Category Archives: Q&A

Q&A with Inspiring Painter Victor Schegin

we ask inspiring Painter Victor Schegin “Seehund ART” questions about art and life.

Who are you and what do you do? I’m Victor Schegin, a young French painter. I sign my paintings Seehund.

Why do you do what you do? I dream a lot at night, and daydream a lot as well. Painting frees me from an accumulation of imagination. It’s the way I best communicate deep feelings with people, and also with myself. I look forward to waking up every day to dedicate more time to visual arts.

How do you work? I use photographs, mostly mine, sometimes copyright free ones. I think: this atmosphere would match this object well, and this person those stairs. Either I look at photographs for inspiration or I have an specific scene in mind and do research to paint what I imagined. During my latest dystopia-themed series, I took a photo of a mother and a daughter in the street. Looking at it, I noticed the girl was observing something but I didn’t know what. I imagined and painted what she was looking at. This is how my painting « Bright Future », where a little girl stares at a homeless man, was born.

What’s your background? At the age of 15, I discovered graffiti and became fascinated. After my baccalaureate, I studied journalism. I learnt a lot I still use today: better communication, filming and editing skills, which help me handle my social networks and take photographs. The links between photography and painting are central to my work. I taught myself how to draw and paint, immersing myself in its novelty. Drawing kept me busy during my classes, in transports, in the evening at home. At the age of 19, I realized I found more pleasure in figurative arts than in lettering and became passionate. My first paintings (2015-2016) were heavily influenced by my graffiti period:  use of sprays, markers, and drips. In 2017-2018, I took oil painting and drawing lessons with Paris-Ateliers. I also attended workshops dedicated to drawing nude living models at the Grande Chaumiere Academy, in Paris, where Giacometti came to practice. Since 2017, I attended various classes in different schools, including live model sessions at the famous Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris. I acquired new techniques and painted realistic portraits like “Laura”. After that, I created my dystopia-themed series, which now just came to an end.

What’s integral to the work of an artist? Picasso said “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” An artist should feel free whilst creating, but most are under the influence of rules fixed by themselves or what their learnt. That way, many artists, like Picasso for instance, unlearn the best they can to be less compelled by knowledge when painting. I find I’m most compelled by my perfectionism. Even though I’m learning a lot and enjoying it, I start letting go when I paint, which is great! When I overthink, painting is less pleasant. Instead, I now follow my feelings and take pleasure. Also, I am convinced my painting communicates best with the audience if I sometimes listen to my instincts, rather than try to “better” my painting. Painting is a unique moment in life where nothing’s forbidden nor irreversible. Freedom is integral to the work of an artist.

What role does the artist have in society? The artist’s true role in society is to create opportunities for individuals to take a break from their reality and experience a new point of view. An artwork is a reminder of humanity to its audience. It offers a possibility to think and feel differently.

What has been a seminal experience? Meeting Gilles Fourgassie, who was my oil painting teacher for 2 years and became my friend.

What art do you most identify with? I’m interested and moved by Robert Proch’s work on gravity and space. I like the use of drips as an aesthetic element itself in the works of Leonardo Cremonini or Ted Pim. I’m impressed by Dali’s technique in the painting of Gala looking at the beach, transforming in an Abraham Lincoln portrait if you look at the piece 15 meters away. I’m moved by Les Amants by René Magritte. I like the palpable atmosphere in Edward Hopper’s pieces, the paintings of women by the impressionist Konstantin Razumov and I admire Vermeer’s compositions.

What work do you most enjoy doing? Beginning new paintings is magical for me.

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood? Moments of happiness with my brother.

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it? Artistic life doesn’t force loneliness on someone: being alone often or surrounded by people is not defined so much by your activity, but rather by your personality and choices. However, in order to work, I find I am more productive on my own.

What do you dislike about the art world? I just got into the art world, I try my best to understand it rather than judge it.

What do you dislike about your work? I don’t dislike anything in particular about my work for a simple reason: when my painting doesn’t satisfy me, I can always change it.

What do you like about your work? I like that my style is born and starting to be recognizable. I’m happy that my visual identity isn’t too specific yet: I don’t have a brand that’s mine and is present on every single work – for now. Instead I learn, explore and find a lot of ideas.

What research do you do? I search for reference pictures whenever I don’t have a photograph I took myself that meets my needs. I also watch documentaries about famous painters.

