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San Francisco

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ART: Betsy Johnson

I was born in San Francisco and raised in Petaluma, a place I consider to be the most special town of all little California towns. I have been avidly creating art since ages three or four beginning with storybooks, dioramas, paintings, drawings, choreographed dance, music, and a lot more. I've had a few art shows since high school, and I am now about to receive a degree from SFSU in drawing and painting, finally.

My aesthetic can probably best be described by comparing my work to other artists. I say that because many audiences feel comfortable doing so, so I guess it's up to them. Someone described my art as "moody" once, and I liked that. I draw inspiration from personal life experiences and most recently, anything visually stimulating I see in the world around me that resonates. Is that vague enough? My favorite things right now are fish, geodes, swirls, puffs, string, depth, moods,victorian and medieval architecture, and found objects from past. I also draw a lot of inspiration from the music that I listen to and feel a natural need to somehow materialize it in my paintings. 

I also am very inspired by film, mainly Harmony Korine who once stated: "All the characters in my movie are beautiful, even the ones that I find disgusting." and also: "To me there wasn't those images so I made them, that's the only reason. If they had've existed I would've quit or not made the movie."

I have always been skeptical about writing artist statements but I was recently told by a wise professor that one must be accountable for the art they make, and I consider his explanation, which I also hold true for my art, to be meeting that requirement. 

- Betsy Johnson 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I'm a female freelance artist from the Bronx and art has been the biggest passion of my life since the very beginning. I always used art as a way to express my inner soul and help get me past hard obstacles in my life. For many years, painting has been something I did in my time off; my studies have never been art-related. My art work is often noted for my unique style which tends to blend urban pop with surrealism and lowbrow art. My use of vibrant colors make my work an excellent choice for a wide-range of projects and purpose and at a affordable price. Nowadays, I find myself being sucked into the art world and I am loving every minute of it. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

ART: Tina G. for PaperSoul

Tina G. is a poet/playwright/performer/visual artist/educator born and raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Her perfomance credits include shows at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and the Bowery Poetry Club. She is currently in an ensemble play "Tank" which creates original theater for the community. After five years of inhaling all the diversity and culture of her hometown, she has decided to create a custom line of skectchbooks, notebooks, and journals for the writers of NYC. PaperSoul is a manifestation, reflection, poetic portrayal of New York. It's a dedication, inspiration, and homage to the people living on this concrete.

Creating these books is a way for me to give back to the community, and inspire people in a way that average notebooks can't. Each book is thought provoking, powerful, raw, and real. It gives the creator comfort to know the words, drawings, and doodles they are creating are sourounded by something that represents them in a deep way. My inspiration is poetry, graffiti, anything very raw, and reflective it can be a story or a conversation that strikes an idea. When something is spoken, words and images are seen, and it hits our soul nothing else can affect us more than that. I want to bring those feelings, and experieneces to people. I want people to rock dope books, and feel good about the art they are creating. It makes me feel mad good to know people of all races, genders, and social statuses are holding a PaperSoul on the train ride to work or in the darkest moments. This is what its all about for me paying it forward with glue, ink, and soul.

- Tina G.

Monday, September 12, 2011

ART: Rebecca Betts

My approach to art is now very organic as opposed to the calculated approach I was taught in graduate school, in that I don't sketch or have a real idea of my subject until the brush touches the canvas. I let the creation of my subject naturally evolve, letting my past experiences, emotions and medical illustration education inform the elements and characters I ultimately will create.

- Rebecca Betts

Monday, September 12, 2011

ART: Leirum Manhattan

Muriel Fonseca, was born in Manhattan, NY, April 6, 1979, and after three years in the U.S, she moved to Sintra, Portugal with her parents.

The passion for painting appeared early in her life in a spontaneous way when still a child, things started to get serious at the age of ten when she realized that her love was so big that this would be her life devotion.

When Muriel turned fourteen, she was given a book about Salvador Dali and her life took a spin, being truly inspired by the surrealism she went to high school where she focused on art studies as well as in  painting classes. During that time H.R Giger also made a deep impression on her and all the elements were alligned and Leirum started to develop her own unique style. Dark colors, distorted faces and bodies, angels and butterflies. Oil, acrylic, black pen and charcoal.

She had exhibitions in galleries, tattoo shops, bars and everywhere her art was requested.

Reaching a point in her career, she also had another dream, the dream of becoming a tattoo artist and she took a chance and left her life, family and friends in Portugal and returned to her  homeland, the U.S.

In September 2010, she started the journey in the best place in the world, New York.

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