The Artists

Farida Amar

January 1st, 2013

Design • Los Angeles, CA, USA •

“Fuck through it.”


Unraveled Artist Interview:

Q: What is your design philosophy?
A: This is the kind of thing I could literally write books about. In short, I have many theories about why I continue to create, and will therefore have to answer this question with a “I don’t have one.”

I will confess to feeling like not doing my work often, but then, I do it… always. And I do it well, and on time. And if it’s not good enough, I do it over and over until it is. I cannot think of a single project I walked away from without bringing the work to what I considered an acceptable finishing point. If it is unfinished, it means I am still working on it – don’t come for me.

I did write a lot of my thoughts on the creative process into a social theory called Strategic Destruction which is available to download here. It’s written as a living document, so it will probably be different if you go back to read it more than once, mostly because I change my mind all the time as a result of learning new things.

Q: What aesthetic or visual ideas affect you the most?
A: My environment – hands down – wherever I am at the moment I am thinking, working or producing. The immediate physical space: the way it looks, feels and smells; the kind of energy it awakens within me; if there are other people around and if there is sound coming from any part of the space. What time of day it is, what I am wearing at the moment, what I am doing, what brought me there, etc. are also important factors.

If I don’t like where I am, I have to leave or I might have a total meltdown. I often remove myself from spaces that make me uncomfortable without explaining any of this, which is usually misinterpreted as rude. Especially if I’m on a date, lol.

Aside from that, there are a lot of artists and art movements that I admire greatly, although I question how much of that actually matters when I am in process. Maybe it affects me subconsciously, but I don’t look at references anymore when I am making something. I find it irritating and distracting.

Q: How do you understand the interface between sound and visual?
A: Well, I understand whole atmospheres and feelings. Part of that includes what you see and what you hear, but it also includes what you smell, touch and taste. I think it’s integral to being alive to have sensory experiences and only natural for our mind to tie them together into what emerge as feelings.

With Unraveled, I feel like it is less about putting sound and visual together and more about removing smell, touch and taste. Sound and image already have a relationship, and that is totally organic. I’m just trying to remove all the other stuff so someone can realize that they are, in fact, both listener and viewer simultaneously.

Q: Briefly explain your creative process.
A: It would be safe to say a lot of my recent work can be understood as “constructive criticism”. What I mean is that I see problems, everywhere, all the time. The way the system is failing independent artists, the limitations of space, time and money, restrictions we place on our own hearts and minds… etc. And instead of bitching about it all the time, I like trying to find solutions. I think anyone can do this, we all just have different ways of doing it and the kind of work I do – well, it’s my way of trying to make our lives a little better.

So I start with a frustration, or something I identify as a problem and I give myself the assignment to try and do something productive about it. Deciding what to do is part instinct and part research. I like to know as much about this problem as possible, which includes actual research. Reading books and articles in journals, following the news, talking to friends, etc. Along the way that information makes me think and feel and see a lot of things in my mind’s eye, and sometimes those things are reoccurring and every time they come back, they come back stronger – pushing me in a particular direction. Then, you know, I do the work obsessively until it’s done.

Q: Do you believe in the process more than result or result more than process? Why?
A: Results, results, results. Results. If you have results, and you have them on a regular basis, then you probably also have a great appreciation for process. Fuck process without results. There. I said it.

Q: Why do you value being part of an independent artist community?
A: I struggle with authority, and fundamentally appreciate my own independence and others who share that value. I also am a social being, in need of friends and mental/emotional support so I prefer to be a part of a community than left alone for too long. I respect people who have their own mind and who speak it through their creative abilities, whatever they might be. Even more, I am an art director and not an artist because I believe in problem solving and clear communication. I have a masters degree in Communication Theory and sincerely believe that it is impossible to make something that is relevant to the world I live in without a healthy amount of conversation. I need to be a part of a community to have that essential reciprocation through dialogue – it is an important part of my philosophy/creative process.

Q: What is the range of methods, materials and styles you are most comfortable working with?
A: I am most comfortable with a pencil and a blank piece of paper. I have been trained in both film and digital photography, painting and illustration, sculpture, sewing, and digital design which includes basically anything made of vectors. I do  not know motion graphics or animation, I am also really bad with making and editing films. This is most likely due to a lack of patience. Every time something is rendering I want to light the room on fire. I stick to the sill image and things that live in three dimensional physical space. My favorite tools to use are the conventional pencil and paint brush and the less expected staple gun and electric sander.

I’m not sure about “design style” – I think others would say I have a pretty minimal, direct, function-based approach to design. Hah, maybe I don’t have any style at all. Who knows, I like solving problems. You’d have to ask someone else if they think I have style or not.

Q: Please tell us how people can further support you and your work.
A: Join Unraveled. Also, buy a shirt and represent one of our artists. You can also critique my portfolio, I am always trying to get feedback on that thing. If you like what you see and you want to collaborate with me or commission me for anything or if you just want to be friends (I always like new friends) you can send me an email at hi@unraveledartists.com.

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