Sunday, December 4, 2011

Artist Interview: Liz Brizzi.

It's absolutely wonderful to find an inspiring artist on the internet (as I did when I found Liz Brizzi's work a few months ago), but I find it surreal that then you can contact them and they'll answer a few questions for you and let you feature them on your blog.  When I contacted Liz I was as nervous as a girl could be.  Her artwork gives me goosebumps.  It's so different, and I love the "aged" feeling that the washes give the piece.

So, without further ado, here are some questions and answers with Liz Brizzi.

Were you always an art kid, or did you stumble upon it later in life?

I can definitely say I've always been an "art kid". First, I have to tell you that I grew up in a very artistic environment. My father works in animation and is a also a painter. My mother is a musician. Piano wasn't really my thing... but neither was math, which is the reason I really started drawing. My math and sciences notebooks were filled with comic strips I drew. And thinking back now...even before I was old enough to do some seriously boring math, I had invented comic book characters and wrote their stories, designed their clothes and worlds. I have no idea where those things are now...but I would love to find them.

Escape Route.

What style of art is your favorite and why?

Honestly, I don't think I have a favorite style... I love fine art, comic books, illustration, graphic design, photography, etc... I respect all forms of art and am able to find inspiration anywhere. I try to stay open to everything and even in my own approach to life as an artist, I try to do some of everything. It keeps it interesting and I feel like anything you learn doing one thing can often be applied to something else. Currently, I work on my paintings, but I also work as a surface designer doing a lot of textile prints and tshirt graphics. I also do some illustration work and am developing a comic book project that I hope will come to fruition one of these days, if time permits. So you see, I'm interested in a lot of artistic endeavors... but I guess you could say comic books and graphic novels have been a big influence in my life. They're pretty huge in France and I have a fairly large collection at home.

What do you use for inspiration, or how do you generate ideas?

Inspiration can come from anywhere, anytime. You just have to use your eyes and your ears, and be alert to your surroundings. But mostly I like to go out with my camera in random, poorly explored areas of the city and "shoot the heck out of it". I also like to look at my art books, and surf the web for inspiration daily. I do keep an inspiration folder filled with random images I like on my desktop. When I'm stuck in a creative rut, I go back to my folder and look at the images again.


Walk us through your creative process from idea to finished project.

I usually have a general idea of the "mood" of the next painting I want to do. The shape of the canvas will also play a role in the design of the final image. But I mostly look at all of my photos and pull out the ones that "speak to me" at that point. Then I use photoshop to tweak, cut, paste and create a photo montage with the selected images. The final image is then printed in pieces and cut with a blade. Then I paint the background on the canvas or wood panel, then collage the paper and finally paint on top of the whole thing with diluted washes of acrylic paint again. Sometimes, I'll add more layers of paper and paint until I feel the painting is finished, and the final touch is a gloss varnish that protects against UV rays and other environmental damage. Once the varnish is on, there is no going back. And voila!


What is a typical day in your life?

Well, the beauty of my life is that no day is ever the same. I love that. I used to have a full time job with a set schedule and daily tasks... I was miserable. I can't stand routine. But to give you an idea, I live and work in a loft downtown Los Angeles. I have a studio space there where I spend most of my days working on either a painting, or surface graphics, or whatever freelance gig may have come my way at that point. Sometimes, clients bring me into their offices to work with them, which is a nice change as sometimes, working at home gets a little lonely. I live with my fiancé who is also an artist and in the evenings we like to go out with friends, or stay in, cook and watch movies. You know... the regular stuff.

Crossing Over.

What do you think draws you to other people's work?

Hmmm.... That's a hard question. I never really thought about that! I think it can be colors, technique, imagery... It really depends. But I think the more unique, the more I"m attracted to it these days. I feel like a lot of art out there is getting too similar. I see a lot of "imitations" too. I think it's ok to be inspired by somebody's work and do something similar while adding your own twist and flavor to it that will make it unique and become something new and interesting. But I see too many artists literally copying others and I think that's too bad...

Dawn on the Tracks.

What are your interests/hobbies?

Well, outside of Art, I love cooking, movies, fashion and going out with friends.

Ice Docks.

Is this your full time job, or do you have a job out-of-studio?

Unfortunately, my fine art is not my only "job". Like I previously mentioned, I do a lot of freelance work doing various graphic work. I say "unfortunately", but actually I kind of like the variety. Keeps it interesting! And again, I sometimes work on a project and do something that will strike a creative chord and give me a new idea for a painting or something else that I do. I like that a lot!

O Farrell.

What is your favorite piece you've ever made and why?

That's too hard! I can't answer that! It would be like asking me to pick between my children. :)

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out in the business world?

Work hard, really develop your own style, try to be unique! Then show as much as possible! Don't be afraid to show at parties, events, one night pop up galleries, stores, restaurants, anything goes! Little by little, people will start recognizing your work and galleries will hit you up for group shows and then solos. First you'll have to go get it yourself... then slowly... it's them who will come to you. Also, be on top of your game when it comes to marketing yourself. Have a good looking website, a facebook page, a twitter... join online art communities, have business cards... marketing yourself is really important. Especially today, when it's actually so easy and you have access to all this technology and networking sites. It really helps!

Siem Reap City.

Describe your work space.

Like I previously mentioned, I live and work in a big brick loft downtown in the Arts district. It's very open, with lots of light and i have an amazing view of the downtown skyline. My studio has lots of art books, paints, music, an inspiration board, and printers, paper and tools everywhere. I love it.


Did you face any setbacks on your path to being an artist?

Not really... But I guess I always wanted to be an artist. Except when I graduated I just kind of took the first job I could get in order to survive while developing my art, and it took me on a career path that took me further and further away from being an artist. At some point I realized I made a wrong turn and I had to "get back on track", so I brought my dusty paints back out and started painting again. Actually my best friend "made me do it". He commissioned me to make something. Anything. I'm so glad he did that cause I haven't stopped since. And now my job is to make art.

Liz working on a painting (I love the fact that she's barefooted).

What milestones, goals, or achievements are you striving for right now?

One of my goals is to be able to fully survive and make a comfortable living with my paintings. But I also have a couple of side projects that I really want to work on but are hard to get to, as "all the other stuff" gets in the way. I also want to start showing internationally and get out of my comfort zone. Those are the main goals... but I have a whole list of things I want to do, make or achieve... Don't get me started or you'll have to write a book instead of a blog post! :)

Thank you Julia!!!

No, Liz, Thank You!  It was an honor to interview you, and I'm sure whatever goals you make you'll achieve.  I'm the exact same way when it comes to setting goals, so I understand.  Keep up the great work your paintings are fantastic, and I look forward to seeing more.  And to my readers, if you want to check out more of her work, she has a website:, and an Etsy shop:  I first found her work over at Society6 where she has a few prints available too.

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