Have you always considered yourself an artist and known art would be an integral part of your life?

Absolutely not. Never ever did I think I would become an artist, let alone have art become an integral part of my life.

Do you remember a moment when a piece of art stopped you in your tracks?

Yes! I don’t remember the time or the year, but I do remember stopping in the middle of my work and questioning what I was making. I was painting on an 18 x 36 white canvas. I added a piece of tape in the middle, painted one side black and the other side red and then I let it dry out. Once it was dry, I added red paint on my fingers, and on the black side I put black dots all over, and with my five red fingers. I plastered my hand on the black and dragged my hand down. I did that about four times. On the red side I did the same but with black paint on my hands. Once I did that I stopped, stepped back, looked at it for a while and thought to myself, I’m calling this a ladybug. After I did a few more tweaks and I was officially done, I looked at it for so long and I said, This is not a ladybug; this is a feeling I have felt before and I’m adding it into a canvas.

2021 Pyramid by DavidAreYouHuman

Who are your favorite artists?

I could name quite a list of my favorite artists, but my top three are Keith Haring, Vincent Van Gogh, and Michael Basquiat.

What medium are you currently working in?

I do mixed media and line art.

3 by DavidAreYouHuman

Does your photography influence your line art and mixed media pieces?

My photography does influence my art, but mostly my line work. When I take a picture, I like to make sure whatever I am capturing is aligned right with my camera. I like my pictures to be straight and forward. My photography in a way is just like my line work.

Tell me a little about your self-portraits.

I have a few self-portraits, but I must say, all my paintings and all my line art are one huge self-portrait. They all reflect who I am. DavidAreYouHuman.

What would you say to someone just starting out in the art world?

Have fun!!! Appreciate everything that your creative mind comes up with. There is no such thing as perfect art. Be sloppy, be messy, be yourself. Once you get comfortable and want to show your art, take it to art galleries [and] start a social media account. Along the way, you might get rejected or get no appreciation for your work, but that’s not the end. Along your art journey, you will find out if art is meant to be a part of your life.

Tell us a little about your current project

I am currently working with a videographer on making one of my visions into a reality. Looking forward to that!

Your work with a videographer sounds exciting. Will you be creating a piece of performance art?

Yes. I am so excited to work with a videographer; it will be a performance piece of art, and it won’t be at the same time. I don’t want to express much about it.

Do you have any routines or rituals to get you in the mindset to create?

I don’t want to sound cocky, but no. My mind is ready to create 24/7…. I usually put my favorite music on my speaker and let my mind take over my hands.

What inspires you?

My past, present, and future.

Can you share a moment in time that has propelled a particular piece of art? How have personal challenges impacted your work?

I could name a lot of those (haha). But I think the most important one has been my emotions and how I carry that into my work.

Tell me more about how emotions can drive your creative process.

Emotions… they can become a huge part of your art. Anger, depression, happiness, anxiety, etc.… Turn those emotions into an art tool. If you are feeling some type of way, let it all out when you are painting or drawing. Doing this will make your art more powerful.

What do you do when you are experiencing a creative block?

When I’m experiencing an art block I usually just sit down, chill for a while, and go back at it without any regrets on what the outcome will be.

You describe art as a way of sharing a part of yourself with the world. Does this make the process of sharing art feel vulnerable? Has sharing your art led to creating new connections with others?

No, it does not, because what I make is for everyone; anyone can view it in a different perspective.

Sharing my art has definitely led to me connecting on an emotional level with others. The biggest connection I made with someone because of my art was back in 2016 when I was attending college at WSU in Pullman. It was my second week being there, and it was time for me to meet my counselor. She asked me, “Tell me about yourself,” and I did, and I brought up that I was an artist. I showed her my work, and at the time I was drawing on line paper in a notebook that I still have.

There was one drawing that touched her the most. She was flipping through my line art and she stopped at one in particular and started crying. She told me my drawing reminded her of something her mom had told her. Sadly, her mom had passed away when my counselor was younger. I was confused and shocked on how such a simple drawing triggered her memory and led her to burst out her emotion. I will always carry that moment in my heart.

How can our community better support artists?

Our community so far has done great to support artists, BUT… we are in new times where things that were uncommon and looked at as weird are being accepted by the world. Our community could do the same: accept any art regardless of what it is because it is ART.

How does art create change?

Oh man! Hahaha, art can create change in many ways! In the way that you think, in how you see the world, in how you walk, and even in your personal life. Art can create change in a positive way and in a negative way, and if you experience both the positive and negative, take them both, and turn them into an art tool! Don’t ever stop making art no matter the change that art may bring into your life.

Ashleigh Rogers is an Artist and art instructor living in Richland, WA with her husband and three children. Find her on Facebook or Instagram

David Lopez on Instagram: davidareyouhuman

Photos by DavidAreYouHuman