How do you stay motivated in your work as an artist?
EC: I do my best to keep myself aware of my surroundings and more importantly, my responses to them. I think it’s important to keep myself connected to my aesthetic sensibilities and take note of what jumps out at me in the world. So, even if the pattern of water on a sidewalk never actually “inspires” its own piece, it at least keeps my mind working. Processing. Then, when I’m working, I have a lot of potential creative fuel.
Walk us through a typical day in the studio for you.
EC: When I set up to get to work, I try to get everything I’ll need for the session laid out within arm’s reach beforehand. Including my laptop for Pandora and a drink or two. Getting up and away from the piece to get a snack or find more paint can really disrupt the rhythm of what I’m doing, so I keep it to an absolute minimum. I work best in a straight shot, working until it’s finished. However, if I have to leave something in process at the end of the work period, I’ll do minimal amounts of cleaning up so that when I come back the next time, I can reengage everything more easily rather than going through a full setup process again.
Describe a person who has been influential to your work or career as an artist.
EC: My parents and my fiancé have been incredibly supportive since I started down this career path, and I couldn’t be more grateful to them. However, since so much of my work is about and inspired by my grandmother, Mawmaw Sissy, I think she has to be the one I call the most influential. She was so lively, caring, and doting towards me and the rest of her family. That’s why so much of what I’ve been making and striving for has been strongly impacted by her, and I hope that as I continue in my career, I make her proud of who I’ve grown up to be.
Elissa Cummings is one of ten artists whose works are being showcased in GOCA 1420’s Senior Visual Art (VAPA) Majors exhibit, X. From start to finish the ten students worked together to exhibit and promote their work. This is the tenth annual Senior VAPA Majors art exhibition and runs from 15 April through 14 May 2016. Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, or by appointment. GOCA1420 is located at UCCS Centennial Hall at 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, 80918.