Interview with Paul Sunday of PS+ Gallery

When did you start making art?

I've been making art for as long as I can remember.  Even as a little girl, my family and teachers recognized a strong talent in me that they continued to nurture throughout my childhood.

What got you started with this body of work?

This body of work was a growth process for me.  I started from ideas and experiences close to my heart with the intention of injecting my emotions, fears and insecurities into each piece in a way that the viewer could identify with.

What is important to you about this work?

This work is very important to me because it touches on some of my deepest, most meaningful emotions about different experiences and events in my life... including the loss of my mother in 2008 to cancer.  It's important to me, as an artist, to be real and honest with my viewers... to not be afraid to put myself out there to share with the world.  I want my viewers' emotions to be awakened by my work, in whatever way the pieces may speak to them.

How do you formulate your ideas?

Ideas can come to me in many ways, whether it's a movie or news story or book that resonates with me and my own experiences, or from personal memories or experiences of my own that I feel compelled to express in my artwork.  I visualize an image, using my figures or 'characters' as tools to incorporate body language and facial expressions as a way of creating the mood and emotional context I want to portray.

If someone decides to own and live with a work of yours, what does that mean to you?

It means that something about my work touched that person emotionally, whether or not they may understand how or why.  It means that they enjoy the work for more than just decoration.

Also... the recurrent figures in your work are fascinating because they seem innocent but at the same time transcendent and otherworldly...

Is this a strategy you are conscious of or do these qualities just emerge spontaneously?

This is something I am conscious of, though I don't necessarily set out to achieve these qualities in my figures.  I want to tell a story with my figures of innocense and vulnerability, which is why I am always drawn to working with such young subjects.  I see myself in these figures, and perhaps at times of vulnerability in my own life, I feel like a child, myself.

How would you describe the characters/personalities that appear in your images?

They are innocent, naive, vulnerable... but also awakened to the world and it's flaws.  I like to think they are strong underneath their sensitivity, that despite whatever event or experience has broken them, they remain whole.

What are some of your favorite responses to the work?

I certainly don't want to set out to upset people, but if there is something about my work that brings out an emotional response in someone, negative or positive, I would like to think that my work is opening a door in that person that perhaps wants to be opened.