Arian Nilluka| painter, drawer, collage-artist & potter


Amarillo Artist Arian Nilluka
Philosophy on Art
Never worry about outside forces that are not within your control, such as success. A lot of us worry about being successful. I think that if you are dedicated and passionate about what you do, then it will show. There is a lot of work that goes into making art, and really, making in general. Skill can’t be inherited and you have to get your hands dirty and donate a lot of time and energy to it. If you love what you do, you’re passionate, and you give 100% to your craft, then success will come to you. However, success comes in many different forms. You may be rich and famous or not, but ultimately you may be creating the best art of your lifetime. Who knows, because that really depends on you, the artist.
Are you an art creator or an art producer? Or, do you see a difference between the two?
I am a creator, not only just art but I create in general. I would probably equate myself more to a craftswoman. I love to paint and draw, but my true inspiration lies in objects that can be used. I also make pottery on the side, a recent passion of mine. I dabble in a lot of different types of creating; hobbies, crafts, mediums. I find value in the hand-crafted and hand-made. The importance of hand-made items, I feel, is slowly increasing. I strive to support those types of creation. Art, on the other hand, cannot be classified. The meaning is typically subjective depending on who you speak to. I personally feel that art is something that I do for myself and creating is something I do to share with others.
Why do you do what you do?
I make a lot of different types of art and things. I am always trying to explore a new medium. I believe that makes me a better person. Yes, person. Every day I try to be the best person I could possibly be in order to be best at what I do. I love trying out a new technique. I welcome all types of making; painting, crochet, pottery, collage and so on. When I am creating something, which is very therapeutic, I am really learning. I love learning and improving upon my skills. Every new piece is a stepping-stone toward discovering something new about my medium of choice, but also about myself.
What kind of art attracts you?
All sorts of art. Art in general, no matter the medium or subject matter or message catches my attention. I respect all artists (and makers) for the fact that I consider them brave. It takes a lot of time and passion to create art. I admire sculptors and 3D artists. I am a 2-dimensional artist at heart. I think that by broadening my horizons, looking at other types of art and styles, will allow me to be a better and more educated creator. You should never be narrow-minded when it comes to art. If you don’t like a certain medium or style, it is probably because you don’t understand it.
What is the question you never want to be asked regarding your art?
“Who is it?” With my paintings and drawings, I use human figures and faces. I am not a traditional painter nor am I portrait artist. I use these elements to present themes and ideas. If anything my ideas are more abstract than typical portraiture. I reference live models but I stay away from capturing a likeness because I feel that takes away from the piece as a whole. People view my art, which could be a woman’s face or a man standing in the background, and ask me “who is it?” It’s disappointing because my paintings and drawings are not about the human but rather about human emotion, experiences, dreams and ideals. Lately, it’s become a game! I start something new and think to myself “Now, how can I approach this differently?” I know I’ve finally succeeded with my ideas when I’m not asked, “Who is it?”.
How do you know when a piece/series is finished?
I have pieces that I’ve finished in a matter of days and some I still have had with me for over a year or more. When I start something, I have a general idea of what I want to do. Frequently my direction will change and the original idea is scrapped because I’ve discovered something new along the way. That’s the best part; the spontaneity of creation. I can’t ever predict the outcome of a painting or drawing. The process really is like a road-trip. I can go along with momentum for a time and then eventually meet a road-block. Sometimes there’s an unavoidable detour and sometimes I scrap the whole thing and start from square one. When I meet obstacles, at first it can be frustrating. Overcoming them is what is most important because it’s a learning experience. That’s how I grow as an artist. When I have learned as much as I possibly can from a piece, that’s when I know it is finished.
If you could interview any artist (living or dead) who would it be?
My favorite era of art is Art Nouveau which took place around 1890-1910. None of my work really references Art Nouveau, but I like it because that was really the time artists were embracing decorative type art. Architecture, jewelry, décor items & so much more were being created in that style. It really opened up the realm of art to the general public, making art more a part of everyday life. I would love to interview Alphonse Mucha, especially about his theater arts background. I think theater design played a large role in his development as an Art Nouveau artist, which he is most famous for. I would also like to ask him about his drawings, specifically those of his wife and children.

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