mercoledì 8 aprile 2009

Interview with Alia Penner

q)Please introduce yourself.

a)My name’s Alia Penner. I grew up in Topanga Canyon.

I almost always wear dresses.

q)Where do you live and work?

a)I live in Los Angeles, CA. My home & studio is on

Mt. Washington, where I have an amazing view of

Downtown. Lot’s of windows & sunshine & rainbows.

q)How would you describe your work to someone who

has never seen it?

a)Dreamscapes made out of pieces of paper & painted


q)How did you start in the arts? How/when did you

realize you were an artist?

a)My parents told me I used to draw these triangle

people when I was little, with hats & one eyeball.

I also could color inside the lines in kindergarden so

they skipped me up a grade. I doubt they do that


q)What are your favorite art materials and why?

a)Old books & magazines, it’s amazing how large print

magazines used to be, and the saturation of color!

Also x-acto blades, spray mount, prismacolors and

paint are pretty important too.

q)What/who influences you most?

a)Music, I collect records. Putting on a new album you

just found, holding it in your hands, looking at the gatefold,

hearing it crackle. It just seems more tangible to me,

I guess that’s why I don’t like to make art on the computer.

q)Describe a typical day of art making for you.

a)It’s kind of like playing with paper dolls. Taking different

pieces and layering them to see who is best fit for

each other. Should the ballerina playing guitar be

riding a elephant or sitting on a priests head? Are they

floating through the hourglass nebula or standing on

an infinite plane with a giant rose hovering above

their head? My roommates cat, Lola, will usually come

sit on whatever I have layed out. Then I can glue it

all down & that’s where it stays…

q)Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve

with your art or in your career as an artist?

a)For it to MOVE. I really would like to make some kind

of animation with my work. Collage really lends itself

to that I think. The movement I see is really simple, like

in Yellow Submarine, there’s a person sitting on a

chair, there hand goes up and then down. That’s all.

Maybe some rainbows shooting out of their hands

would be nice too.

q)What contemporary artists or developments in

art interest you?

a)I feel like I am part of a collective in LA. My fellow

artists, photographers, musicians, fashion designers,

film makers… we are all working on the same cosmic plane.

It’s beautiful to have so many creative friends

to collaborate with, learn from and influence each other.

q)How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?

a)Hm… It depends. I can make a poster for a concert

in a day. Then I have to scan it in, piece it together…

find a printer. So much of my work needs to be printed…

trapped on the computer until then.

q)Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you

emotionally attached to them?

a)I am attached, but not enough to not want to sell

my work. When someone expresses that they want an

original piece I feel like it’s something they will treasure.

Treasure hunting is very important. Also, anyway

to get the check to my landlord on time, I am for.

q)Is music important to you? If so, what are some

things you're listening to now?

a)YES. I saw the Flower Travelin’ Band in Texas last week.

They were SO awesome! I had never heard them before I

saw them live. The first time I saw Tinariwen was live too.

I feel so lucky to get to see & hear music from so far away.

I have been listening to RAM by Paul McCartney a lot,

Black Sabbath, Linda Perhacs…

Also, all my friends are recording their albums right

now & I can’t wait to hear! THE ENTRANCE BAND is

my favorite band, and when the record comes out I

am sure you’ll know why.


a)I just read OZMA of OZ by L. Frank Baum out loud

on a road trip. It was funny because everytime something

happened in the book it would happen right after in real life.

Ozma, Dorthy & their friends were on their way to the

Nome King’s Underground Palace, then I pulled up to

a cave that was dripping with amazing crystals and it took

two hours to get down in to it. It felt like I was there.

q)What theories or beliefs do you have regarding

creativity or the creative process?

a)I feel like you really have to LOVE what your making.

That doesn’t mean when your making it you don’t get

frustrated, or question what you’re doing. I don’t sit at

home kissing my construction paper either... or do I?

You can’t really make art worth anything if your

heart isn’t in it.

q)What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when

you're not creating?

a)Picking flowers from my garden, playing dress-up

everyday, dreaming psychedelic dreams, collecting

treasures at O.O.T.C., watching movies in the cemetery,

dancing until the sun comes up (one day on a rainbow

light up dance floor, I hope) But I guess all those things

are pretty creative… the only thing I can think of that’s

not creative is going to the bank or having jury duty.

q)Do you have any projects or shows coming up that

you are particularly excited about?

a)Why yes I do! I’m in a group show in Echo Park called

COSMIC LOVE. I think it’s going to be pretty spectacular

& healing. I have been making lot’s of new work & I started

making an alphabet book too, So maybe I will get to show

more of my art soon.

q)Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how?

What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?

a)I would like to say yes… but I’m kind of in my own

little world. I look at the Astronomy Picture of the Day

website. Also I am the Psychedelic Healing Visions

Correspondent for I was the Fashion

Editor there until they went out of print in January.

q)Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer,

and answer it.

a)-Do you like painting BIG?

Indeed! My fellow painter Mekenzie Schneider and

I will get together and make giant splatter paintings.

Like Jackson Pollok but two young ladies rocking out

to Hendrix in acrylic covered dresses. We were

commissioned to make a prussian blue and red orange

outer space for our friend, Farmer Dave’s, recording studio.

He put plexi glass over it so he could roll back and forth

across the universe will making his album.

q)Any advice for aspiring artists?

a)DREAM ON*** Something is better then nothing.

No rules…

q)Where can we see more of your work online?


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