What themes do you pursue? My dystopia-themed series just ended with more than 15 beautiful works. I am currently focusing on exploring my artistic direction, relying on my gut feel to figure out where I want to go next.

What’s your favourite art work? I can’t choose one single favourite. The first big crush I had on a painting was for “Bakkuda” by Fin Dac, when I saw it at the Urban Art Fair in 2018.

What memorable responses have you had to your work? I hear a lot that my paintings resemble Edward Hopper’s.

Name something you love, and why. I love to paint with oils. I love their texture, their brightness and ability to make gradients.

What is your dream project? I like Walt Disney’s quote: “the difference between a dream and a project is a date.”

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. Robert Proch, Salvador Dalí, Edward Hopper

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? The best advice I’ve been given is to take my time.

Professionally, what’s your goal?
I’d like to travel the world exhibiting my works, to talk to a lot of people and to connect with them.

What wouldn’t you do without? There’s one thing I can’t imagine: living without painting.


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Fashion industry handbag brand Sharif Handbags Q&A

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Fashion industry handbag brand Sharif Handbags Q&A

Written by Patrick B. Hill @neonrenaissancemag

 

 

 

Here is your chance to enter and win a handbag from Sharif Handbag. Go to Sharif Handbag Facebook page to enter the giveaway.  The link is below

https://www.facebook.com/SharifStudioNYC

 

 

Our readers would like to know a little bit about you. What’s your name, where you from, and what is your profession?

 

I grew up in Cairo, Egypt where my family operated a leather manufacturing company founded in 1827. I moved to New York City in 1974 where I took a job with the exotic handbag company Finesse, before moving on to join the legendary Morris Moskowitz. After absorbing everything he could while working for these handbag giants, I founded my own company, Sharif Designs, Ltd in 1979, which I built into the largest American handbag manufacturer by the late 1980s.

 

How long have you been designing handbags?

Decades. In the Handbag Museum, our decade was the 80’s

 

What made you decide to be in the fashion industry?

My family was in the leather cigar box trade & I made my 1st pieces out of remnants & cut-offs which gave birth to my mélange technique.

 

Who inspires you in the fashion industry or personal?

Kate & Mallory, Iman, A.N.T.M. Tyra Banks, Gucci, Y.S.l.

 

Looking at your products, your products have more of a culture feel when it comes uniqueness and style. What is the difference between your products and other products?

“Rules are made to be broken—and nowhere is that more apparent than in Sharif’s bold, colorful, unique bag designs.”¶ 

Deriving inspiration from cultural elements and materials found all over the world.  I cultivated a worldwide following for my award-winning, signature style that playfully combines leathers, textiles and unique hardware in distinctive silhouettes. By fusing stunning style and flawless function, my handbags go beyond the aesthetic to deliver designs that are simply unlike any other.

 

 

 

Tell me about the designs and colors of each product and what they represent.

We went back to my Egyptian heritage & into the decades worth of archives, to update & rework my most. We have premiered them on Evine to rave reviews & sell-outs. Something you may want to focus on is that the designs are limited & works of art & get bought up quickly & then there are no more.

 

Take me through the process of creating, designing, and manufacturing each product. What is that process like and how long does it take?

We have a design team like no other & work out of our Showroom in New York. We have the means to manufacture out of factories all over the world & use only Top Grain Leather & the finest hardware.

 

What was the biggest challenge that your company had to face?

Pivoting from department stores aka brick & mortar to online & TV shopping.

 

 

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When consumers see your product, what is their first impression about your products?

Enchanting innovative & conversation starters.

After they purchase your product, what type of feedback do you receive from buyers?

we have a fan base going back for decades. that only happens when the product is quality

 

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What other products that you are currently working at this moment?

A shoe. Wedge Sandal.

 

Any special sales that your company is doing for this Spring?

We will be showing our Spring 2018 Collection on Evine next week on April 26th through 28th & the showtimes can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/sharifstudionyc/

You can find Sharif Handbags to buy on Evine at

https://www.evine.com/b/fashion/sharif-handbags/

 

For more information about Sharif Handbags, check out GlobeNewswire article on the company.

https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/11/08/1177803/0/en/World-Renowned-Handbag-Designer-and-Artist-Sharif-to-Bring-Unique-Collection-to-Evine-November-29-30.html

 

Q&A with “My Demons” Author Ari’ell Sprows

“My Demons” Author Ari’ell Sprows discuss her influences and next project.

