Anthony Vasquez is a painter with a vision to inspire and equip the next generation of artists. He studied studio painting under Eugene Schilling at Adams State University. Originally from Las Cruces NM he is currently residing in New Delhi working with Art for Change Foundation.
When did you first start painting and know this was it?
The first painting I ever did was in my senior year of high school. I enlarged a very abstract digital design that I did on adobe. At that time I really didn’t know what I was doing. It wasn’t until freshmen year in college that I fell in love with painting. Friends and I would often go hiking so I started out doing landscapes of Colorado wilderness.
What are the challenges of being an artist?
For me it has always been about facing fear and the different ways that plays out in your creativity. We always feel the pressure of being understood and accepted, that’s just our nature. I think it is essential to have your identity rooted something much larger than yourself. For me the example in Christ is a deep rich well to draw from. I have found that placing my identity in him allows me so much more freedom than if I rely on myself. Along with that I think it is a great task as an artist to go beyond the portrayal of brokenness and show a process of restoration, and hope.
How do you manage the balance between work and your own creative pursuits?
Wow, that’s a tough one. So work is different for everyone. I don’t do a lot of commissions so for me work has more to do with serving others than it does producing art. So structurally I have to be very diligent in separating time in my week.
Where do you find your inspiration?
In all seriousness, I find it in life. There are so many beautiful and hard aspects to convey, I mean the human condition is still being studied, I love how complex we were created. I really like that challenge, especially how my work can reflect the new environments around me, or even how new environments shape my work.
How do you get ideas for your art?
Close friends know me as a very serious person. I wish I was funny but that usually doesn’t work for me. So my work often revolves around a narrative pertaining to some aspect of my life that some times is a bit serious.
What is your favourite medium to work with?
I really miss working in printmaking like lithography and etching, I miss that drawing element and challenge of the process. But I thoroughly love painting with oils. There is so much to learn as far as technique goes.
Is there anything your are currently working on?
Yeah, in the preliminary stages though. For the past two years I have been focusing on developing my understanding of the figure, so lots of portraits and studies. I am finally getting to composition that is purely narrative. I hope to find a balance with communicating the figure properly and keeping the painting fresh, I don’t want my work to be so tight and rigid to a process. There’s just something, perhaps impatience in me that just wants to push paint around and move fast.
What does your workflow look like?
I don’t know if this answer’s your question, but I have a lot of painting under paintings. In the eleven years married I can’t tell you how many times my wife got mad at me for completely painting over something she like.
Is there any advise or insight you would like to give other in their creative journey?
Be yourself, be honest. I cant remember who or where I heard this, but the message was to understand that as an artist you should always connect with you audience in a relational way. The strength of that support will sustain you as an artist in so many ways. I feel like most artists want fame and sacrifice honesty for it.
Are there any creative people that you are a fan of that you think deserve some exposure?
A good friend of mine Larry Madrigal back in the states is killing the figurative style right now. His work will blow up one day.