 21, 2013

Get To Know: Michelle Armas

Photo courtesy of Michelle Armas' brilliant blog.
Atlanta's own Michelle Armas has quite a story. She ditched the big city, NYC, and a nine-to-fiver in the corporate branding business, to become an amazing abstract artist in Georgia. Michelle has been featured on numerous design sites including HGTV Stylist, Emily Henderson's, blog. Below are some rocking answers from MA, including some great advice for young artists. And if you're looking for some amazing original work, check out her online store here.

Artist, Painter, Blogger
Shop Michelle Armas

CLUTTER FURNISHINGS AND INTERIORS: What inspires you to paint?
MICHELLE ARMAS: For me painting is a compunction. I am inspired to paint when I am happy because it is natural to me to create when I feel good. I feel so much satisfaction from watching a piece come together that the memory of how fun it is to create is enough to get me creating some more! 

CF&I: What advice do you have for aspiring young artists?
MA:  Work and work and work! Keep creating and getting better and better. You have to push out a lot of garbage before the good stuff starts coming out of you, no one just sits down and makes a masterpiece! Don't waist your time looking around at other artists and asking silly questions like "what kind of paint do you use..." just freaking go buy paint dude! Buy all the supplies you need and if you waste them all, well...then keep going! You have to be willing to make a huge mistake, and make something ugly as get-out to reach a place where you make something you are proud of. In other words start. You are not an artist if you never even start. Have you heard some of Louis CK's early stand up? Ok then. Proof that you can keep working and getting better until some day you are famous and brilliant.

CF&I: What did it feel like the first time you sold something you had personally created?
MA: I sold my first painting to my mom so...the first "real" sale was pretty great. Actually I am still Facebook friends with both of my first buyers :) I felt like I was giving them my art, it didn't really register that I was being paid for it. It felt very personal, and much different that it feels now, that I sell art all the time. Now I feel like I am running a business, then it was like a miracle!

CF&I: If you could study under a famous artist, past or present, who would it be and why? 
MA:  Hmmm, Joseph Albers, Rothko...certainly Klimt. He has been my all time fave since I was a child. I love him. Also Josef Frank.

CF&I: What is your favorite medium to work with? What medium absolutely frustrates you?
MA:  I love the immediacy of acrylic paint! I can create a color and a shape right away, and tune right into what I am thinking about. I would say trying to use Illustrator now is frustrating. I don't remember how to use it, and I can't get the idea I have in my mind to materialize. Arg!

CF&I: What is your favorite thing about living in the South?
MA: I can't name just one thing, so here is a list: The big old trees, the food is local, and fresh and delish, the cicadas in the summer time, the people are so nice. A lot of folks say that southerners are all smiles and nice to your face then snark behind your back. I say people in general can be like that, but I like the fact that you say hello to everyone, and wave to your neighbors all the time and stop and chat and smile at babies. Atlanta is great too because it is really coming into itself, and its a treat to be a part of that action. Wow, I didn't realize I was so passionate about the south.

CF&I: What is your guilty pleasure? 
MA: Hmmm. I have so many! Fashion blogs and black licorice. 

CF&I: Describe yourself and your work in five words.
MA: Playful. Irreverent. Approachable. Reactive. Word.

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