Jaala Leis Wanless, Canadian multidisciplinary artist at large, mother of one, dog mom, opens up about her artistic process and where she sees her art progressing to.
If I were to give my past self some advice it would be to trust the artistic process and never fear making mistakes. In fact, I would say to be fearless and make as many mistakes as possible… they are the best teachers and always lead to creative problem solving as well as learning new techniques or processes.
It took me a long time to be at peace with myself and call myself an artist even though my practice has spanned over 40 years. Why? I think it’s because I didn’t feel like I was making art per say until I understood myself better and my process. And, in some respects, I didn’t realize that my talents were not something everyone else possessed…I took them for granted because some things felt “easy.” So I had to work at taking “easy” things and making them harder, more challenging, and taking the journey inward to understand more of the whys and who I was.
As I critically examined myself, I realized that my art is my way of sharing my view of the world with others in various ways as I experience it. I had more to say as I became more aware of myself and how I interact with the world. Now, I say I’m an artist because I feel like I am diving deeper into themes or topics with a greater sense of purpose and exploration.
I consider any art that invokes any kind of emotional or intellectual reaction to be successful. What is the purpose of art? It is storytelling, sharing perspectives, creating things for the sake of firing up imaginations… it is a critical component of the human experience that helps us all evolve into greater things. And so, when I think about my future career as an artist, I envision expanding my audience, my outward inspirational reach, building a studio to handle larger projects, and creating more pieces that invoke reactions… my idea of success.
One of my favorite things to do in my art practice is to always be switching mediums and not be making the same things in the same style on a repetitive basis. I’m very conscientious about not sticking to just one media or style because I love learning and challenging myself to grow. I find trying new things or approaching a way different subject matter to be very inspirational. More often than not, I surprise myself when I learn something new about myself and then incorporate that into my practices.
My number priority is to always bring my artistic A game into whatever it is that I am doing. A few years ago I finished a David Bowie painting and while I was immersed in studying his art, I learnt that he always brought his A game into whatever it was he was focused on. I admired that approach and incorporated into in my practice as well… keep pushing, keep going, and always bring the absolute best into whatever medium is in front of me. So my new mantra is “A Game” only… bringing the best I have into every situation without apology and with as much energy I have available.
My goal in the next few years is put on an art show that takes people through my process and into my mind per say. An immersive experience into what goes on in an artist’s brain that showcases the stockpile of my sculptures, painting, drawings, writings, 25k+ photography, music and film, and all the other random oddities I have created. I have been slowly been inching towards this goal the past few years.
Connect with Jaala: