inFocus interview with inspired artist Yvonne Lozano

Written on July 1, 2011 by in Artistry & inspiration, Interviews

I discovered painter Yvonne C. Lozano in April, during my first Jacksonville Art Walk. Her exhibition, “What Happened to the Chickens?!” was on display at The Art Center Cooperative, downtown. As I saw more of her work online and around town, I knew I had to interview her. Her work is immediately recognizable due to her consistent style, and the universality of her themes really speaks to me.

Hello Chickens, (c) Yvonne Lozano

Yvonne, thanks so much for agreeing to this interview. Please share a little bit about yourself and your work.

I’m originally from New Orleans, LA and have been in Jacksonville for almost 25 years now. I have always pursued some sort of creative process my entire life. Though I enjoy the technical aspect of creating, I really enjoy the power that art has to tell a story and its ability to invoke emotion & nostalgia. The main series I’ve been working on is what I refer to as “My Childhood Series” depicting memories of my own childhood. I also enjoy doing illustrations of my dog both in a more traditional realistic manner and in more of a pop art setting, depicting him as a world traveler or as various famous characters.

What message do you want to share with the world through your work?

When I initially started my current series of work over 10 years ago, I did it for very selfish reasons. I wanted to retreat into my happy place, and focusing on my childhood memories helped me to achieve that. To depict them the way I wanted to, as if a child was illustrating their own life, I had to really revert and think back to how I felt as a child to help capture the essence of that innocence. This series actually turned into a form of therapy for me and as I continued to do it, I started to notice how it would also positively affect the viewer simultaneously taking them to their happy place. I really have come to recognize that the saying is true: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. As children, our world view was so different, innocent and full of hope, there’s no reason why we can’t continue pursuing that in our present lives and I hope my art helps the viewer to reach that state of mind. :-)

We Floated, (c) Yvonne Lozano

You have a very distinctive style. Do you have any tips on how others can discover or develop their style?

I started this series in my final year at Jacksonville University after doing a lot of traditional artistic studies. I was ready to break from creating what I saw, like figure, landscape or still life studies and I wanted to dive into the more creative side of my brain and tackle creating images that invoked emotion based on subjects that I knew about. After much deliberation and some events that occurred around the  same time that reminded me of my younger years, I decided to tackle my childhood memories but I not only wanted to document the memory but also the feeling & emotions evoked from the memory. I don’t try to be someone or something I’m not. I will continue studying different styles and media of art to keep my skills finely tuned and, depending on my mood, sometimes I create finished pieces in different styles & subjects but I make sure to stay true to who I am. I enjoy humor, pop culture, learning, exploring, etc., and you will see most of my work reflects that in one form or another.

Depending what type of artist you are, making your mark depends on how you want to define yourself. First and foremost it’s important to spend a long time learning your craft, techniques, media, design, composition, art history, etc., and that process never ends. I believe a strong artist continues the learning process their entire life; your mind & creativity always needs to be fed to keep the inspiration and ideas flowing. In addition, I believe you need to spend a lot of time learning about you and how you plan on defining yourself through your art.  I see artists doing all different types of stuff to get recognized and sometimes it works and sometimes it just falls flat because it’s not who they are. As boring as it sounds, you really need to be true to yourself, your likes and dislikes, don’t stop learning & experimenting and, when you finally hit on something real, you’ll know it and so will your audience.

Quality Time, (c) Yvonne Lozano

Are there ever times when you’re not feeling inspired? What do you do to feed your creativity?

It’s rare that I’m not inspired. Since I have a tendency to be a workaholic, if I find myself in that position, it’s normally because I’m physically & mentally tired and I take the hint that my body & mind are probably telling me I need to rest and recharge, so I follow suit. I feed my creativity on a daily basis in prayer & meditation, by making sure to stop and look (I mean really look) at the world around me, study people, learning nonstop whether it’s just researching interesting subjects on the internet—anything from history, science, art, cooking, relationships, etc.—and spending time with people I love helps keep me lifted and inspired as well.

You’re an avid user of technology and social media. How has that impacted your business?

In this day and age of social media, it has become easier for artists to reach a broader audience but, in the same token, there is definitely more competition. As an artist, you have to pick and choose your formats wisely and also be aware of how you choose to solicit work. Overly aggressive artists can be seen as spammers, while more timid ones can get lost amongst the explosion of messages. I think it’s best to try to keep your communications clear, insightful and pertinent, and avoid spamming at all costs. With all the outlets available, I find it easier to explain my work and give people a broader understanding of what I do; in addition, it also allows people to get into the life & mind of an artist, which to many is a mystery. Instead of seeing a finished work hanging on a wall, the viewer can actually see the unfolding of the creation process as you document it every step of the way helping to raise the value of what you do. I feel that social media and technology have helped me tremendously to get my work out to a broader audience, but I have also found that maintaining my blog with insightful writings about what I do has also been a huge help as well.

GoodBye Florida, (c) Yvonne Lozano

What would you say to artists who are afraid to post their work online for fear of it being copied and/or misused?

First, it’s important to copyright your work with the U.S. Copyright Office so,  if there is ever a dispute, you have your work documented. I try not to live my life in fear of “what if.” There are many ways to protect your work such as adding watermarks to images before you upload them or adding a warning message to any site you post your images to (i.e., All work seen here is protected under US Copyright law…) One very important investment for an artist is to have a good attorney who is  familiar with law for creative professionals so, in case you ever need to pursue a copyright issue, then you will have sound legal counsel behind you.

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You can find out more about Yvonne and her work by visiting her:
Website
Facebook Page
Twitter
Etsy site, where she sells original paintings
Fine Art America site, where she sells prints

What do you think about Yvonne’s style and theme? Did anything she say particularly resonate with you? Please share in the comments below.

Cheers,
Kate-signature

PS, Happy Birthday to my MIL, Peggy!

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