NUNUM - Blending Flash Fiction & Art
Interview with Ann Calandro
I'm always reading more than one book at once, so right now it is Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman and Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Epstein.
Have to admit I ask that one to get advice for my own reading, and it worked again, two authors I’ve yet to read. Thank you for that. Pen, pencil or phone, which one do you reach for when you need to write something down?
Always pen or pencil. I have plenty of both, plus lots of scrap paper for jotting things down.
I hear that, regardless of how convenient tech gets still find myself reaching for paper. Keeping with the idea of medium, why or how did you choose the medium, or media, you like to work in?
charcoal drawings, but there's not enough color or layers for what I want to create, although I do incorporate drawing with colored pencils and pastels into my collages. Additionally, I'm not very handy with a paintbrush. Using a paintbrush always makes me feel as if there is a barrier between my hand and the canvas (or paper). I'd probably be happiest if the paint or ink came out of my finger onto the canvas. However, I admire painters and would love to be able to paint with oil, acrylic, or watercolour, and maybe someday I will learn how. Sometimes I use water-soluble crayons and get a kind of "painty" look that way. Although I do like to take photographs and use them in my collages, I'm not a natural in terms of learning all the ins and outs of apertures and f-stops and lighting.
So that’s medium, lets pivot a touch over to the what. How do you pick your subject matter?
I think it's more that my subject matter picks me. I'll hear or read or see a phrase or even a word and think, "I want to make a collage based on what that means to me." You can see words at the bottom right of "Treasure." Reading those words somewhere gave me the idea for that collage. I keep a list of phrases that I might want to try to turn into collages.
No one works in a vacuum, so I’m curious what artists or writers or musicians have influenced you?
I've been influenced by Henri Rousseau, who apparently set out to photograph the world and ended up creating a world of enchantment. I've also been influenced by Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Della Wells, Eric Fischl, and Marc Chagall because their artwork is magical and colourful and tells a story. I think I'm more moved by a story than by a perfect technique and no story, which is why I like to go to student and outsider art shows as well as more traditional exhibits. I've also been influenced by various musicians. For example, I got the ideas for two of my earlier collages--"Always Howdy Howdy and Never Good-bye" and "Side Streets"--from listening to gospel music. As for writers, Alice Hoffman and Dara Horn, with their wonderful mix of reality and fantasy, have also influenced me. I like to find the intersection of reality and fantasy in my collages.
That is a range, thank you for that. And finally, what advice would you give someone who is just starting to send their work out to journals?
Don't get discouraged! Keep writing (or creating art or composing music) and submitting your work. If you are a writer, also be a reader. If you are an artist, also be a viewer of art. if you are a musician, also be a listener.
Thank you Ann, for this and of course for letting us use ‘The Treasure’ for our Fall 2019 cover.
Blending Flash Fiction & Art