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ARTIST Q&A

Isabelle Amante

Nottinghamshire - UK

Type of artwork you're most likely to produce?

Landscape, abstract and still life

What is your favourite piece of art you have created?

I particularly like my abstract work where I experiment with colours and textures and never know how it is going to turn out.

If you weren't an artist what other career would you be in?

It would have to be in a creative field, more likely in the digital industry. I could not do anything else which does not require a creative mind. Creating is part of who I am.

If you could buy one piece of artwork what would it be?

Oh gosh, this is so difficult; there are so many beautiful artworks out there. However, I do love the work of Gustav Klimt so any of his paintings would look beautiful on my wall if I could afford it!

What inspires you?

Emotions, textures, colours, beauty (whatever it means), experiments, curiosity, nature, life, anything really.

Delving a little deeper

Why do you do what you do?

What I do has to have a meaning and I just cannot do a “standard” job where I can’t put my soul into it. I used to work in an office and it felt like I could not fit in. It did not have a lot of meaning to me; I was just working to “survive” and pay the bills. I could not be myself and had to pretend to be someone I was not. Working as an artist gives me the freedom to express my vulnerability and accept it.

Can you tell us about your artistic background/education

I have always had an interest in Art since I can remember. When I was a child I used to do intensive drawings of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck which I copied from books; that’s how I learnt how to draw. Then my art practice evolved, from watercolour to oil landscapes, to mixed media art. I did not pursue art at school because at that time it seemed quite unrealistic to have a career in Art; it was not an option. Painting was just a weekend hobby. Earning money from my paintings turned out to be an “accident”. It all started in 2004, when my mother-in-law decided to contact Mansfield Museum and local galleries and told them about my work. That year, I won several prizes at the Mansfield Society of Artists annual exhibition and everything started from there.

Do you work in silence or do you prefer a distraction?

I prefer to work with music so I feel more relaxed but I don’t put it on too loud as it can distract me.

What I listen to can vary depending on my mood and what I paint.

How do you choose the subject matter for your works?

There are several themes in my work. However, there is consistency within each of my series of work. Each theme reveals one side of me.

My moody landscapes are emotional and sometimes a bit spooky. We all have a dark side within ourselves. You either bury it or let it out. I find that expressing this darkness is cathartic.

My abstract mixed media paintings bring the brightness out of myself. They are experimental and full of textures. I love working with new materials, mixing all kind of mediums like gold leaf, resin, paper paste, etc… and exploring new possibilities. When I think of Abstract Art I also think of contemporary interiors. My aim is to create something intricate and luxurious.

My still life paintings are a bit naïve and dark and like my other themes I play with textures.

My creating process is quite slow as I keep adding new layers which need to dry before the next ones. The images keep changing over time until the composition finds the “right” balance.

Has your practice changed over time?

Definitely! You keep learning and finding new tricks. I have not stopped my exploration process yet. I find it hard to paint the same picture over and over again as the repetition takes away the joy of creating and its meaning.

Who are your favourite contemporary or historical artists and why?

I have already mentioned Gustave Klimt. There are so many more artists I love but I tend to find that living artists provide more inspiration to my art practice. Thanks to the Internet, you discover new inspiring artists all the time. I enjoy viewing the work of other artists on various art platforms. I particularly like the ones who find new ways to work with materials other than paint, like abstract paper, plastic, wood or aluminium wall sculptures for example. Latest technologies also bring new possibilities all the time and I just get amazed to see the variety of amazing artists when I visit art fairs. I do not wish to mention specific names as there are so many. To me, Art has never been as exciting as the current times.

If you could describe your work in less than 5 words, what would they be?

Emotional, moody, textured, contrasting, intricate

What is the best advice given to you as an artist?

Accept who you are.