THE INTENSE INTERNAL WORLD OF A WORKING VISUAL ARTIST IN NEW YORK. AN INTERVIEW WITH ALINE DECAT
1. Aline, describe the creative scene in New York ?
As you might expect, the creative scene in New York is, of course, amazing! What you might not know until you live here is how helpful artists are to each other. They love to collaborate, help, and support each other, making the artistic community very strong and very rich inspiration wise. Art is essential to New York, and New York is always hungry for more of it.
2. You are a video maker, illustrator, painter and a performer. Which one of these creative disciplines did you start of with and which do you prefer the most ?
I have been a visual artist my whole life. I have always felt a deep urge to not only tell about what I had inside, but also actually show it most of the time. Throw it at people's faces and print it onto their retina. The use of visual arts was so obvious. I have been drawing for 30 years now. I pretty naturally developed an interest in moving images, and then continued with pursuing acting and performances. There is logic there, and I like to look at it as an evolution, although I will never give up one for another.
" I have always felt a deep urge to not only tell about what I had inside, but also actually show it most of the time. Throw it at people's faces and print it onto their retina. "
3. What do you love most about creating and being an artist? What does “being creative,” mean to you ?
Being creative to me means I don't need to fit any frame, I have no guidelines and I have no restrictions. I have a way to let things out, which I really cannot do with words. A true need to make it through life. I can be myself but also anyone else. I can talk to myself and anyone else. It means I can tell my stories in the way that makes most sense to me, and if I'm lucky, some other people might feel the same way about what I just showed them. I am aware it is a very candid vision of art, but so far I have had no reason to change it, because that is what I need. Probably I'm lucky.
4. What is your major source of influence? Other Artists? Books? Films? Other media ?
Actually, I don't have a major source of influence or more likely, I have so many. My own history of course; sex, childhood and death, but also a movie that I really got into or that I watched several times at a certain period of my life. I also get inspired by people on the internet and the whole smartphone culture, old images from 100 years ago, random people in the street... Really anything can hit the buzzer inside of me, it's usually a combination of elements and the right timing... Pretty much like falling in love, which is interesting, because I handle it the same way. Intensely, passionately, entirely!
5. What kind of clients tend to approach you and how do they come across your talent ?
Really all kinds of them. I have gone in many different directions so there is always a variety of interest in my art. However, I am proud to attract people by the image itself, that is when technique is useful, and pique enough of their curiosity to try and understand the message or story within, regardless of their background or usual interest. I appreciate any feedback or any comments. You don't need to be an art expert to be moved, it is up to me to reach out to you or someone else.
6. What was your most memorable project and why ?
Definitely the series of paintings I am working on right now for several reasons. It may not be the first time I work with sensual and sexual imagery, but it is the first time I get other actual people actively involved so much and trusting me completely with their intimacy. Also, it is a long-term project that starts with paintings and drawings but will probably evolve and grow towards other media. Finally, it is a feminist statement; it took me quite some time to acquire the maturity necessary to use sex as a communication image, and not just a way to try to shock.
7. What is the best and the worst advice you have ever received in your creative career ?
The best, I am not sure, I try to be versatile. I have been lucky enough to have great advice in many different fields. What they have in common is that they all encouraged me. Anything pushing you in what you are doing is good advice. You might not have chosen the easiest path to success, you might have to struggle, you might feel misunderstood, but eventually, this will build on what you have to say. The worst was probably anything trying to change my vision.
" You might not have chosen the easiest path to success, you might have to struggle, you might feel misunderstood, but eventually, this will build on what you have to say. "
8. Is there any favorite life or art quote that you live by ?
I change pretty often. I make up new ones. Then I confusedly try to remember who said that. I guess I'm just not a quotes person.