Friday, 3 May 2013

Priscilla Griscti

It's Follow Friday!

Priscilla Griscti is an artist based in Malta.  It was Pricilla's illustrations I first discovered when surfing the internet.  They are very unique, with great detail and beautiful colours.  The hand-drawn approach on each work of art she creates is ecstatic. Priscilla also creates drawings paintings, collages, design and photography.

You can find Priscilla on Facebook, Behance and twitter @ainhoarts.

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I have been drawing from as far back as I can remember, my parents say that I had a good hand at drawing even before I myself can recall. However, personally, I became firmly convinced of art being my passion when I was around 7 years old. I remember with clarity that it was a line drawing of a horse, quite simple to look at, but quite a challenging for a 7 year old to accomplish. I remember not knowing how it started, but I do remember its progression and its completion with absolute accuracy. I can recount its creation in acute detail, but more importantly I can still vividly feel the emotions and feelings that ran through me during its making. It started off with a rigid line in pencil, dragged firmly across the paper with great precision as though I were incising into a hard material. Without being concerned with its final representation, yet controlling it with absolute confidence, I freed my mind of all thoughts and my pencil began to travel as though being driven by a higher source. From start to finish, I had not once taken the pencil off the paper. It resulted in a flowing and continuous line that began from point A, of which its end had once again reached its point of departure. As though taking a full circle of perfection and moulding it into the desired image that I had concealed in my mind, I found myself at the end of what had initially appeared to me as an impossible journey, feeling as though I had somehow been magically driven there. This overwhelming feeling was in fact my first recollection of strong inspiration and that was when I knew with complete certainty that art would be something I will always love doing.

How have you got to where you are now?

I would say through relentless productivity and determination, and with the real encouragement and support given to me by my parents and by people who admire my art. By being artistically productive and by striving towards being relentlessly innovative, opportunities just came to me naturally without my need to go in search for them.

What inspires you?

Life inspires me, which creates an endlessly infinite number of things that are open to my inspiration. The concept of Love inspires me, as does Spirituality, Philosophy, Psychology and even Science. I am inspired by people and nature, and everything in between. Once you recognise that there is love in all of creation, then there is nothing that doesn't inspire you. Even scenes of tragedy carry their own beauty, and once you see beauty in the harshness of life, there is little left to be uninspired by. That being said, I am deeply intrigued by anything in nature or in art that carries a ''a mystery of the unknown''. I fall in love with people, concepts, ideas or creations that are able to transport me into a world that I am unfamiliar with. And what is truly amazing is that every living thing carries this mystery.

What motivates you?

Spirituality is the driving force behind my inspiration. The same internal energy that moves my being is the same motivator behind my creation. Drawing comes as naturally to me as it is for one to breathe, it is immensely personal and is a necessity for my growth as an individual.

How do you start a new project?

I always carry a sketchbook or a moleskine around with me. Even if I am going out in the evening, I make sure to carry a small A5 sized sketchbook with me in my hand bag, in case I ever feel the urge to sketch something or jot down an idea that comes to mind. Inspiration finds you when you are working and it finds you in the most awkward and unlikely of places, so it is always useful to have a pen and a paper with you at all times. Once you start sketching it becomes easier to create and more natural to become inspired. Productivity suddenly becomes a relentless addiction, beautiful in its own way. I find myself sketching on bus stops as I am waiting for the bus, or moments before meeting someone, or even around people when the conversation goes silent. With a sketchbook I feel like no matter where I am I can never be bored, because by sketching I am allowed the freedom of my imagination. Through constant sketching and branching of different ideas, a new project comes to me very naturally because I can view the flow of my subconscious outlined through the progression of my drawings, that further leads me to the creation of the larger artworks.

What do you enjoy most about being an artist?

For me, being an artist is not only when I create, but it is a way of life. It changes the way you look at life, how you deal with people, it is a way to learn how live in an honest way and it teaches you how to be true to yourself and to others. Art is a source that continuously gives a great abundance of infinite love. Given that I, as the artist, am honest with myself and that which I wish to create, then I am constantly being given back love in return. Art has helped me understand myself in ways so profound that I doubt I could have ever reached through any other source. This has made me grow to such an extent spiritually, that it makes me yearn to continue growing and maturing as a person and as an artist. The amazing part is that through creating, my artworks pave the way to the right direction in my life, like arrows guiding me. The act of creation immerses me into a realm of pure submission to the work, allows the mind to cease thinking, in order to enter into a meditative state of pure focus and letting go. It is one of the most sublime feelings, which is indescribable.

