art:
Noun
the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

You know what’s amazing? When we find our unknown talents. On this summer evening Antoinette Alcazar’s works are on display at 345 Art Gallery in Chicago. The wine cheese and conversations are flowing. The curiosity of what’s behind each creative piece displayed is visible on collectors faces in attendance. A great night it was but it’s not over, we sat down before the festivity ended to go more in depth with Antoinette Alcazar and how her truly inspiring vision to create art came to life!

1. Tell us about the first image you ever created or attempted to paint when you first started?

As a kid I loved to draw and color, like most kids I would say. I could spend hours upon hours coloring and never get bored. At some point that past time was set aside as maturity and life’s responsibilities took over. It was full circle when I took up drawing and painting again. It was a moment in life when life was overwhelming with responsibilities and challenges. The first image I drew as an adult was that of a heart with an exploding center. I drew it in a notebook the social worker at children’s memorial hospital gave me shortly after one of my twin daughters was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 4. She said it would help to express myself about what was happening with my daughter. I used vibrant colors to depict the intense emotion I was feeling.
When the doctor gave me the news about my baby girl I felt like a cannon ball struck my chest, my legs went weak and I fell to the floor and prayed. I felt powerless, I was powerless. I told my baby I would always protect her …. that monsters were not real….and this monster, cancer was all over the insides of my beautiful baby girl. I felt like I was going to explode. And I didn’t necessarily have the words to convey this. after I drew this image of the heart, I felt like I had shared what I felt with this image. I felt a little less weight on my shoulders and on my mind. From that point forward, I have never stopped. I draw, paint and write to express everything I feel, to soothe my sometimes overburdened mind and heart. I am a very faithful person and God comes before all things for me. I can say with conviction that it is only by His grace that I am able to create anything. God always blesses with the tools to cope. God almighty knows and blesses me with this ability, for it is what fulfills me.

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2. Antoinette why art, what was it that made you become passionate about art?

It is cliché to say an image is worth a thousand words but it is exactly how I feel. the images I create express an emotion, a desire they tell a story or create one. It is really fascinating to me how a blank canvas can become a powerful, vibrant image never seen by anyone before. To me it is simple, how can one not be passionate about art when you think about that concept? I am always in a state of awe, in a state of amazement when I think of the process. The hands follow the messages from the brain and with a brush and color transcribe the image seen in your thoughts and make it a real image for the world to see. It is nothing less than amazing. I get overjoyed and ecstatic talking about that.

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3. Are there any artist that inspire you or work you really admire?

I have never studied art and cannot speak from a very scholarly perspective. My art is inspired by my personal experiences and emotions. However, I have been moved by many different images. I have one all-time favorite painting, It is Vince Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” I absolutely love that piece, t is fun and whimsical and magical. I love the night, the stars, the moon and that piece just captures the mystical bewitching hours of the night in a way which cannot be described with words. The night is a time of enchantment and mystery and looking at that piece transports me to a very mysterious and joyful place. I hope to someday paint a piece as moving as that one.

4. Is there a certain routine or mood that has to take place when you work on your craft?

I have the desire to paint all the time, all I have to do is walk into my studio put some music on and it just begins to flow out of me. If my feelings are negative my images tend to be somber as well, but in the end I walk away cleansed and the feelings are left on the canvas as a painting. I release the rebellious child in me when I paint. No one has to like it, need it or want it, only me. I can use any color, tool or technique. There are no rules for me, I can break them all if there are any and bring scandal upon the world of art. I have heard critics, trained artists and scholars chatter about art and honestly, it always sounds so pretentious and dull. I always say to myself, yeah ok, Van Gogh was just having fun. So I just have fun, loads of fun.

5. What’s your ultimate goal with art?

To express myself and hopefully simultaneously provoke an effect on those who look upon it. Be it discomfort, curiosity, joy, pleasure which ever one of those emotions it causes, I will have achieved one of my goals. I have sold, donated and gifted hundreds of images and made many people very happy. My ultimate goal is to create my art full time and be able to make a living from what I consider to be one of my greatest passions. But if I never attain that goal, all the joy will be in the process of trying to get there.

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