What is your name: Aundra Thompson/AT Local Art, LLC
Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I had some formal education in photography but really did it as an elective, later discovering it was my life's passion. I did a project on homeless in Colorado for a Justice and Race course. Needless to say it spun out of control, in a good way. After incorporating living as a homeless person, black and white photography, writing their stories, a reflection of my experience, statistics and visiting over 10 non-profit organizations my small project now was a very large project with over 100 of hours of work.
What is the style of your pieces: Either socially introspective in order to cause a reflection of a society. My other common style is a very artistic expression of imagination. I get creative visions like a child who day dreams before taught to shut off those thoughts and focus on reality. I love lots of color and bolundryless possibility of human imagination.
What is the medium in which you work: I paint abstract shapes for a reflection on color. I love to work with colorful backdrops and different ways to photograph "reality." I absolutely love color but find myself drawn to the organic nature of black and white images as well.
What started you on your path as an artist: I some what touched on this in the 1st question. However, I was always the person who needed "a plan" and went the more formal career route. It paid well, but I gradually felt like it was killing my soul. I worked for 10 years in international affairs and commercial insurance with no real sense of pride or making a difference in people's lives. So after following the path most traveled, I decided to let go of the plan and go for what I really loved to do. Write and create an image for people to look at the world in a different way than the scrambled rush of moments that seem to just pass us by.
What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: A way to express emotion to the rest of the world. Words can't completely explain a feeling like an image does. For example - A memory is so much more vibrant in our minds than it is to try and explain it out loud to another person.
What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: I love textural paintings. Paintings that make me want to touch them, have multiple medias incorporated, or have a multiple dimension to the eye.
Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: I primarily work online and haven't had a showing in a studio space since college.
Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: Comfortable one's. I love fun fashionable clothing but am a hippy child. So if it's comfortable I worry less about how I feel and can focus on other things.
What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? Being able to constructively accept criticism and not have people recognize how much it physically and mentally takes to create a piece of work. Something you can say it's done, it portrays what I hope to the rest of the world, then place it out there in a public space, vulnerable and delicate in thought, solid in it's form.
What is your favorite sandwich of all time: I love Erbert and Gerbert's Narmer....sometimes I think the bread makes the sandwich. They give you the soft piece they cut out of the middle (pure indication I am a carb lover) then turkey, avocado (could eat them with a spoon), mayo, tomato lettuce, and sprouts
Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: Figuring out how to focus and not get discouraged by discovering things are more work than anticipated. It's so different working independantely. I answer to myself. So either I work for insane hours, crash and burn, or procrastinate into dream land to come back and focus again. For me it's been all about finding personal balance.
Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: This is a very broad outline...there are very different kinds of artists. Music - Sarah McLaughlin, she conveys an emotion with amazing insight, vocabulary and tune. Photographers - Keith Carter, Saudek, Gregory Colbert, Karen Kuehn, and Jessica Rowell Designs
What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: Might be a little too introspective but my tattoo. It took 3 years of drawing it and finding what pieces would represent my crazy, loving, heart break of a relationship with my father after he died. He loved japanese culture, always a tormented soul, loved me...but never the way I needed him to. I was tattooed for nearly 13 hours straight. The pain was representative of my internal state after his passing. The image is of a cherry blossom tree. Alive, but black on the outside as if it presents itself as dead. The flowers come forth like a faithful and ancient renewal of life. It parallel's my father's love for Japanese culture. The tree begins at my low back to the shoulder blades...and has a gust of wind...the winds of change ripping through it. It wraps around my side down my hip. The connection to being a woman and to the future of our family. Then another branch across my side and over my rib cage and heart. I got it in a place to not be shown to other people...it's wasn't a display for anyone else. It was a symbolic conversation between me and my father. Every time I see it that part of me remembers.
Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I have a puppy who's brown lab and chow. Frankly he could care less about the art...he's the perfect age that reminds you of human children. Free, unfocused, so much energy, and living in the moment. He does enjoy our adventures into the wild to run and be in the sun.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: Always looking for a great place to show art work, or to inspire a new project.
My website is being re-designed www.ATLocalArt.com but you can see all of the places I network by going to https://profiles.google.com/atlocalart/about