RAW artist William Nelekona talks about his paintings and the inspiration behind his work. See William's art live at the next LA RAW showcase on Saturday, February 13th!
How did you first get your start as an artist?
I've always had an interest in creating art. I did not get my start in painting until I suffered a back injury while playing high school football. After the injury, I began to paint.
From where do you draw most of your inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from animals, my dreams, my love for God, and from a special little snail.
Do you engage in, or draw inspiration from, any other forms of art?
My taste for art is not limited to painters. But I love futurism artists, expressionists, and realists. I admire Pollock, Kandinsky, Picasso, and Rothko. I really love Duchamp's 'Nude Descending A Staircase II.' I lived in Mallorca for a time, and I fell in love with Miro, too. Caravaggio amazes me, and Giacometti's sculptures, drawings, and paintings intrigue me too. There are too many to list.
From start to finish, explain your art-making process.
I stretch my own canvas. So when I start, it begins with purchasing all my materials. Many times, I am not clear at the precise moment I start. I choose to go with my "gut" or my subconscious. Other times, I will see the painting clearly in my head before I start. And at times, I will do a very rough sketch that will paint a more elaborate image in my head. Many techniques I love I don't practice myself. I prefer the "clean" look too often, and I believe my art suffers because of it. When I am free in my creating process, I am open to any and all techniques. I also have a fondness for painting with knives, but I don't use them very often. I also have a habit of painting an entire piece with one brush, or finger painting.
Any reoccurring ideas or themes in your work?
Throughout my ten year painting career, I have noticed reoccurring symbols and subjects. To name a few, I like tall arch like shapes that resemble cathedrals. I also incorporate crosses, snails, and many elephants. I think a very prevalent theme is end times, as well as the relevance of God in my life.
Any current rising stars within the genre that you would recommend we look out for?
My friend Ariel Hart is an amazing artist and illustrator/animator. She's on the rise. My friends Daniel Ordonez and Jade Henderson are also two incredibly gifted artists.