Artist, Shae DeTar, speaks with Arthena about her journey making art, experiementing and her obsession with color
How did you get into making art?
I started making painted photo collages as a hobby as a young teenager. I can remember being 12 or 13 when I started, but back then I was just using magazine images to create the collages. It wasn't until about 6 years ago that I picked up a camera and began taking photos and then painting on the images. Painting on my own photos was instantly my passion, and it felt so natural, after having spent so much time painting on other people's photos as a teenager.
What were some of your early experiments with photography?
Experimenting is all I do! I don't really think my methods have changed much since the beginning, I've always approached photography as an experiment. My composition and my confidence and leadership on set has changed, I've grown a lot in those areas, but I still hold experimentation in very high regard. There is no way that I can do what I do, without being experimental, having an open mind and being playful.
I love some of your mixed media photograph-paintings. I’m curious to hear how you started combining mediums and what’s your process.
I don't know where it came from, because I started as a teenager and I never thought of it as art, I just did it as a hobby. It wasn't until a roommate of mine in Milan saw my collaged journals and told me I should go to art school. When I picked up a camera 6 years ago, the first print I made, I began painting on it. I began posting the images on my blog and people seemed to like it, so I felt encouraged to keep going with it. My process is simple really, I think of something I want photograph, then photograph it and then come home with the images and just begin printing. I usually make 2 prints so that I free my mind up from fear of making mistakes. If you have one print, you can be far too precious with it...and the beauty is when you let yourself go and are free to experiment. I like to sit down to my painting desk and just create in the moment. I don't mind limitations, and quite often I have many of them when I am hired for jobs, but I have to feel free within those limitations. I have to let myself create the way a child does. Children just pick up a crayon and begin drawing, and they fully consumed in that moment. They aren't second guessing everything, and judging it all the way through...if you watch kids, they are just consumed in the moment and that's what I try to do with my work. I'm not afraid of trying something, because it might just be the best thing I've ever made, but I won't know if I don't just let myself try it.
Color seems to play a very important role in your photos. A lot of the settings in your work are in nature, but you often break past the rules of nature with your use of color, creating an unworldly environment. I’d love to hear your views on your use of color and also the human body.
Color is my muse. I'm obsessed with color, it's what drives my images, generally. I love nature, but I also do alot within studio settings, and I've found that color carries me through any environment I am photographing. My favorite artists' work are drenched in color, so it comes as no surprise...Van Gogh, Matisse, Klimt, Schielle, Picasso, etc.
Where do you go for inspiration?
Paintings from the past usually and music. If I'm blank I usually go to a museum or go to my library of books and just sort of admire the old masters! They are so inspiring. Music guides me as well...certain songs or albums can really get my creativity flowing.
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