Scribble Artist Interview with Stephanie Chambers!
Stephanie Chambers is a 2003 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives in New York, where she is originally from and works out of a studio space in Brooklyn. Her work has been shown at galleries in New York, San Francisco, Providence, Canada, Finland, Taiwan and Germany.
Scribble Town (ST): Stephanie, your new body of work, Emerging from Darkness, is so beautiful! Your theme with animals continue, but this series have a sense of ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for me.
Stephanie Chambers (SC): The body of work is about emerging from darkness and trying to always look toward the light. I used woodland animals in the forest at night to showcase this.
ST: How does this series connect to your other themes such as Overgrown and your Bird series. What is something in your artwork that you are trying to figure out?
SC: I work with animals a lot as symbols in a narrative setting. I think a lot about how dense a forest is or how much life is in the ocean. I live in New York City, so I experience a different kind of saturation with people, cars and buildings. The paintings are how I imagine nature would look through an urban lens.
ST: Urban lens explains a lot! Where you were living in Finland isn’t urban at all and especially for a city person such as yourself. What was it like living in Finland for you? Did you go to the forest to observe the birds and then paint them for your Finland Birds series? I see the influence of Finnish patterns and textiles in your paintings.
SC: I loved living in Finland! It was such a beautiful place. I was in the country next to a lake and beautiful birch woods at the Arteles Creative Center. Every day I rode a bicycle in a new direction looking for birds. I photographed them and also sat and observed them. The textiles were inspired from trips to vintage shops there.
ST: The country is lined with second-hand markets, which are like windows into somebody’s attic full of treasures. Did Finnish culture have an effect on your creations as well? How was this process different than your New York Birds series?
SC: The culture of Finland and Scandinavia is so visually considered. People think of it as sparse sometimes, but each piece is deeply considered. Being in that culture made me think more about my intentions in what elements I include in a painting. The NY Birds series was inspired from a love of birds in NY, but since I grew up with those birds it was hard for me to see the uniqueness of the NY landscape until I studied birds elsewhere.
ST: What other kind of artwork and mediums do you like to do and use?
SC: I love to make patterns and any kind of flying animal. My favorite mediums are pencils, wax/oil and acrylic paint.
ST: How did your creativity start to grow? As a kid were you making art too?
SC: My parents were so supportive of me making art. My mom is an artist, so we always had time lots of time to paint and draw. I used to make my own superheroes and comic books. I also drew a newspaper daily and left it outside my parents, sister and brother’s bedroom doors, wrapped in a rubberband each morning.
ST: It’s so wonderful to have a family that nurtures your imagination to grow. In your case, you probably were as encouraging to your Mom as she was to your creativity. What is something you’ve recently seen or heard that has triggered a splash of inspiration?
SC: The autumn in NY has been so beautiful this year. I went upstate to the Hudson Valley recently and felt so inspired by all of the color in nature. The city seemed so gray when I returned.
ST: Concrete just can’t compare to living leaves. What are you up to now? What is a day like with Stephanie Chambers like?
SC: Right now I’m getting ready for a solo show in Taipei, Taiwan at the Sonnentor Art Space next Spring. I’m finalizing the concept for the show and trying to find inspiration outdoors. I draw and paint every day and I just finished a series of Winter birds for Buy Some Damn Art, which launches on Tuesday.
ST: Please keep us posted on your show! Lastly, any advice for our Scribblers?
SC: Tips would be to remember to always have fun with what you’re making. Art should be something to enjoy doing!
ST: Thank you for taking the time to share with us, Stephanie. Scribblers have a look at http://stephaniechambers.com to view more of Stephanie Chambers’ artwork.