Features & Interviews
10 Artists Share About Their Biggest Influences
A question that artists are often asked is: "What inspired you to make this piece?". The answer that lies behind this question is often the soul of the artwork; and that answer is a manifestation of an artist's background, journey, and exploration in the world of artistic creation. An artist's influence is as subjective as art itself, but it is these influences that shape their creations and the manner in which their works are materialised. Some artists are inspired by the profound works left by masters that came before them, and others are shaped by their experiences and environment around them. This week, The Artling shares these 10 artists and their biggest influences.
Shanghai artist Chengyan Tan studies in the Netherlands and obtained her Masters in Fine Arts. Her artworks focus on the relationship and the link between abstract language, consciousness, emotion and desires, the balance of control and the uncontrollable.
"Life is my biggest influence, all my art creation is a self-practice of my own experience of life. The "self" experienced all kind of things and moments from life, it is being observed and reflected as a piece of creation with curiosity."
Ruda Studio was founded by Alexandra Rudenko in 2017. The Ukrainian designer focuses on creating timeless spaces and unique objects. In their works, they seek to restore the knowledge of Ukrainian folklore and actualise the concepts of environmental topics, conservation of natural resources of the Earth, and human interaction with nature.
"Many authors have contributed to the development of me as an artist. If talking about the technique in which the latest works are made, then these are French designer Jean Royere and Ukrainian artist Alexander Sayenko."
Washington-based artist Melanie Biehle explores the inner workings of the mind, mysteries of the universe, and the often opposing energy of the city and the sea through her abstract works.
"I think for me, it's more of "what" than "who". Travel is a deep well of inspiration for my creative work. I'm a nonrepresentational painter, and my art is a blend of my feelings about places and experiences I've had mixed with some of the physical attributes of it, like color palettes, light, and terrain.
Imaginary aerial or birds-eye topographical views show up consistently in my paintings. Sometimes I even blend a straight-on cityscape view with what it might look like if you were staring down from a skyscraper or the window seat of an airplane.
Some specific artists that I'm influenced by are Richard Diebenkorn and Lee Krasner. I love their use of mark-making, color, and composition."
Amy Beager lives and works from her studio in Chelmsford, UK. She obtained a National Diploma in Art & Design in 2007 and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Nottingham Trent University in 2010. Amy's figurative paintings explore themes of love, beauty, tragedy, and self-fulfilment. The work predominantly features women, which are often inspired by figures found in fashion imagery, Greek sculpture, and mythology.
"Many artists have influenced my work. Most consciously to me are; Marlene Dumas, Peter Doig, Edvard Much, Picasso, De Kooning, Matisse. These painters have influenced my style and the language that I use with paint. I saw Dumas & Doig's work whilst studying and fell in love with how they both used paint and colour to create emotion and narrative."
Anthony Tremmaglia is a Canadian artist born and based in Ottawa. He is influenced by his observations of nature, and through a process of deconstruction and manipulation, he removes their bare essentials in his artworks. What results is grand biomorphic sculptural paintings that retain human-like qualities.
"I would say my biggest would be Mark Bradford for his large scale layered abstracts . They completely devour your senses. His use of materials and how he assembles his works seem so personal/layered with semi-figurative depiction of a scene or topography. Anselm Kiefer is another because again of his highly and unusual materials that are very physical in their presense and his use of confrontational scale. I appreciate his use of symbolism and although my work relates in a material approach I like his use and reference to historical ideas and the present landscape, cosmos."
British Columbia based artist Heidi Thompson moved to Europe to study art where she attended the University of Art & Design in Switzerland. She then moved to Nuremberg and apprenticed with German painter Oskar Koller. Her paintings explore energy, colour, and light. To Heidi, these three qualities are the essence of our reality and spiritual life. She paints with the aim of creating artworks that elicit peacefulness, joy, and optimism.
"Mark Tobey is a great influence. I enjoy his meditative, spiritual approach to creating art. His aim is to find ways to express matter, space and infinity."
For Singaporean artist Aarti Bartake, art is a form of expression that transcends all barriers and connects with people visually and emotionally. Having had a creative mind since childhood, Aarti’s formal training in the field of interior design, graphics, and multimedia helped her acquire the necessary skill set that is reflected in her versatile paintings.
"Influences can come from anyone who is a master of their craft. Gifted Artists who are pioneers in every right have always appealed to me. I am an abstract artist and in my initial period I was moved by the works of Mark Rothko, Piet Mondrian, Joan Mitchell and Georgia O'Keeffe."
Malaysian-born Anglo-Indian artist Jacqueline Gomez grew up in an urban multicultural environment, which has shaped her worldview as well as her figurative artworks. While the human form is one of her favourite subjects, she is on a continuous journey of creative discovery in pursuit of developing her artistic expression.
"I'd say my biggest influence is Gustav Klimt, with his lavish stylistically patterned, tastefully portrayed symbolist artworks. Not only do I find his art inspiring on a technical level with his skillful understanding of colour and composition, I admire how he was able to find just the right balance of ambiguity in depicting the symbolic concepts in his works.
My more modern influences include Marina Kapilova (another artist who elegantly portrays the concepts in her work) Brad Kunkle, Jeremy Mann, Denis Sarazhin, Ron Hicks, and many more."
Ukrainian artist Yaroslav Leonets has always felt the need to convey his feelings in a visual manner. His discovery of painting gave him a way to convey his inner thoughts and feelings. He continuously searches for new forms of communication with the world and expresses them through his paintings.
"I was first inspired by the Impressionists such as Monet and Renoir. I really liked how they depicted light in their paintings, both touching and lovely. Then, I looked at Russian artists such as Repin, Korovin, Serov, The Wanderers, and many others. They were the masters of their time and left behind so many incredible pieces of art. I have always liked realism; it is both true and simple, and this has always won me over. I am also inspired by Soviet-era artists such as Moiseenko, Mylnikov, and Korzhev. I learned composition from their intriguing artworks.
Later, I discovered more American and European artists such as Andrew Wyeth, Sorolla, Leon de Smet, and many others. These artists are masters of their time; they were not afraid to share what they were doing and left legacies.
It seems that without all these artists, I would have been an artist. They opened my eyes to both simple and complex concepts."
Tellurico a multidisciplinary design studio founded in 2017 by Francesco Pace. Based in the Netherlands, Francesco specialises in objects, interiors, and installations. The Italian designer's practise investigates the relationship between craft and environment, and how these two elements influence each other, studying the context in which a project takes place.
"I am not sure about who or what influences my work. I usually do not look at other designers or artists as references. I try more to be influenced by people, their everyday file and the society in which I live. I look into traditions, folklores, myths or old crafts techniques. I think if I have to list something that influences my work, I would name them. My practice is about research more than a nice output."
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