Saturday, March 27, 2010

Interview with NICOLE BUFFETT

Age? Hometown? Occupation?

I am 33 years old. I grew up here in SF in my early childhood, Los Angeles in my teens/20's.

Describe a day in the life of Nicole Buffett.

Meditate, paint, drink tea, paint more, make dinner with friends, drink more tea, paint, sleep.

How did you get involved in making art?

My grandmother was a collector and a patron to many contemporary painters. She was a singer, my father a composer and my Mom a singer as well. Music and Art were a part of my everyday life. I feel that being an artist is the path that is most natural and true to who I am and where I come from. I first began drawing and painting by replicating vinyl covers from my Dad's record collection. I think the first cover I copied was Cat Steven's Tea for the Tillerman. It was true love from there on out. Music is a very important force in my life and work.

Describe your art to someone who’s never seen it?

The Novelita is a tiny hand bound book made of brown packing paper, each page hand drawn with ink pens and painted with a tiny brush. Diverse in it's conceptual basis, Viva Novelita seeks to embody the spontaneity that I feel is the creative force. In that way, when I sit down to make a Novelita, I really allow whatever is in my mind to articulate itself. There is a very child like quality to my process. I make the Novelitas page by page, not really knowing what might come next. I gravitate towards a palette that is both pop and retro-integrating the sense of the work being contemporary while also referencing times of old. In this way, there is a kind of humor to the surprising juxtaposition of detail and attention that goes in to a Novelita alongside the absurdity of it's size. I am interested in integrating an organic tactile quality along with a highly graphic refined set of marks image. Simplicity has immense power.

Describe your working method. What kinds of materials do you use and why?

I work with a wide variety of materials. For Viva Novelita, I use brown packing paper, needle and thread and a hybrid acrylic/gouache paint alongside ink pens.

Name some influences (art, film, music…) that inspire Viva Novelitas.

In film, I am very inspired by Anime. The colors and forms have an immediacy that I think is brilliant. I am also deeply inspired by Wes Anderson's work. In music, I listen to a wide variety of vinyl while painting. My collection ranges from Wilco to The B-52's to Nick Drake to Ravi Shankar. Listening to music while painting is one of life's greatest joy's and mediations in my life. In art, Miranda July, Rachel Sumpter, Barry McGee and Bruce Nauman are a few who have influenced/inspired me greatly.

If there were one last book you’d get to read, which one would it be?

The Tao Te Ching.

You went to school at SFAI. How did your experience at school relate to what you do today? Any guidance for future graduates?

The San Francisco Art Institute has been a sanctuary for me. Being an SFAI Grad has allowed me to fully embrace and engage my life and path as an artist. I think one of the greatest lessons /secret weapon/tool a student of SFAI gains is knowing that he/or she chooses every day, every moment to be an artist. It is a decision. It is commitment. It belongs to each of us to do what we will with it. It is freedom.
My guidance is this: You don't have to know what you are doing in order to do it. The important thing is to keep doing what you love. If making it makes YOU happy, then you are doing what you are supposed to be doing. Find the joy in your work and give your all to it. Your Art and who are are one in the same. Be who you are and trust your process.

Any last words?

I am honored to share what I love doing with those I love.




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