 

By Juan C. Diaz @tearsofdiaz

 

1. What city are you from?

I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. I was raised with one older sister and later in my teenage years, my mother had my little brother.

2. How has your city influenced your writing?

My city influenced my writing tremendously because the trials that I faced happened in my city. Louisville, Kentucky introduced me to the real world, the real world is what helped layer my thick skin for life. Writing has always been a passion of mine, so the combination of the two made a great book.

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3. What inspired you to write My Demons?

MY DEMONS started as a journal entry, I wanted to give myself the opportunity to have closure for my past mistakes. When I realized that my story was important I decided to take a different route, “turn my story into a book, so that it can inspire the world”. I wrote “MY DEMONS” to motivate and encourage others, the book itself speaks volume. It gives the reader a chance to evaluate their own faults, to make themselves a priority so that they can be better in life.

4. Who are some of your literary influences?

James Patterson is the one and the only person who has influenced me to join the literary world. The way that he writes his books has encouraged me to express myself in more ways than just one. He writes more than one genre, and that shows that he has an amazing creative mind.

 

5. Your book is extremely personal, was it painful for you to relive certain moment during the writing process?
Reliving my past moments was very challenging to write, I cried while writing some parts of my book. But when I have seen the finished product, I was and still am ecstatic because I was finally honest with myself.

6. What message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

When my reader puts my book down, I want their minds to wonder. I want them to reevaluate their lives and realize that making certain choices can last a lifetime. But how we deal with these choices means a lot, we have to co-exist with ourselves and strive to be better. I want my readers to know that they are amazing and deserve to be happy and honest with themselves. Are you surrounded by the wrong crowd of people? If you’re in an abusive relationship, seek help to get out. How can we make dreams come true? Our past doesn’t determine the future we deserve. You are your own demon.

7.  What is your next project?

I have a book series coming out this summer called, “LOVE LOST BEAUTIFUL BETRAYAL”. I am also working on making an appearance in the film industry. This year has brought so much joy, I’m motivated to push myself to the next level.

 

 

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Q&A with “Just Tryin’ To Be Loved” Author J’son M. Lee

It just clicked for me after she said that. It’s plain unethical to think that someone can change their sexuality. I spent my life thinking something was wrong with me. I wanted to tell our stories to normalize our reality.

Q&A  with “Just Tryin’ To Be Loved” Author J’son M. Lee.

By Juan Carlos Diaz

 

Lol Ever since we’ve met J have been fascinated by your stories, what made you become a writer?

I never set out to become a writer. At the time, I started writing, I was searching for a release as I grappled with my sexuality. I wanted others to see I was no different than they were. I just loved differently.

 

Right and that is what I truly admired from your work, it sorts of had a quality that said, accept me who I am or fuck off

It took me quite a while to get to that point honestly. I remember going to therapy and my therapist said, “I can help you, but you need to decide if you’re gay or straight.” That was genius. lol From that day I’ve never looked back.

 

That is extraordinary.

It just clicked for me after she said that. It’s plain unethical to think that someone can change their sexuality. I spent my life thinking something was wrong with me. I wanted to tell our stories to normalize our reality.

 

From reading your books, I can honestly say that not only do they help to give a voice to the LGBT community, your work has help me come to term with things that I battle with as a disabled straight male.

 Juan, thank you for that. Likewise, you have inspired me. You have let nothing stand in your way. I know we’ve never met, but I’ve always admired that about you. I guess in a many way we are alike. We were chosen, and He knew we were up for the job.

 

Thank u! Can u share with us some info about the one man play u wrote and performed in college?

Sure! I was a Speech major with a concentration in performance studies. We were tasked with adapting a one-man show. Even back then I was an activist, and often brought to life taboo topics. It was during this time that One Family’s AIDS was conceived. The show was received extremely well. Several years later I decided to write my own version of the story as I had lost several friends to this disease. The main character is coming to terms with both his sexuality and an HIV diagnosis. I subsequently turned the play into a short story. I hope your readers will check it out.

 

I have to say One Family’s AIDS was an extraordinary read because I saw the main character’s illness as symbolism

Yes!!! It’s about so much more than HIV/AIDS. It’s symbolic of anything that you allow to separate you from family, and even from God.

 

Wow, you are truly a beautiful artist, J’son!

THANK YOU! I’m so glad you got that. That was one of the things I wanted to convey.

Out of all the book you’ve written, which one are your favorites?

