People are my inspiration: the creative unconscious interview (January, 2016)

1. Name, Age, Professional Title, Employer

Larissa Eremeeva-Tupitsyna
Artist (painter)
A lady never tells her age:-)

2. What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?

Interior and exterior design. I specialize in low budget flip overs because I believe that everybody has a right to live in an aesthetically pleasing space and low budget is always the most challenging. Does this have something to do with my work as an artist? Not really, it’s more that it helps me to clear my mind before the next line of work. It’s all about aesthetics. People are my inspiration, their behaviour, why they do what they do. 

3. Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you’re proud of?

They are one and the same for me. I am the luckiest person in the world because I enjoy all my work whether its a flip over, a portrait commission or participating in a design project.

4. What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?

Very early in the morning, before the sun goes up. When I wake up, my mind is already engaged with transforming ideas to canvas. I start to paint in my head. The quietness of that time of the day, nothing distracts, thoughts flow fluidly.

5. What are your creative goals for the future? 

I have analytical mind, so everything I see or hear keeps me analyzing peoples’ behavior and through them, of course, my own. People are my inspiration: exploring our strengths and vulnerabilities as we lead our “normal” lives excites me.

For example, my collection Catachreza explores the worlds that people create for themselves in the hope to control and manage at least a part of their existence. Catachreza came about when I stumbled across Timothy Archibald’s photographic studies of his son Elijah, who has autism. I became absorbed in the way he photographed Elijah, who appeared to hide from the view of the camera. At first this fuelled the contradiction in my mind that in today’s chaos everybody is hiding from one or other reality – building walls to protect from non-acceptance by the outside world.

Magnolia from the collection Catachreza

In the process of creation I found that actually I was painting my own feelings at that particular time. I had just moved to the US and left behind my connections in the Netherlands – I felt disconnected in this new country – so my subconscious drove me to create Catachreza. The name Catachreza is from the literary word catachresis, which means “a word or phrase being used in a way which significantly departs from conventional usage”.

My goals for the future are to continue developing in this direction – exploring themes of religion, identity, politics and a longing to belong. Portraying the private expressions behind the public faces. 

6. Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?

More recently, I extended and explored this theme further in the series Casual Thinking Of The Metrical Mind. Here I aim to portray an antidote to the happiness industry that is behind billions of the self-images created on social media.  People want to belong to a group – this drives creation of images adhering to the groups’ unwritten guidelines. Overwhelmingly these days  those guidelines mean you must be having fun, be being happy, be awesome. I don’t belong to any group – except, by way of contradiction, to that group of people who do not want to belong to a group.

Factory Three installation from Casual Thinking of the Metrical Mind
7. What scares you?

Nothing! Except the thought of not being able to start/continue painting after a dry spell.

8. What does success mean to you?

When I Google myself and discover that my work is being blogged and shared (ironically, on the same social media) by more and more people all over the world… that more and more people write about and appreciate my art.

9. Anything else you want to add?

Thank you for inviting me to participate in your project, its always nice to have my work appreciated.