Name: Annamarie Lopez City: Monterey, CA
Medium: mainly oil paint, sometimes acrylics, graphite, ink and colored pencils for illustrations. Starting more digital art and I don’t see myself stopping there!
Where are you originally from, and how did you find your way to the Monterey area?
"I’m originally from Barstow, CA. When I was 11 my family moved to Hollister, then to Prunedale where I finished High School in 2013. I stayed in the area to attend Cal State Monterey Bay, where I left to fully focus on my art while supporting myself with a full time job. Both my job and my significant other are in Monterey, so I finally decided to make the move in 2016!"
How would you describe your process?
"I’m finally finding a process that works well for me, but I don’t think it will ever be consistent. There’s always something I learn when starting a new piece and it helps me tweak and improve certain aspects of my workflow.
"I always make concept sketches before diving in. If I get too excited to jump into something I tend to get stuck longer, so I make sure I do some brainstorming with my inspirations for the piece by making thumbnails or brainweb charts or both! From there I’ll have a sketch to transfer if needed or just start straight on to the surface depending on my confidence for the day. Sometimes I have a planned color palette and sometimes I just go with whatever feels right."
Tell us something about yourself that most people might not know.
"I’m a mega hermit. It’s kind of rare for me to socialize. It’s a mix of social anxiety and introversion. I’ve spent a lot of my time to myself, or a couple friends at most, growing up and I’m most comfortable with myself. I could probably stay at home and work in my studio for days if I had the time, and no one to tell me I need to get some sun!
"I’m also an inactive ballet dancer, but I am still very passionate about it. I’m looking forward to bringing it back into my life again as soon as I can."
Who are some artists, local or otherwise, that you hold in high esteem?
"Audrey Kawasaki was my first biggest inspiration. I’d always loved art and knew I wanted to make art, but I had never seen art like hers before and it sparked that first feeling of being hungry for creating. She opened a door of the art world I didn’t really knew existed yet.
"Mab Graves, Audra Auclair and Happy D. are also some artists I think have kept me inspired during some hard times, but I try not over observe these artists because I’ve learned how quickly admiration can turn to comparison."
Where do you find yourself drawing the most inspiration?
"Most of my inspiration is human emotion. I’ve lived with depression and anxiety a lot of my life, most intensely when I was trying to find my path in art. Interpreting the emotions and ups and downs of these illnesses has helped me understand how they function.
"Other things that I find inspiring are nature, femininity and of course dance! I don’t expect my inspirations to stay the same, I really look forward to seeing how it develops over time."
What advice would you give to other emerging artists, especially those who would like to use their art as a means for income?
"As someone who is still not at the point of sourcing my income through art, I don't know if I can give the right answer to that. Putting yourself out in your art community and representing your work professionally makes potential clients more drawn to you and your work.
"Being an artist will always have its ups and downs. One day you’ll feel as if you’ve mastered your craft and you’re unstoppable, then suddenly you’ll feel like every piece looks like garbage and you’ll never get any better. This is completely normal and will only help you grow when you push past that block!
"Also learning to focus on improving your skill should be priority. The more you focus on what other artists are doing and how much 'better' they have it in their career only distracts you from your craft. Social media is especially at fault for making artists compare so harshly. I don’t think social media is bad, as long as you have good and honest intentions with it. It’s honestly one of the best ways to network with such a large art community.
"I think as long as you stay true and genuine to yourself and your art, and you focus on honing your skill the most, people will notice and want to see more."