What is your typical day like?

Every morning as I wake up, at the very moment as I open my eyes, I feel overwhelmed with immense gratitude for being alive and everything around me seems to glisten with beauty. The first thing I do is stretch and then take my dogs out for a walk in a beautiful garden very near my house, often carrying a fruit with me in a way that makes me feel closer to nature. After the walk I sit in the garden and meditate for a short 5 minutes before starting my day. When I get home I go straight to my studio and start drawing or painting whilst simultaneously listening to classical music. If I am not in my studio generally I am in Malta's beautiful capital city (Valletta) doing daily errands, again walking in awe of the Baroque architecture and meeting people from and outside the city. If I've spent the whole day in Valletta (whereby I would have still found time to sketch on my Moleskine), I still retire to my studio to continue working on an unfinished painting. At the end of the day I generally meet my boyfriend where we get into this profound discussion about the cosmos or some other philosophical question that can never really truly have an answer. Very often we look back at the artwork I have created that same day and we discuss different ideas that are brought to mind as we contemplate over it. At the end of the day I very often stay with my family and we watch a foreign language film together. When I go out on weekends I always try to go to various cultural activities, and try to be as varied as possible; be it art exhibitions, theatre events, musical performances, live concerts, jazz festivals, stand-up comedy shows, local feasts and the like. Such places where there is an abundance of art or culture keeps me very much grounded in that which I love.

What medias do you like to use?

Every distinct medium carries its own unique characteristics that make it unlike any other. This is why relentless productivity and experimentation is absolutely vital, because the artist must master the potentials and limits of each medium, in order to know which one to pick up to achieve the best desired expression. I tend to fall in love with every given medium, because each one carries a certain singularity that none of the other mediums can achieve with such eloquence. Each medium has its own language, but alternatively, that does not mean that one needs to know the language in order to understand the message someone is trying to say.

I work in various media including pencils, inks, pastels, charcoals, oils and acrylics, I also work in collage and photo-montage, I sculpt in clay and take photographs amongst many other things. Perhaps it is a result of being self-taught, but I never put restrictions on what I should or shouldn't use, or the means of how it takes me to get to the final expression. I never limit myself to any one medium or style because ultimately it is not what you use to create that is important, but the message behind it and how powerfully you express it. One does not need an extensive vocabulary in order to write good poetry. Hence, the medium is generally rendered useless because my concern is the ''soul'' and strength of expression beyond the image. Many times the medium is obliterated, because I have photographs that look like drawings in charcoal, I have works in pastels that look like they have been painted in oils, and I have pencil drawings that are akin to photographs.

What do you hope that 2013 will bring for you?

In September of this year I will be holding another solo exhibition of my artworks at a beautiful Palazzo in Mdina, Malta, and I hope that as with my past exhibitions it will be received positively and with success. Presently I am also discussing the possibilities of having my artworks exhibited in prominent galleries in Paris and Dubai, whilst at the same time discussing other noteworthy locations in Malta. I hope that 2013 will first and foremost allow me to produce artworks that will be profoundly strong and will be able to create an impact on the viewers and hit them to their innermost emotional core, and with that positive opportunities will follow.

Do you get a lot of support from family and friends?

My family has always supported me in Art since I was a little girl. They always thoroughly encouraged me to follow my dreams, to be free, and to carry on in the line that I wished to be heading and for this I am eternally grateful. I had support from many of my friends who believed in me from the very beginning, and who continuously give me words of appreciation. Of course there were many others that disliked the idea of me being an artist, but somehow with time I eventually gained their respect and admiration, which at times was both surprising and fulfilling.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time?

My immediate wish is to have my works exhibited in a prominent gallery in New York, Paris or London. In 5 years time I would like to continue exhibiting in major galleries and museums both in Europe and internationally. In the future I hope to see my works alongside the top artists. The reason being is that I wish for my artworks to continue to be seen by others in the future when I am long gone, hopefully being able to evoke emotions in them regardless of the age they were created in.

Thank you for your time Priscilla, I really appreciate it.

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