October 2011 Art Show: Interview with Stephanie Rigsby
How did you art enter your life?
Art has always crept up in different mediums in varied intervals of happenstance. The first time I realized I was in love with art was when I painted my first picture, in preschool. Our teacher had taken us outdoors to let us paint the world around us. It was autumn so the leaves were a miraculous color and I began to paint from a nearby tree, from the bottom up. I realized I wanted to capture not only the essence of an outline, but every single detail- from the bark to each individual leaf. Needless to say, as time passed, I blended into the growing dark shade we sat under, so engrossed in my perseverance to capture detail, I somehow got left behind.
When I finally painted the last leaf, I looked around to see it was nearly night and I was all alone. I was astonished to see how I absorbed I could become in something that time was able to become completely suspended. This to me felt like a miracle or some kind of wonderful magic. My first conscious thought to creating with any sort of seriousness, however, came from an accidental discovery of surrealism, when I was eight. It remains one of my most effectual muses.
Surrealism for me incorporates the technical capability of realism, while maintaining imaginative fantasy- it is the wilds of the creative realm. While not simply fluff, it also integrates a depth of symbolism, which may cater to philosophy, psychology, mysticism, political/social discourse, or simply experimentation/ the avant-garde. I believe a great avenue art leads us down is one of lent perspective. When depiction is abstractified just enough to allow for interpretation and realistic enough to suggest credence, it can open up individual perspective to new or wider spectrums of thought.
What inspires you?
My inspiration is derivative of the myriad of things. I surround myself with a constant flux of expressive culture- films, books, music, performances. I find I’m also often struck by the simplest things, lit up colors and shapes- these are the images I frequently capture with my camera. Other inspiration comes from language itself- in screenplays, lyrics, or everyday conversations.
What mediums do you work with?
I am primarily a photographer and writer, though started out as a painter. I found photography was a media which allowed me to best capture what I felt and saw with my inner eye most. With photography, the best aspect of it, is that I can capture the world as an internal journal- what things astonish or effect me that are alive in the movement of time as it’s literally passing. There are so many experiences and observations we are exposed to- photography allows you the time to render them all.
What are your artistic goals?
I haven’t put as much effort into exhibiting my art, as I’ve been more focused on creating it. Though, the body of work I have has steadily been growing more vast- like water filling a dam. Before it bursts to overflowing, I think I’ll endeavor to release more of it so it may be shared with others. Creatively speaking, however, I look forward to dabbling more in alternative and antiquated processes of photography as well as working in sculpting and short filmmaking.
What’s your ideal Saturday?
My ideal Saturday, if I lived in Sacramento, would be to take a stroll through the Second Saturday art walk to expose myself to all the wonderful new realms of art that have been created. Generally, I like to have new experiences, whether it be traveling, going to galleries or museums, seeing bands play, or watching a performance piece. I find inspiration and rejuvenation in the insight of experiences that douse the senses in fresh perspectives.