20 Questions with Rebecca Green

Rebecca Green is an illustrator and painter with a delicate hand for conveying wonder and magic. We are excited to feature a new exhibit, “Paper Trails- a visual record” opening on August 7th. Check out Rebecca’s answers to our 20 questions, and be sure to join us for her First Friday show in August!

Name:  Rebecca Green (but I go by Becca)

Current Residence: Soon to be Nashville, TN

Country of Origin: USA

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Describe yourself and your work:  I am eager to grow in life and in work, constantly seeking out new ways of doing things, making things, and seeing things. My work evolves rather quickly, but always maintains a sense of wonder about the world.

How did you get started making art?   I’ve been making art since I could hold a pencil. I didn’t take it seriously as a career until high school, and even then I wanted to be a designer because I felt it was more lucrative. As my designs turned out to be paintings, I decided to fully dive into illustration.
What piece of work best represents you and why?  The next piece. I rarely ever love a painting when it’s finished – I enjoy the process and the learning that takes place, but I’m usually just looking to the next piece where I can use that learning to make something better. The pieces that best represent me as a person are probably my sketches and visual recordings, like the pieces for this show, though I rarely get enough time to do them.

What most influences your work, (material, life, other people, music)?   Life. Our lives. Stranger’s lives. History. Science. Biology.

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Where do you go to get inspired?  The book store or the Nature and Science Museum.

What have you learned through art making that has surprised you?  The nuances and patterns that we all have surface when you’re making art all the time. I see patterns in myself that I never knew existed – such as starting a piece over multiple times before I feel right to actually begin it – or the cyclical pattern of inspiration which ebbs and flows. Once you see the patterns in art making, it becomes easier to ride the waves and not dwell on the permanence of anything. It’s also been a learning experience to have work out in the world and to have people expect a certain thing from you. It can be suffocating at times and it’s easy to lose yourself and remember that art making is an exploration, and that only you can define – or not define – what it is that you want to be making.

Describe the setting of where one of your works will be hagning in the year 2050  Ok. Since I’m dreaming: It’s a small town in The Netherlands. December. Dusk. It’s a little snowy outside and inside it’s warm and we’re in a small tiny gallery that has large glass windows and a wooden floor. The gallery has a little fireplace and is serving wafers and coffee and Edith Piaf is playing on a record player. Also, since I am still dreaming: it will be a solo show. I can’t even imagine what my work would look like in 35 years. Either way, it sounds like a lovely future to look forward to. 

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What is it like when you collaborate with other artists?  It sadly hardly ever happens. Since I have been doing so much commercial work, I try to reserve personal projects to myself since time is precious.

How do you balance being an artist and being an entrepreneur?   It’s hard! It’s something they didn’t really teach us in school, even though my degree is in commercial illustration. It’s honestly not easy to juggle making and finding that creative time and space, with the realities of contracts, invoices, emails, taxes, receipts and all that awful business stuff. Sometimes it can feel pretty overwhelming when you feel like you have to do everything yourself.

What is your process for creating work?  It depends really, but for personal work, I usually have a really rough idea, and I’ll sketch a teeny rough of it, and then I’ll do the full sketch right on the final so there is no transferring. I have been working with gouache lately, so I’ll just dive right in and start filling in color all over the place.

Why do you believe art has value?  It transcends so many barriers between us as humans.

What is playing on your stereo?  Usually Radiolab or Freakonomics Podcasts – or sometimes audiobooks.

What’s in your cup in the mornings?  Coffee with almond milk.

Is there an artist that is inspiring to you right now?   I love Maira Kalman so much. Whenever I am feeling lost, I just read one of her books and it clears my heads and reminds me that life is short and I can make whatever the hell I want to.

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What’s the best thing about your studio/workspace/workshop?  My dog hangs outs with me and he’s always the best part of my workspace.

How do you stay motivated to create?   It’s an intrinsic motivation which ebbs and flows and sometimes completely disappears. Somehow it always comes back. I just love painting and making – the motivation can’t really be explained.

Whats the best part about being an artist? Communicating and connecting with people that I would have never connected with otherwise. Sharing my work with people is pretty personal and while I am a little shy, I feel like I can give more of myself and my thoughts about the world through images than I ever could with words.

RSVP for our First Friday opening reception for “Paper Trails- a visual record” by Rebecca Green on August 7th, 6-9pm.

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