Art that is influenced by the psychological is always of interest to me. I like a good puzzle; trying to figure out another hidden meaning within mysterious images.
Alana Bosgra is a very talented artist. She gears her work to show the depths of the mind and is on a mission to help others unlock the weird of their own by using art.
Read below about her process, her passions, and her art.
I am Alana Bosgra (Lani) and I am a 22 year old artist based in Brisbane, Australia. My art focuses on storytelling, promoting awareness around mental health, and I use art to healthily communicate my emotions and thoughts- both serious and whimsical. I live by three main beliefs when it comes to art:
- does not have to be about skill but instead the experience and process of creating (which is ridiculously fun)
- should be available to everyone, not just those who have studied it or understand it technically
- serves a purpose; to bring peace, calm and understanding to what can at times be a tumultuous life. art tells stories, it allows for interesting communication, it connects us not only to our own story but to something bigger than ourselves
- When and how did you get involved with art & creating?
First and foremost, I have adored art since I could hold a pencil… I never was much into dolls or Disney movies as a kid- I was much more content to be given pencils and paper and get busy making my own little stories and drawings. My year one teacher really encouraged me in my art and bought me sketchbooks and that taught me to believe in myself creatively.
- Which art style or technique do you most identify with?
Surrealism!!!! Particularly, things that don’t make sense; elements of surrealism that turn the logic we know in reality on its head. I find it exciting and freeing.
- How would you best describe your work? Please let us know why you are passionate about it.
I call my work cartoon surrealism- it can be quite naïve at times and usually has an elaborate back story behind each work. Often these are my dreams that I wake up and write down to use in art- sometimes the ideas come from music, sometimes my own emotions.
- How did you develop your style?
It’s always developing. I think as I stumble across different art genres that influence me I borrow bits and pieces, otherwise it’s a constant process- the more I create, my style just changes and evolves on it’s own.
5. Which other artists inspire you and why?
Salvador Dali and Van Gogh- two classics that intrigue me because of the knowledge we have of their personalities and life stories. I find that more interesting than their art in a way. As people, they both had incredible lives- sad and whimsical at the same time. I also love Hieronymus Bosch- A brilliantly quirky artist way ahead of his time. His art was centuries ahead. Incredible.
- Let us know your favorite artwork created by you and by another artist.
I’ll go the typically most famous surreal painting, ‘The Persistence Of Memory’ by Dali. I love the clocks melting, I love his composition…So dreamlike.
My favourite image created by me…That’s hard because it changes. The one I have really been proud of in the past year is ‘Those Rascal Thoughts Can’t Make You Drop Your Gaze’ because it’s quite different to my other works. The colours are much softer and the facial expression is more elegant. I did take more time and care with this piece.
- Is your craft your full time Job?
Nope! I am a full time student studying a Master of Mental Health (Art Therapy), I also work part time at the Art Shed Brisbane, as well as freelance art related things- I often go into schools to run art workshops. I love getting public speaking gigs where I can share about art and mental health. So I guess all of my work is related to art, which is wonderful.
8. What does your daily routine involve? And what time of day is the best time for you to work on your craft?
If I’m not at my day job, I sleep in a little and try to find an interesting documentary to watch or podcast to listen to (not a morning creator). Most of my best work happens after an afternoon nap and I keep working late into the evening. It kind of looks like I am a sloth during the day but I end up producing about 9 hours worth of work a day.
9.What are your favorite art supplies?
So glad you asked. I am totally obsessed with Prismacolor pencils. They are so beautiful, soft and blend-able. I probably spend over $2000 a year on these pencils alone.
- How is your studio or art space organized?
I live in my art studio- it’s this cute little timber flat with high ceilings, a little kitchen and bathroom, but most of my flat is filled with art supplies, my prints, my originals, and anything else art related. Interestingly enough, I do have a desk and designated art area, but I have actually never sat at it to draw in my life. Most of my work is done on the floor or on my bed, leaning on a sketch board.
11.What do you do before you start a piece?
I don’t have a routine or ritual for art making. I do have to find a documentary or podcast to have on- I like listening to something while creating. Besides that, it changes…Sometimes I browse through notes on my phone, which is where I quickly record art ideas while I’m out. Sometimes the idea is already there and I have to get out of my own way and let it happen.
12. How has your work changed over time?
I think colour wise, my work now is much more vibrant and intense than it used to be. It’s becoming less and less naïve, and as I get older I’ve learned to think through what I create and what I choose to share with the world- I never used to think twice about that.
13. What is your favorite color? Does it influence your work?
Ooh! I do love black. Interestingly, in my mind I think in more black and white but by the time the idea hits paper it becomes this wildly colourful thing. So you’d never know I love minimal, black and white stuff.
- If and/or when you feel frustrated with a piece, what do you do to get out of that funk?
Sometimes I abandon it for years and come back to finish it off. Sometimes it gets abandoned and I never finish it. Bit sad really.
- What do you most love about your work? Is there something you don’t like about it?
I love that my art asks questions and tells stories that come from out of left field. I don’t really care if no one else likes it (well, I care a little) but I get a lot of satisfaction and amusement from my art, and that’s why I do it. One thing I do slightly regret is that I am not trained (in art at all, as a matter of fact) particularly in realism. My ideas are too complex sometimes for me to express in a naïve, cartoon style.
- What advice would you give to a young artist aspiring for a career in art?
Enjoy having a day job- don’t pressure yourself to solely make art. Fill every other waking moment outside of paid work with art- your life will be rich and inspired without the financial pressure on your creativity.
17. What is the biggest obstacle you face when it comes to your work?
Sometimes it is difficult to communicate the stories behind the work, which is what people seem to connect to. That’s why I love public speaking- I can actually explain the pieces properly and I get the best responses from sharing my art in this way.
- Any business advice for the creative entrepreneur?
Decide what you want- is monetary success your goal? Is helping people your goal? Is just making art every day your goal? Clarifying why you do what you do helps so much.
19. What do you feel is the biggest accomplishment of your career thus far? Any regrets?
I am proud that I got the opportunity to write and implement my own art workshops with adults in a Work for the Dole program in 2015. I am really proud that I created workshops that challenged adults to reflect, pause, and discover creative thinking within themselves. Career wise, that was wonderful.
- What are your plans for the future with regard to your craft?
I am hoping to head down the clinical art therapy path- I have just enrolled to study for this. I do want to focus on the mental health aspect of art for my future career, nevertheless I’d love to keep creating as an artist as well. It is necessary for my own sanity, and I could think of nothing more beautiful to do.
Special Thanks to Alana Bosgra
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