Nancy Evans – Art and Cake

What does a day in your art practice look like?
Sweet spot for working in my studio is 3pm to 7+ pm. I rarely work before lunch, and it usually throws me off my rhythm.

What would life be like without art?
I would probably have earned much more money working in digital effects because I wouldn’t have constantly asked for time off to do my own thing. I wouldn’t have ruined my clothes with paint and other messy stuff and the search for cheap studio space lead me to live in some really sketchy areas. As a young person I was often lonely and isolated. Things definitely improved when I moved to Los Angeles and entered into dialogue with some really fantastic artists. I am grateful that visual art provides a way to look at and analyze culture.

What is the hardest part of creating your art?
Figuring out what to paint; struggling with the composition and color occupies 2/3 of my effort. I often take refuge in sculpture, which is more hands on, when I’m stuck in the paintings.

What inspires you?
Mostly inner visions, but I also respond to the work of other artists that I find intriguing. I do spend a lot of time looking at contemporary work in galleries.

“Mermaid” urethane expanding foam, sand 10 x14″

What advice would you give your younger self?
Be objective enough about who you are to recognize the opportunities that are presented to you, which may be different that what your friends are doing.

Who would you most like to collaborate with? Why?
Musicians! When I did performances musicians were always the most intuitive and natural partners, and a real pleasure to work with.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?
For success you need other people to talk about you. Finding your allies and advocates is important because just talking about yourself doesn’t work.

If you could change anything about the art world, what would it be?
Stop the winner-take-all mentality. The successful artists are under a lot of pressure, and the rest of us are starving for attention. No one is having fun in this system

In the studio

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
Sometimes it’s challenging and I use escapist things gummies and day dreaming. Luckily I have a strong habit of working and I’m really curious to see what the process produces.
If you had the chance to live during a different artistic movement other than now, which one would you choose? and why?The turn of the 20th century because there were so many revolutionary artistic breakthroughs then. We are still working off those impulses.

How has personal experience influenced your creativity?
Quite a while ago I was struck by the difference between my actual life, and what sort of things were showing up in my work. I feel like personality and/or personal experience, and artistic expression comes from different areas of the brain.

What do you wish to accomplish with your art?
I always loved the Jack Whitten line; when asked a similar question “what is your art for?” he said something like “Self-Improvement”. Really we don’t have so much control over the rest of the puzzle.

What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out in your field?
Show up for others, and they will show up for you. It is a learning community.

How do you make the leap from an idea in your head to the action you produce?
I use the materiality of paint to get started, like I pour it on the canvas, or I silk screen some elements to start a composition, the rest is call and response.

Untitled, 2023,  48 x 36 “, acrylic on canvas Photo by Martin Cox