1. Welcome Luna to The Influx Gallery family. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from?
Thank you! I’m excited to be a part of it. I was born and raised in Canada, my parents are from France. I have been a practising full time artist for 7 years now, and pursuing my heart and art has taken me to 33 countries and gifted me a spectrum of experiences of different cultures and landscapes. I am absolutely obsessed with the ocean, learning languages, the diversity of spiritual practices around the world, psychology and philosophy.
2. Were your family supportive of you deciding to become an artist?
I got very mixed responses, some were very supportive, some were very worried, I got a lot of “reality check” responses. It took years of doing this full time before I was really taken seriously on this being a livable job. Despite the doubts, my family definitely celebrated my wins alongside me, and I know all the doubts I received came from a place of love and concern.
3. Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become an artist?
I always loved making art. I've been telling my parents I would be an artist since I first found out what a “job” was. I’ve always had an inner calling I can’t quite explain towards art and creative expression. That said, I was conditioned out of it for a lot of my teen years, thinking it just wasn’t realistic. It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I was inspired to pursue this calling again. I went to Shambhala Music Festival and I was so mesmerised by the art in the gallery there that it awoke something in me again. I started creating again and was supported by my friends and community immensely. I definitely have a previous partner to thank for really pushing me to pursue it as a career. That support and belief in me had a lot to do with how deeply I committed to my creative practice.
4. Did your schooling or work affect your creative development in any way?
I did a 2 year pre-university program in Visual Arts and actually studied photography in University. Looking back, it’s hard to say how much those affected my work because I did fully give up the idea of being an artist for a few years. I often challenged the concept of assignments given, it was the only thing that kept it interesting for me. I was often really uninspired and kind of felt forced to create art I wasn’t particularly interested in creating. Since then I have taken workshops taught by some artists I am inspired by and I feel like that is a much more efficient and productive learning environment for me. The work I was doing in school has absolutely nothing to do with the work I create now. I don’t even really have any friends or contacts from my school days. As for work, I really just worked random jobs to make ends meet with no idea what I was doing with my life at all until I finally pursued art seriously. Obviously everything we spend time on has an influence on us, but I honestly can’t tell if it hindered or brought me closer to what I do today. I have no way of knowing what alternative experiences I could have chosen for myself and which direction those would have taken me.
5. Do you have a favourite painting technique?
It really depends on the day. I do love to work in layers, and I like rotating between loose organic brush strokes and detailed brush work. I find results from dry-brushing and glazing techniques super satisfying. I feel like there isn’t necessarily a technique that I would call my favourite, it's more about my state of being while I paint. The more present I am and the less attached to the outcome, the more I enjoy it. Those states can be achieved through any technique really.
6. What was your most enjoyable piece to create?
Hands down would be my painting “As Above So Below”. I spent about 300 hrs on that painting over the course of 2 months. I was processing a lot of really hard emotions during its creation. It became a safe place for me, I never wanted to stop working on it. I kept trying to find more details to add so I didn’t have to leave the little world I’d created. I played around with the idea that maybe, just maybe, there was a magic brushstroke at some point that would open up the painting into a portal I could step through so I could just go live there. I sold this piece a few years ago and I still miss it every day. It’s definitely the painting that was the hardest to let go of and that I miss the most.
7. You describe your paintings as being strongly influenced by your travelling and the different cultures you have immersed yourself in. Would this be an accurate statement?
Absolutely! I think when you expose yourself to so many different ways of experiencing the world and adapt to the full spectrum of culture, language, spirituality, pushing the limits of human experience by ice picking your way up mountains, jumping out of airplanes, or exploring the ocean floors, it opens up your mind immensely. I have lived in places where we collected rainwater and showered with a bucket and coffee mug and I have experienced high end restaurants and fancy hotels. When you expose yourself to such a wide array of perspectives, it only makes sense that it would then show up in your art.
8. Do you collect art or have a favourite painter?
I do collect art! I mostly have prints and some originals. As an artist, why should I expect people to prioritise purchasing art if I don’t personally prioritise it. I feel like it helps keep funds rotating within the community. Whenever I make a major art sale, I make sure that a piece of that goes towards supporting another artist. Some of my favourite artists right now are Eva Ganayun, Hannah Yata, Miles Johnston, Miles Toland, Rae Vena, Noa Knafo, and Kierra Van Roots.
9. Your paintings are beautifully constructed and most certainly open the doors of perception on many differing levels. Can you say a few words on your particular and unique style?
My style came from a combination of the inspiration I found in other artists, and embracing the forms that just came naturally. The more I embraced the things that just, accidentally came through, the more my art started to develop its unique vibe. Art has no rules, the more fun you have with it the better it seems to turn out. I feel like my style really started to develop when I stopped trying to create art comparing myself to the artists I looked up to or trying to achieve a very specific outcome. I just… stopped thinking and allowed the brush to start doing whatever the heck it wants. Turns out if you just trust it, it really does know what it’s doing. I do continue to take inspiration from other creatives, but not by trying to imitate their style, but just by taking notice of the elements that attract me to their work and trying to see how I can experiment with the concept and incorporate it into what I do. I feel like that helps me consistently evolve and grow as an artist.
10. Thanks a lot for your valuable time and interest. You can include any other details you want to talk about here?
I think if there’s one thing I’d like people to get out of reading this, it’s that I’m just a regular person. We are all capable of achieving incredible things, you just have to commit to yourself and embrace your unique way of expressing yourself. I share my story and perspective because I hope it can inspire others to follow their heart and to believe in themselves. It blows me away every single day the number of people that resonate with what I do and choose to support me and my work. If I can do it, anyone can. And people will always connect more deeply with what you do if you are doing it for yourself first, not for the audience you showcase it to. So be yourself, move from the heart, and the rest will fall in place.