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Cheryl Humphreys challenges the confines of traditional printmaking. Here she shares the inspiration behind her unique processes.
Tell us about yourself and how you came to be an artist.
I grew up around making and it has always been in me to create.
Describe your work in three words.
Paper and pressure.
Cheryl Humphreys says
"I was exploring the visual dialogue of contemporary communication... specifically the use of symbols in place of words."
What is your creative process? Walk us through each stage from coming up with ideas/ themes/ concepts you want to explore to translating that into an artistic vision to creating the physical artworks and installations.
My creative process involves asking and answering my own questions. It always starts with a sketch and an unknown.
In much of your work you explore everyday objects and immortalize them as symbols of something greater. What do you find fascinating with this kind of subject matter?
This refers to previous works in which I was exploring the visual dialogue of contemporary communication... specifically the use of symbols in place of words. I am interested in the kinds of conversations we are having with these symbols and the times we chose whether they are appropriate or not. What are we replacing when we use them?
What influence does modern culture have on your work?
Modern culture offers connectivity to others. A huge part of my process involves working with others ranging from making paper, to making my plates to making frames. Being able to work with all of these people gives me the ability to learn from those around me and to create something greater than what I could achieve as an individual.
Who are some contemporaries or figures in art history who have influenced you?
Larry Bell, Helen Frankenthaler, Ed Moses, Sister Corita Kent, John Baldessari, The Vignellis, Uta Barth, John Greco, Mike McMullen, Alexandra Spencer, Frank Ocean.
The materials you work with always seems to be very thoughtful, particularly the handcrafted papers you use. What role does the material play in your creative process?
I am always experimenting with different types of paper and how they receive the pressure I am applying to them. Over the years I have tried every type of paper readily available to me, papers from different parts of the world, handmade papers, even found papers. This constant search has lead me to working with a company to custom create my own sheets of handmade paper that have the exact properties I am looking for.
Are there any quotes or mantras that you particularly connect with?
“The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch onto things.” - Rule #7 from Sister Corita’s Rules for Students, Teachers, and Life
“Make work that matters, have an opinion and love something other than yourself” - James Victore
What messages or emotions do you hope to convey to your audience?
I hope my work inspires others to create.
What makes you laugh?
What makes you nervous?
What makes you excited about the future?
“Many Lives, Many Masters” -Brian L. Weiss, MD
About Cheryl Humphreys
Cheryl Humphreys' each piece aims to draw in the viewer, begging subtle, intimate and at times playful interactions.
Cheryl Humphreys is a visual artist based in Los Angeles, CA. Her education and career as a designer have played an integral role in her ability to communicate through the medium of paper. The artist’s blind embossings eschew the trappings of traditional printed work, leaving only shape and shadow.
b. 1986 Ithaca, NY Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA
“Making is my way of connecting. Sometimes that means re-connecting with myself in an effort to reflect and heal and sometimes that means initiating an exchange with another, perhaps even inspiring them to create. I have chosen printmaking specifically as I am drawn to its immediacy and often graphic results. It’s rules and processes keep me present, disciplined and curious.” -Cheryl Humphreys
2005-2008, Otis College of Art & Design, BFA Communication Arts
2008, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, Exchange Program
2004-2005, Savannah College of Art & Design
2015, I just have this feeling…, Paul Loya Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2018, UNICEF Next Gen Art Party, Tappan Collective, Los Angeles, CA
2018, Exploration vs. Expectation, Arms Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2016, Poetics of Relation, DAC Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2016, Spatially Speaking, Tappan Collective, Los Angeles, CA
2015, Pulse Miami, Paul Loya Gallery, Miami, FL
2015, Art Project Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
2015, UNICEF Art Party, Tappan Collective, Los Angeles, CA
2014, California Dreaming, Paul Loya Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2013, Bring Into Being, Pop Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2013, Nightmare on Helms Street, Pop Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2013, Periphery: Print Exchange, Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
2012, Nightmare on Helms Street, Pop Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Q. What inspires you?
A. My surroundings, my friends, good story tellers, travel...