Inga Woods is a young Belizean artist that comes from a family of five sisters. She spent her early childhood at a farm in Southern Belize and the rest of her life at construction campsites throughout the country. Since she was constantly moving from place to place, she grew accustomed to not having many friends and making the most out of whichever environment she was in. In her spare time she would get scraps of metal that were abandoned near workshops or pieces of junk by her house and try to make her own inventions. Being surrounded by many hard working labourers and seeing their pride in accomplishing a rough task and the genuine joy they had in what they did, made her strive to find her own happiness. Fortunately after searching for a while she found her joy…in art.
Contest giveaway! Win a free piece of art by the featured artist! First, like Inga Wood‘s page facebook.com/ingawoods and continue reading for further instructions.
Update: Fiona Macfarlane won the contest and she chose the turtle pendant. Check out Inga new website to see more of her awesome work http://ingawoods.com
The interview follows:
What drew you to art?
To be honest, I’m not quite certain. It’s always been apart of who I am without realizing it, I just developed it as I grew older. Since I was young, one thing my family said they always remembered me carrying around a book, a notebook and colouring pencils, which I still do to this day. It’s how I kept entertained and kept a visual record of what interested me. I believe that what made me more interested in art was when I saw the different types of mediums you could create and I wanted to try everything. I was always testing and analyzing why this something felt this way, why it changed texture, what would happen if I tried changing the materials or how to make it work. I felt if I found a medium I could match what my mind wanted to say with my hands, that it would end my frustration. Truly though, the frustration will always be there and constant practice is always needed, I could never stop because I was always learning something new. I find it comforting that I will continue to evolve with my work and excited to see what it brings next.
Are you inclined to any specific art?
I love painting, metal work and especially glass. I find the different mediums all have a purpose.
The painting for me is the fluidity of its lines and vibrant colours, metal would be its tough nature in which you have to take your time to heat it up properly and hammer it down or cut with precision.
The glass is my absolute favourite because of its challenging temperamental fragility, steps in planning and precision in work. It keeps me on my toes and always requires for me to be at my best. If you do anything haphazard or lazy with glass you will be brought to great disappointment when it shatters or incorrectly attached a piece.
How has your work changed? Adapted through time?
I’ve noticed my work has changed from being cartoony or one flat dimension to one of vibrant colours, simple details and abstract. I used to draw a lot of still life, people and nature when I was younger but now I do a lot of figure drawing, movements in life and abstract shapes like mandalas or sacred geometry.
Contest: Fish or Sea Turtle? State which you prefer in the comments section!
Name three individuals who inspire you. International artists and at least one Belizean.
Vincent Van Gogh is one of my absolute favourite, a mad painter he was but a talented one at that; I love his starry night painting.
Leonardo da Vinci for his notes, inventions and drawings, a beautiful way of combining science and art.
Terry Man At Work for his paintings, I love how he captures the moment and colors creating different values and how he gets it to work so perfectly.
Share one private thing that no one knows about you?
I tend to obsess over details, texture and material. I love to touch items with my hands, I feel that if I can’t feel the grains or rigid sections of my art, I can’t appreciate it fully or understand it. I also like to observe people, I love to hear them talk, laugh and watch their gestures. I love learning from others too, and hear their ideas and understanding on life.
Is there a technical side to your passion for art?
With glass and metal you need to know how and what chemicals, equations and materials work with each other because it would be utter chaos and destruction if not done properly. I mainly use tested material when I’m working but I am always experimenting on how to merge stuff together without ruining the other. I know how long I can work with something without weakening it, the pressure it needs to be at, how to stabilized the heat for the glass so that the outside temperature remains with its core heat and various other things. Everything is trial and error but you learn. Practice and safety is crucial.
How do ideas for art projects come to mind?
Usually ideas come by everyday things, people I meet, the things they say or how they say it, the way someone carries themselves with a smile and curlers in their hair or by what’s on the evening news. Simple things. It can also be basic things I crave like being outdoors more often or trying to be heard with my work and express what I’m trying to say with expressions and strike a cord within someone.
What do you do next once you’ve set up these art projects in your mind?
Once I brainstorm, I do simple sketches and write notes to them. I often add colours and start immediately. I try to do it as soon as possible, while the thoughts are fresh and my blood is pumping because sometimes that same inspiration for that piece won’t come again or I would later think it’s a lame idea to continue. Once I get the idea down with the sketches I start painting or crafting my art by hand. Many times, the whole idea changes and warps into something else but I believe that happens for a reason. I just let it happen and let it mold into what its suppose to be. In life you don’t all the time get what you want but you get what you need. I put a lot of myself into what I do because I love it and I feel it so deeply that my work reflects it and people can also see and feel it.
What if someone isn’t thrilled with your work? How do you react?
It makes me more curious. I observe them, ask them why and look at their reactions, listen to their tone of voice and carefully watch their body gestures. It doesn’t hurt me if they don’t like my work but I do take interest in why. I feel that I pour myself into a painting, I leave my emotions trapped inside, I detach myself from it when its complete. Like a phase in life you go through. So I don’t take it personally when they criticizes my work, I see it as a reflection of themselves of their tastes, interests and views but I do learn from it and grow. I will never be able to please everyone but if I continue to do what I love no matter the nay sayers, I just want people connect either to my work or with who I am.
Share with me your latest art project.
My latest project is a Hannibal Mask made entirely of glass and a metal mesh screen. It symbolizes a lot of things but mainly the way society has kept us silent because they know how powerful and deadly we are once we speak our minds. It’s like a cage they place you in and tell you to follow orders. This shows as a mask that could be broken and the power the holder has once it realizes its potential. And of course I have new and exciting ideas I can’t wait to try!
Any parting advice for up-and-coming Belizean artists?
Continue to express yourself through art, keep finding yourself through whatever mediums possible and read many books. Many books!
Once you do all of this, there is nothing stopping you. You will find your way and grow in your path of enlightenment. Faith is powerful don’t lose it to doubt. Believe in yourself, your work and ideas, you are after all here to complete a purpose. No painting, piece of work can match your worth. Don’t let money make you its slave, make it yours. Demand the best and strive to give it your all, grow from it and most of all remember you are not alone.
Details: The prize is a handmade glass pendant worth $50. One entry per person. Ladies, here’s your chance to win a beautiful Belize souvenir, fellas, win this for someone special! The winner will be randomly chosen using an online tool and announced at the end of July on my facebook page so make sure you’re also a fan there facebook.com/belizeadventure. International winners must pay for shipping. Share this interview if you want more posts like these…