“I think art is one of those things that never stops, it’s always marinating.” Adrienne Elyse Meyers
Adrienne grew up in the East Texas Woods and currently
lives and works in Houston. Natural elements appear in her
drawings and paintings that show the subtle influences of
her environment. Some of her work is inspired by mythology
This will be her last year in the BFA program in Photography/
Digital Media at the University of Houston. She is
specializing in a conceptual studio program that requires
her to undertake more academically and conceptually
Adrienne has been an associate editor for The Aletheia,
a small publication for U of H undergrads, for about three
years now. She also recently joined the team at Glass
Mountain Magazine as their visual arts editor.
“I think art is one of those things that never stops, it’s
always marinating. Outside, or along with, the visual arts I
enjoy writing, reading, and getting involved with arts-based
projects.” Adrienne says.
What influences do you feel have had the greatest impact on your creativity?
I’m realizing that a huge part of the way I work comes from my time growing up in the country. The intense solitude and silence brought me to my interests in observation, introspection, and these mythological concepts. Reading, I’d say, is where I get most of my inspiration. When I read an amazing story, ritual, or cultural theory, I get so excited. These sorts of things get me started on imagery. I also draw from my own life- relationships, conversations, and dreams. Sometimes, for example, I’ll have a conversation with someone that will trigger a seemingly unrelated dream that links back to a myth, which then turns into a new piece. I think these things are really interconnected. It’s a lot about weaving in these ‘inspirations’ wherever they appear.
Does modern culture or society play a role in your work, or is it more of an internal engagement that draws you to your subject matter ?
For the most part, I’m most interested in making work that is set outside of temporal or socio-political concerns. What interests me most are those elements of human behavior that exist regardless of social or political climate. So I’m absolutely interested in culture, but in the context of a longer thread to look into, rather than focusing on the culture of right here and right now.
When you begin a new piece, do you plan it out or jump in and work from intuition, tell us about your creative process?
There isn’t always a specific composition in mind before I begin a new piece, but I tend to form ideas around research and personal experience. I’m continually reading mythology and religious, psychological, and anthropological texts from which I draw topics and visuals for new work. Often I will get a loose visual direction from something I’ve read or seen. For example, currently I’m working on a series that deals with initiation rites and instances of revelation in mythology and religion. So I keep these ideas in mind, along with my own personal narratives and visuals, when I begin a piece. Visually, for the digital work, I rarely have a clear idea of how it will end up until I start working on it.
Once I have the ideas circulating and actually dig into the creating process, the pieces start to take shape. The process takes a lot of messing around until pieces start to fall into place. Typically, I go through my files and fine a couple of images that I feel I can build a composition around, and then bring them into Photoshop. Once I have some general shapes in place, I go in and add more image layers, textures, gradients, and other components to flesh out the piece.
When I work with drawing and painting, the whole process is a little different; I tend to have a clearer idea of the final product whenever I go into those.
The writing components in my work come into play at various points in the process, depending on what I’m working on. With the Interior Landscapes series, I use long titles for each piece. Although the idea for each title was floating around in my head during the work, I began the actual writing after each piece was finished. I was then able to look at each individual piece and find the right wording. I wanted the titles, as well as the statement, to leave room for interpretation. Writing titles and the statement for The Void was essentially the reverse of this process. With that series, I started with a short lyric essay that I had written about a year before I began to work on the images
What do you think is the most important choice you make as an artist when producing your work?
A really vital decision in each piece and body of work is whether to depict the subject matter in a specific manner, through abstraction, or somewhere in between. There’s a huge difference between describing loss, for example, in a photographic documentary essay verses through an abstract painting. When I work, I seek to make the pieces ambiguous enough to leave room for interpretation, but I also tend to include figurative elements in order to maintain some aspect of narrative.
Where can we see your work?
The most constant place to view my work is on my website, and I have also been showing in exhibitions around Houston. The next big show on the schedule for me will be my thesis exhibition, opening May 2 at BLUEorange Gallery.
This is her vimeo vimeo.com/user16129317