Artist Spotlight: Abbey Aura Interview
Abbey is a Chicago painter who works full time at her life's calling as an artist. She's constantly working on numerous paintings and projects, and she's an avid live painter.
Abbey has always been drawn to Native American culture, with its rich history of incredible traditions and ceremonies. The piece is a second in a series on Native American Totem Poles, something she's extensively studied.
She's explored native mandala ceremonies, and even built a sweet lodge; this piece was the next spiritual step.
Q: What was your process behind Owl Medicine?
Aura: I actually started this live at Residents Festival two years ago before I ended up finishing it in my studio. Live painting is different, you're feeling the music and it really influences your painting, and at the moment I get to paint alongside other people and feed off of all this energy.
Usually when I'm working live, I start my painting very expressively. Throwing the colors that I'm feeling at the moment in a very quick and abrupt style. I end up finishing it in my studio in order to work on the fine thin lines and straight edges of the painting. There's only so much time that passes between inspiration and what you do.
Q: How long did it take you to create?
Aura: This painting actually looked a lot different than when I first started it. That day I walked away from my painting for about 10 minutes to go and get something. I come back and it's pouring rain!
The painting had been rained on and all of these drips were coming down and the colors had all blended together. The old me would have probably freaked out.
But I had really been trying to focus on the idea of impermanence and allowing things to come and go. The image you see now started out a lot different. I just had to work with what nature wanted to do with my painting.
It was a changing moment for me to realize not to be so attached to physical things.
Q: How did you and GratefullyDyed start collaborating?
Aura: Damon, who is GratefullyDyed, and I met at the Phases of the Moon Festival where I was coordinating the live painters. We ended up connecting and going back and forth giving each other advice about our art. He really wanted to start promoting my art and start involving me in his clothing business., which is how my art ended up here!
Q: What medium was this originally created on?
Aura: This was done on acrylic for the most part. I do airbrush and acrylic painting.
Q: How does it feel to have your art being worn?
Aura: It's really exciting to see other people appreciate what I like. Having people want my art and want to wear it is something I really enjoy.
Clothing is a chance for people to express themselves. It's the one art everyone practices without realizing it; how you dress yourself is how you decide to put yourself into the world.
Q: What's some new exciting projects your working on?
Aura: I'm working with a friend of mine and we have created this installation, that utilizes both of our art, and we're creating this projected mapped gallery space that has all of my paintings.
It completely surrounds you in 360 degrees that you can actually control as a participant, you can control the projections with a Guitar Hero guitar, and the projections change and move in different ways.
The installation also hooks up to a live feed of me painting and you can kind of alter the painting in different ways. This can change the color of the painting, making it a fun interactive visual so you don't just watch me live paint, but be a part of it.
You can wear 'Owl Medicine'
For more of Abbey's art, check her out on Facebook and Instagram. And if you love her piece Owl Medicine, check out the styles we offer with this sublimated printed so it'll never fade or crack right here: