Today we’d like to introduce you to Chiffon Lark. An Alcohol Ink Artist & Illustrator in San Diego, CA.
Chiffon, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Much of my early inspiration derives from children’s literature and illustrations, especially the work of author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter (1866-1942). Her ability to convey the complex interactions of wildlife in their natural habitat to a human audience while keeping the essence of the species intact with both narrative and depiction was something that spoke to my heart.
As a child, I learned that imagination was a window to knowing the deepest and most authentic aspects of who someone is. At an early age of three or four years old, I identified drawing (and later painting) as a way to express the way I was experiencing the world, as most children do. With my art, I did not have to rely on an extensive vocabulary to articulate my life’s circumstances. It was later in life that I realized I was not just using visual art to communicate my experiences with others, but processing and communicating them with myself as well.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Creating a sustainable business plan for my art was a learning curve. One of the biggest challenges for me was being able to establish a symbiotic relationship between an emotionally driven process (painting) and objective profit mapping. In developing a systematic approach to providing a high-quality experience, much of the success seemed to be dependant on the collector’s overall satisfaction. I realized after the first year and a half that this was not entirely true. If I was not fulfilled by the art I was producing, it really didn’t matter if others were pleased. My own satisfaction held greater significance because it affected every aspect of the experience. From the way I communicated with buyers, to how I displayed my art, all of these aspects were contingent on how deeply I was able to appreciate the work I was creating.
"If I was not fulfilled by the art I was producing, it really didn’t matter if others were pleased." – Chiffon Lark
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
In my culture (North/Central Native American, Apache Nation), it is known that each living and non-living being here has a “medicine” or “power” to offer us in our individual journeys. The belief that we are interconnected with all life, and life after life, enables our soul to receive, embody, and offer this wisdom to others as well. These medicines are not physical, but speak to our hearts on a deeply emotional level. By bringing awareness to this wisdom, perhaps we are able to more openly understand the sacred communion other species offer to us. Perhaps by recognizing this, we are able to understand the invaluable bond we share with them and our planet. A bond, I feel, that is to be honored and protected.
Through my art, my intention is to invoke a deep sense of connection and inspiration that is to be felt through imagery. I not only focus on the detail of the subject’s physical form, but immerse myself in the non-physical components of what allows us to visually and non-visually perceive them. By allowing myself to experience the subject and how it interacts with its environment, I am better able to witness their individuality and emphasize this on canvas. I use fluid mediums such as alcohol ink and watercolors to achieve contemporary composition with abstract realism.
How do you think about luck?
I believe we are all here to rediscover a path that leads us back to our truest selves. These paths are individually designed for each of us. What I believe “luck” to be, is simply the ability to gain clarity of an individual situation that takes place along this path – whether it is experienced consciously or subconsciously. When we allow ourselves to trust in our journey, we are brought closer and closer to the love and acceptance we are able to have for ourselves, which can in turn can bring “lucky” or “fortunate” events to take place.