AbstractMag Interview Transcript

Angie is an artist working in Greensboro, NC, USA. We were drawn to her expressive and colorful abstract works, and excited to interview her and learn more about her process. She works primarily with acrylic paint. You can find her on Instagram or visit her website and blog.

How did you get involved with art?
I was always painting or drawing as a child. When it clicked in my head that this is something that I loved doing I found myself exploring this world that only I could create and it fascinated me to explore these deeper reaches of my mind. Its kind of like when you think back to your earliest memory and what your mind allows you to remember. What I remember is always making something with my hands.

Where do you derive your inspiration from?
What draws you to work abstractly?
Inspiration comes to me in many forms with my work. Some days Im inspired by a scientific article or feeling the need to express an emotion Im currently feeling at the time. Im even inspired just to paint a color that I find soothing or exciting because, in the end, my Art is like a therapy for my everyday chaotic mind.

I found myself drawn to abstract expressionism because its such a raw way of expressing the movement that my hand wants to inflict and manipulate on the canvas. I have found a serenity in creating these shapes and patterns that undulate and have meaning for me.

Does living in the south impact or influence your art?
I would say that living in the south has a great influence on my art. I like to think that my work is welcoming, just like the home I grew up in where we were always hospitable to everyone who walked into our lives. I never try to make anything too pretentious, Id rather slowly lead someone into this great world I live in and show them around. Growing up I never saw an appreciation for Art in the south unless I sought that community out, its something Id like to change and feel like its more rapidly getting embraced.

How do you work?
I need music when I work. It ranges from trip-hop, experimental mixes, or modern classical. I really get into the zone when Im painting or drawing. For me, the act of making Art is like meditating. Some days it comes to me and makes me feel like Im in nirvana, some days it doesnt and thats ok, too.


What is some of the best advice youve been given regarding making art?
Dont make Art for others, make it for yourself. I received my BFA from Appalachian State University in Graphic Design. With my degree, I was taught to entice the masses with originality and innovation in mind, but with my Art, I was taught to express what I wanted, what I needed, in my own original form and movement.

Do you have creative blocks or feel stuck? If so, what do you do?
Of course! I work a full-time job doing Web Design and sometimes that reality creeps into the one I created in my artistic space. On the days that Ive just felt overwhelmed and I feel like Im wasting time or painting materials I have to find solace in books. Im an avid reader and sometimes when Im in a corner I just need to open a book and find my way back to the easel. I mostly read Horror, Suspense, and Sci-fi, all three genres, in essence, provoke such strong emotions that they recalibrate my mind.

Do you make a living as an artist, or do you also work in another area?
I do have a full-time job as Web Designer. I treat my job like another medium of Art making but, instead of paint or ink I use code and typography to make something beautiful.

Can you talk about your most recent series, Molecular? Is it about the collision of inner vs. outer worlds?
For me Molecular is an acknowledgment of what is going on in our bodies every minute of every day. Life sometimes blinds us to the simplicity and complexities of life that we should generally be amazed by. For me its interesting to ponder about the synapses occurring in my brain, the way I dont have to think about healing myself when I get wounded, my body just heals me on its own.

Angela Barker