We’re so pumped about our conversation with Sandra Duran Wilson. Sandra is a Contemporary Acrylic Artist, Author and Inspirational Instigator and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Sandra below.
Hi Sandra, thank you so much for sitting down with us again. For folks who might have missed our initial interview, can you start by briefly introducing yourself?
My curiosity drives my inspiration. Abstract scientific concepts in physics, biology and chemistry, along with the pure fun of exploring what paint can do keep me exploring. My love and fascination of the materials for making art have pushed me to expand the paintings beyond the flat surface. I have adapted my paintings into three dimensional sculptures which incorporate layers of acrylic paint onto cast acrylic. The pieces are fused together like glass. Light moves through them and they have multiple images depending on the angle of viewing. I will often insert these layered pieces into the wood panels that I paint on. The look is intriguing and will pull the viewer into the depth of the layers. I call them layers of light and color. Synesthesia plays a role in the color and composition because when I hear music, I see colors.
How has teaching art changed in the new Covid world?
I was already filming and editing classes for teaching online at my Awakening Your Creative Soul website. At the start of 2020 I was scheduled to teach in-person workshops all over jumping from Australia to Europe to many locations around the US. Two weeks before we were to leave for New Zealand, the world locked down. Like most people I spent the first month in shock, but then I knew I needed to reach out to my students and create more online classes. I learned videography, audio and editing. I wanted to give back to others that might not be able to afford classes but were in desperate need of a creative outlet. I started my YouTube channel, Mixed Media Soul Sparks, and my team and I produced weekly classes for free for almost a year. We have transitioned to a monthly subscriber option but you can still view all the free ones on You Tube. My next big learning curve was live Zoom classes. I have just gotten my first one under my belt and I am in the process of planning more.
Why is making art even more important now, even with many venues closed?
I make art because I must. It is not optional, just like breathing. I ask my students why they create and the answers range from a way to feel connected to something besides themselves, to keeping them sane. I have been a creative entrepreneur my entire life. I have even worked as a bartender to support my jewelry career, but over time making art became my sole means of income. I have now introduced writing, teaching and travel into my mix. I have many forms of expressing my creativity from painting, sculpting, designing, writing and now I am moving into the public art installations and land-based art. Like I said, creating is like breathing.
What opportunities have you discovered during the time of isolation?
I have read more novels and watched more videos over the past year than in the previous decade. I have rediscovered the power of storytelling. We are creatures of stories. It is how we communicate and as a painter I am a visual storyteller. The opportunity of engaging in more stories has inspired my art in new ways that I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. The other thing I decided was to put my health first. Even when I have lots of deadlines, I do not put off my workout time. It comes first.
How has your art career path changed?
I reinvent myself every decade. I find that it is a natural progression. I love to figure out how to do things, and my art is created in my mind 80% before I even pick up a tool. I continually challenge myself to learn something new. Video and now recording and translating paintings to music is the next step. I have always loved land-based art and I am also embarking on some site-specific installations. I think this follows the path of learning new ways to express my curiosity.
What is the big question we face in a changing world?
Lately I have been questioning making more things. For me the pandemic showed me that I didn’t need more stuff. Yes, art is important and I am looking at ways to create experiences that will expand one’s creative expression and expand their perceptions of art without making more “stuff”.
How do you view travel and learning in a new paradigm?
It is essential to connect with other people and places that are new to us. It is how we will solve our cultural problems. When I was a kid confronted with racism. I thought if everyone looked the same then it would solve the problem. This simplified solution isn’t the answer, I see now that it is our differences that makes us stronger. Travel opens our eyes but only if we travel to experience the land and culture, not to just go someplace to say you have been and have a selfie to prove it. Anyone can use travel to see a new paradigm. It is learning to see with fresh eyes. Take a walk in a neighborhood where you have never been. Travel on public transportation if you normally don’t and go to the countryside if you live in the city. If you live in the countryside go to the city. Stand on your head and look at the world upside down. There are no limitations to explore a new paradigm, it’s all in your mindset.
Alright, so before we go, how can our readers connect with you to learn more and show support?
I would love to hear from you all. Please visit these two websites and all social media links will be found there as well. https://www.sandraduranwilson.com/ https://www.awakeningyourcreativesoul.com/