I think I’d have to say Just Tryin’ To Be Loved because it was my first, and it was pure. I think it showed my innocence and vulnerability as a gay man, and as a writer. I was just a young man with a dream, and this book was the culmination of that dream.

 

Where can we purchase these books?

www.jmccoylee.com

 

Aright, that concludes the interview, thank u so much.

My pleasure! Thank you!

Q&A with local Artist/Writer/CEO of Pure Religion Candles Yvette Renee.

Q&A with local Artist/Writer/CEO of Pure Religion Candles Yvette Renee.

By Patrick B. Hill

 

Today, I spoke with Yvette Renee for those who don’t know, she is a local artist, writer, and business woman who runs her own brand. I sat down with her to discuss about her passion for art and work life. Her story is very touching and encouraging. You will learn about a bit her life and how art has given her a voice to express herself.

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I notice you are an artist, writer, painter, and the CEO of Pure Religion Candles. What was the process like transitioning from each position?

Each venture has been a natural outpouring of expression based on life experiences at those times. I’ve been a writer for almost as long as I can remember. In second grade I wrote my first story that had an “audience” (my class) and I was hooked. I started painting after I broke up with my first love. He was also a painter and it was a way I could express how I felt about all of the changes and feel close to him. I didn’t start taking it “seriously” until a few years ago, when I felt like I had lost my voice and painting became the means of expression. The candle business came about as I grew stronger in my Christian faith. I wanted a way to serve Jesus and make meaningful, personal gifts for others. None of what i do is work for me. It’s just living.

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Wow, reading what you said; it seems like art pretty much allow you express yourself like you want to. I hope I am not reading this wrong.

You have it right. I’m your typical “misunderstood” introvert so art is my vehicle of communication with the world.

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Right. Would you say if it wasn’t for art, you wouldn’t have the ability to express yourself?

Hmmmm……I’ve never thought about it yes, I would say that. When i think of some of the darker periods of my life it was usually a time I wasn’t doing anything at all.

 

Have you written a book?

No. Still on my goal list. Its why I consider myself a writer. Not an author. I do personal creative writing but professionally I’ve written columns, some articles, and various writing services for businesses and other clients.

Interesting. Would you consider it giving the time you may have down the road?

I have a few ideas in mind so it’s a distinct possibility. I consider myself a brand so means of expression is always evolving as I do.

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Okay. I was on your art site looking at your paintings. I am impressed. When I move out, I will buy one of them. One painting that stood out to me was “Burn before 11:30.” Explain to me what was the concept of this painting?

Thanks! Cool just let me know. That one was kind of a practice piece. An old friend had contacted me out of the blue and wanted me to live paint at one of his events. I hadn’t painted anything in almost 6 years. So, to get myself back in that creative place I did a few practice pieces.

Oh okay. So, can people order your painting, how does that work?

Its real casual since I don’t have prints yet so I sell to mostly local people that buying either at a show or contacting me by email or phone for in person delivery. I accept cash, money order, PayPal, and credit cards and i also offer installment plans for the pricier pieces.

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Tell me little bit more about Pure Religion Candles?

Pure Religion candles is a ministry and a business. I hand make all natural soy candles and all natural body butter. I print a scripture verse on each product, usually a verse about faith, hope, love, etc. 10% of all sales are donated to Samaritans purse (a one-time payment during tax time).

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What candle would you recommend new buyers to try first?

Each scent is so unique so it’s up to the preference of the buyer. Scents come in vanilla, lavender, frankincense & myrrh, mango, oak moss & amber, and lavender chamomile.

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One more before we go. Will there be another art show happening in 2017 for you?

Uhhhh….depends on how the Lord leads me lol. Art shows are a lot of work preparation wise and day of. I will probably be focusing more on my candle business and doing art on commission.

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Okay so no art show?

Lol, depends. Nothing planned but if the Lord leads me to an opportunity then sure.

Okay. So, there’s hope.

Yes. I think i did like 3 or 4 this year which is why I’m chilling right now. But I advertise all my work on social media (Instagram and twitter) and my website so people can view and purchase just by giving me a call.

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You can follow her on Instagram @YvetteReneeJohnson and Twitter @according2Yve. You can also check out her art work at http://www.yvettereneejohnson.com/art which you can order some of her artwork. Her Pure Religion Candles at https://purereligioncandles.patternbyetsy.com/ where you can order her candles.