Clare Rojas is kind, intelligent, thoughtful, and creative. While she is known for her multimedia art, she is also an amazing chef, role model, and has beautiful observations and insights into the world. When looking at her creations, I have often found myself lost in the detail and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview her. Anya Blumenfeld 2021
What has the development of your work looked like throughout your career?
Development is a great word. I think of my life and my work completely intertwined. As my life develops just like anyone else's over an arch of time, my story's narrative is layered with experience, setbacks, lessons, and simultaneously refined my skills. If I had to look back and reflect upon the last year and what I have developed the most, is my awareness of thoughts versus feelings and what that means for my work.
For example; There is a painting I am working on in my studio right now. I had sketched out maybe 15 versions of the same image, different contexts, narratives, colors, composition. All of them would have potentially worked, some better than others. Once I finally choose the version I want to dedicate the time and resources needed to make a painting,
I am learning how to listen to my instincts through my physical body. I am learning how to sit and look patiently. I feel through it.
I am trying to pay close attention to my physical body's messages throughout the process. Like the tiny, tiny tiny, tiny little heartbeats, or breaths, or squints of my eyes that illuminate discomfort or frustration, or when I am looking at a composition that makes the muscles in my neck relax, or a smile comes to the corners of my eyes or mouth, maybe that means it feels complete, and I can finish the work and let it go. Until that peace exists in my bones, I will continue the work that is needed.
This is in contrast to questioning your work due to feeling insecure or being a perfectionist. There is a difference, and I am learning how to identify that difference. The same thing happens when writing lyrics when the right words appear, even if it's 10 years later, or the right melody or harmony reveals itself. It's only through the love you offer it by singing it over and over. So, developmentally I am learning how to be patient with the creative process, especially when it all feels urgent.
How do observations of people and places inspire your work?
I think of myself as a trained observer. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming because everything and everyone is an inspiration. I have this favorite place I sit in the yard when the sun is shining. My dog lays next to me. Until this year, I never noticed his fur in this lighting is effervescent, and it shines like the spider webs that are also revealed in this light, and it reminds me of the pigeon we raised and her beautiful effervescent feathers. I love how just the glimpse of those colors spark so many memories, connections, and narratives instantly.
What does your process look like, and how do you maintain a creative headspace?
My process looks like I am not doing anything. Laugh. I clean a lot. I prefer solitude to crowds mostly. I remember talking with your mom (amazing artist!!) about how I sit in my car in my driveway for way too long sometimes. It's the best thinking pod and is warmed by the sun.
What does the world look like through your eyes?
It looks delicate and full of narratives. It looks like a continuous symphony of color.
How do your paintings and songs capture your world view?
Painting and song help me process what I am experiencing in an almost palpable way. Paintings and songs capture how I navigate the world.
It feels like the only way I can truly communicate with others.
What does it mean to you to be a woman?
This is an interesting question.
Honestly, I guess being a woman means being strong, autonomous, compassionate, curious, caring, protective, intuitive, and fierce.
But it also means women may face a lot of grief. I grieve for our losses, for our ancestral trauma. I believe that women have to constantly navigate and challenge a toxic masculine culture that strips women of their autonomy and objectifies and reduces both men and women to bass heterosexual norms. I never really think of myself as a woman when I wake up in the morning and exist within the safety of my solitude. However, too often the outside world reminds me that my own definition of feminine strength and feminine power differs from the outside world. The abuse of power by men, the misogyny, pornified culture with the messages that simplify, minimize, and defend perpetrators of these sexist systemic actions is relentless, especially if there is any glamour attached.
The feminine power is beautiful, strong, and resilient, but this beauty, strength, and resiliency must be exercised and nurtured daily. It can be exhausting, but the struggle is important.
What is the relationship between your music and art? When observing the world, what makes you laugh?
It's a symbiotic relationship kind of like this,
When words escape me, I have colors.
When colors escape me, I have words.
Most of the time, I have both, and they inform one another. What makes me laugh most is when I sketch out a painting, and I share it with my extremely literal mother, and I see a beautiful abstract shape; she sees a big potato.
Spotify: Clare E Rojas
Bandcamp: Clare E Rojas
Apple Music: Clare E Rojas
Amazon Music: Clare E Rojas
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