Saturday, December 09, 2006

Art Space Talk: Janina McCormack

I recently interviewed artist Janina McCormack. This emerging artist has recently moved to Warsaw (Poland) to pursue her career. Janina has an eye for vibrant color and is able to utilize her knowledge to create flowing abstractions.

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "Art has always been a part of my everyday life. It just happened that gradually, art became increasingly important to me. Right now, I am becoming an adult, and with that, I have made the decision to devote my life to creating artwork."

Q. How has creating art shaped you professionally and personally?

A. "Creating art has made me a different person, because it makes me function less efficiently in the real world. Personally, it has given me a voice. Art allows me take things I could never talk about, and still will not, and express them. It also lets me see all the possibilities I have as a human being. I like to surprise myself."

Q. What are your artistic influences? Has anyone inspired you?

A. "Many of my close artist friends have inspired me the most. Other artists, like those in museums do influence me, but not in the same way as a friend does. I often end up collaborating with friends because after I spend so much time with them and their work I feel a part of them."

Q. How long have you been a working artist?

A. "I have been painting since I was 12 years old. So now, I have been an artist for about 10 years."

Q. What is your artistic process?

A. "I stretch a canvas, and create a very lovely ground. After that, I paint. My ideal creating days involve having a full breakfast, sleeping late, going to the library, and then coming back to the studio and going full force into painting. Listening to upbeat music is also a key element to my studio practice."

Q. Do you have a degree or do you plan to attend school for art? If so, how has it helped your art career?

A. "I have a BA from Hunter College. Going to school has certainly helped shape me into being a better artist. My fellow students were very inspiring artists, and having access to knowledgeable and helpful Professors is very powerful. However, school never prepares you for a career."

Q. Where can we see more of your art?

A. "I have a few shows in the works, so keep your eyes open. As I live in Warsaw, I am working more on exhibiting here and in neighboring cities and countries. Online, I recently created a blog with sketches and news,, and I have a Myspace profile,"

Q. Are you represented by a gallery?

A. "I work collaboratively, and we call ourselves Pants Avengers. We have representation with Jen Bekman Gallery in New York City. As for my "solo" work, I am not actively seeking representation, but will gladly accept an offer if it arises."

Q. What trends do you see in the 'art world'?

A. "There are many trends, but the art world is expanding in a more global way, so the trends are not widespread. In New York it is easy to see trends, but they do not reflect what is going on everywhere in the whole art world. I do think though, after seeing the art fairs in London last month, there is a tendency for very detailed, labor intensive, process-oriented drawing. There is also an attraction to organic, flowy forms made from harsh materials."

Q. Any tips for emerging artists?

A. "I do not know, because I am one myself. However, I would say that when carving out a career wait until you have made something that you are proud of, then show it around, and then go on to the next thing. The allure of the art world is great, but do not let it shape your work. Never make art just so that it can sell."

Q. What was the toughest point in your career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?

A. "The only tough points of being an artist for me are feelings of self-doubt. Sometimes it is hard to go on, sometimes you are unsure about what you are making. There is also the problem of artistic slumps. I face them when I make something that garners praise. I have trouble re-creating the same effect I had in those initial pieces. It is frustrating, but I have learned now that after these slumps something new emerges. Luckily, I have never hit "rock bottom." If I fall into a hole, I find a way out of it."

Q. Can we find your art on MYARTSPACE.COM?

A. "My user name is janinamccormack."

Q. What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?

A. "I have currently moved from New York City to Warsaw, Poland. It has been a very big, but positive change. Polish contemporary art in general is extremely fresh and raw. I am still too new to the community to actually discuss it, but within my school, the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, there is a great kinship and openness amongst students. In Warsaw, there are a few very strong galleries. My favorites are Zacheta, Yours Photography Gallery, and Raster."

Q. Is there anything else you would like to say about your art or the 'art world'?

A. "As this is mainly for the artists on myartspace I would just like to say that I look forward to seeing how an Internet art community such as this will affect the art world."

I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Janina McCormack. Feel free to critique or discuss her work. You can find more examples of her art by searching for janinamccormack on the main site: .

You can check out all of the interviews at

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

1 comment:

paul said...

Short and easy to read, but when you said "Never make art just so that it can sell."
Why not?
What is the meaning of Art to you? please don't answer with a question.