In the vibrant world of art, every artist has a unique story to tell, a journey that is both personal and expressive. Today, we delve into the creative mind of Marvin Zahora, a local artist and employee here at The Art Store, with a distinctive style that has evolved over the years. Here's our conversation with Marvin:
Interviewer: Can you tell us a bit about your background as an artist? How did you first get started in the art world?
Marvin Zahora: As a teenager, I got the opportunity to take painting classes from a local artist, which ignited my passion for art. Later, I pursued animation and digital media at SUNY Alfred State during my college years.
Interviewer: Can you describe your creative process from the initial idea to the finished artwork? Do you follow a specific routine or have any unique techniques?
M Z: I generally start with thumbnail sketches, refining the design until it feels correct and appealing. For more complex pieces, I create secondary sketches exploring value and color options. However, for faster and more expressive works, I dive in and complete them in one sitting.
Interviewer: Many artists have a signature style. How would you describe your artistic style, and how has it evolved over the years?
M Z: My lines tend to be imperfect; I overshoot corners and eschew proper proportions, giving my work a sense of slight off-ness. I lean towards lurid colors. Over time, I've worked on improving proportions and practicing drawing from life to make my art more convincing and three-dimensional.
Interviewer: Are there any artists, historical or contemporary, who have had a significant influence on your work?
M Z: I'm a big fan of Lucian Freud, Alice Neel, Egon Schiele, Edvard Munch, and others. Their human figure work, in particular, has been a significant influence on my own.
Interviewer: Do you have any rituals or habits that help you get into a creative mindset when you're facing artistic block or seeking inspiration?
M Z: I practice meditation and journaling, along with purposeless free sketching. If I'm stuck, I'll do studies or use word-generating websites for prompts. Artistic block for me usually means other aspects of my life need attention.
Interviewer: Some artists prefer working in complete silence, while others need music or other sounds. What is your preferred working environment, and how does it affect your creative process?
M Z: I like to play jazz or orchestral music in the background for mindless work. If it's something challenging, I prefer silence. It's like turning the radio down to see better while driving.
Interviewer: Do you have a favorite time of day or season when you find yourself most inspired to create?
M Z: Early mornings are my favorite. The sense of possibilities and mental sharpness after a good night's sleep is invigorating.
Interviewer: Many artists have a dedicated workspace. Can you describe your studio or workspace? What elements are essential for you to work comfortably and efficiently?
M Z: My studio has a couple of nice desks, shelves holding materials, and a pegboard for easy organization. I need lots of flat space to lay out materials and good lighting.
Interviewer: Are there any specific tools, materials, or mediums that you feel particularly connected to in your artistic practice?
M Z: I love it all, but I greatly favor ink and lines across all mediums. Graphic media was one of the first things I came across, and it has influenced me for life.
Marvin’s journey as an artist is marked by a dedication to constant improvement, an exploration of unique styles, and a deep connection to the creative process. His ability to draw inspiration from various sources and adapt his techniques is a testament to the dynamic nature of artistic evolution. We are lucky to have him here at The Art Store, and we are so excited to see what direction his art takes next! You can see his art on display this entire month in our second floor gallery!