Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into producing, directing AND fine art.
I started painting (and acting) when I was a child. A few years after moving to LA, I became creatively dissatisfied, so I began creating content, which is how I discovered my love of producing & directing. I started out doing experimental films, then music videos, then narratives. Art was my secret expression for many years. It was one part of me I kept private and I liked it that way. I was encouraged to exhibit and sell my art, but that was never a goal of mine. A friend dragged me to an art gallery in Los Angeles and it happened to be the art and design fair. The afternoon resulted in several meetings with galleries and less than two months later I had my first art exhibit (in Beverly Hills).
What is your creative process like?
It depends on whether I am working on a film project or a painting. When I’m painting, the music I listen to is very important to me. When I was gearing up for the HOLLYWOOD LOVE LETTERS art exhibit at the ArcLight I did an enormous amount of prep work for each painting. However, sometimes I just love to pick the colors and the canvas, put on music that inspires me and then just jump in. I love that painting is a solitary expression, and filmmaking takes a community... a team. When I’m preparing for a film project I have a very visual approach. I create a “look book” which consists of images that I want to emulate – what I want the overall project to feel and look like. I prepare technically as well, so that when it comes time to shoot I can allow the project to unfold as organically as possible. Once the actors and other collaborators are involved, projects take on a life of their own. I go in knowing what I want, but I allow for ‘happy accidents” and I try to allow the project to breathe. In that way, my approach to painting and filmmaking is very similar.
Your Current state of mind?
Do you feel like you draw from your own personality in your work?
Yes. One of the first things people comment on when they see my paintings is how colorful they are. Then they usually follow that by stating, “Just like you!.” I think my film projects also reflect a lot about me, but they are not as much a reflection of my inner world.
Congrats on your recent art exhibition at the Arclight, where did your inspirations come from in your "Hollywood Love Letters" series?
For Hollywood Love Letters, I did abstract interpretations of films that have shaped and inspired me. I chose films in all different genres, some of which I had not seen since I was a child. I chose one film at a time, then re-watched the film, researched the film and the films' director, production design, music, actors… I basically lived the film every waking moment. Then I chose the canvas size and colors. I created a playlist that I listened to while I painted, or I would play the film itself. It was an incredible experience and journey, and the response during the exhibit at the ArcLight was incredibly rewarding.
Did you have a mentor?
Yes, my mentor is my dear friend Allan Arkush.
Your favorite artists?
Salvador Dali, Miranda July, Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo
How do you know when one of your projects is complete?
When it comes to my paintings, it’s a very intuitive feeling. I look at the painting and if it’s finished, it feels complete. In regards to my film projects, when I think I am done I ask myself… can it be ANY better? And if the answer is no, I know it is finished.
Can you tell us about some of your film projects you are working on?
I just finished an experimental film DO YOU BELIEVE IN PANCAKES. It’s an upbeat voyeuristic glimpse into the lives of two LA hipsters throughout the course of one night. I’m also finishing two feature films… RIDING ’79 is a beautiful coming of age feature film I am producing that was shot in Puerto Rico.
THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU is being likened to a contemporary pop culture Breakfast Club, and marks my third feature film as a producer and my feature directorial debut. The world premiere for THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU is in October as part of LA Femme Film Festival at LA LIVE in downtown Los Angeles.
I am currently exhibiting at WALLSPACE, the Los Angeles based gallery on La Brea & Melrose.
What is the best advice someone has giving you that has kept you going & Growing?
One of my favorite quotes to live by is:
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” Andy Warhol
And my other favorite is:
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss.
Who are some of the proud owners of your artwork?
My work is owned by incredible people throughout the world, including Emmy nominated directors, producers, actors, newborn babies, musicians, brides to be, government workers, financial advisors, nurses, sound editors/designers...
If we were to hang out with you for a day to check out some art spots in Los Angeles, where would we go? What would we see?
One of my favorite art spots in LA is actually Baller Art- a family owned art store in Los Feliz (nothing inspires me quite as much as art supplies). On the wall outside of the art store you’ll see a mural by Shepard Fairey. I witnessed the mural going up, and it makes me smile every time I see it.