Artist Joanna Gregores shares her delightful portfolio and fascinating story, and talks about doing business with her creative work.
ABI: Your art has a joyful feeling – whimsical, colorful and fun. What inspires you to create?
JG: Color and whimsy are a way for me to make peace in what seems like a more and more hostile world. Instead of focusing on all the darkness, I like to see the light and celebrate it with color and joy.
I have had the good fortune to live on three different continents and it is through my drawing that I have discovered different cultures and people. My pen is my camera and my way of seeing what is around me. I love the act of drawing, painting and mark-making whether it be a pen and ink contour drawing, a watercolor or a large textural acrylic painting. I often balance my work with patterns and am captivated by the small details found in the world around me.
During my Vietnam years I became enamored with it’s tropical flora and fauna and it continues to be an inspiration today. I used to ride my bike, pen and sketchbook in hand and draw tree’s, orchids, market sellers and people simply living their lives.
I also love architecture and living in one of the great capitals of the world is a daily feast for the eyes! When I first got here I was mesmerized by the rod iron railings, the way they twisted and turned and I drew them incessantly, I think these details even if now subconscious are ever present in my work.
City life fascinates me because there is so much going on simultaneously. Humanity is my greatest inspiration. I love to capture vignettes of daily life, whether it be a a still life or people sitting in a café watching the world go by.
There are so many threats in our world today. If my work can give someone a smile or a small respite from all the dangers that lurk, I will consider that I have contributed something positive to this world we all share.
I have printed my work on fabric and created a line of of textiles, such as tablecloths, placemats, napkins and runners as well as pillows and window shades. Several years ago I created a line of lamps, printing my designs on mulberry paper. I did trade fairs in San Francisco, New York and Paris and developed a clientele from the shows. Presently I am working with a company called Vida and I have a line of cashmere silk scarfs, bags, blouses and pillows which can be found on their site.
ABI: What plans do you have to develop your art and your collection in the future?
JG: I am planning to spend much more time in San Francisco, California and will definitely be doing a lot of drawing in the months to come. I would like to further develop my licensing possibilities and work with interior decorators, and designers. I really love working in textiles and think my work translates beautifully in these mediums.
I am also actively trying to make my original pieces available as prints to make my work available to a wider audience. To be very honest, I am open to pretty much anything, and love to discover new things that don’t compromise my artistic integrity and provide a challenge.