Sunday, October 9, 2011
Interview with Dunja of Doonyaya
I live in a small town outside of Portland, Maine with my heavily tattooed husband Gerald and our two raw-food eating cats Hero and Suki. I graduated with a Fine Arts Master's Degree from Bard College in 2003, focussing on photography at the time, but found that my real passion is screen printing. I converted our garage and part of our basement into my studio space, and the upstairs of our garage is our practice space for our band Elk Blood - I play keyboards.
I have always loved to screen print since I first took a class at the Corcoran School of Art when I was visiting my father in Washington, DC one summer in College. I was addicted to the speed of it and the ability to make multiples which I could then re-print or collage and make into one of a kinds. It combined photography, illustration, clip art, found images and painting in one medium. I've always been somewhat ADD, unable to focus on one thing at a time, and I also get easily bored once I've learned how to do something. I am always attracted to the next shiny thing, so to keep my attention a medium has to be wide with possibilities, which is exactly what screen printing offers.
My work has evolved from being an intellectual or theoretical practice, which I learned in school, to being an intuitive process where I have learned to trust my instincts more than my head. It took a long time to detox from the headiness of art schools and learn to be an artist again, something which came naturally to me as a child, then was lost as I became conscious of my place in the world and how I appeared to others. The biggest challenge has been returning to who I am without doubting my abilities or instincts.
What Inspires You?
I am inspired by artists who show the messiness and imperfection of creating. Skill is important, but I am bored by technicians in every medium. I'm more inspired by people just putting themselves out there fearlessly than by a perfected performance or piece.
I don't really promote my work. I want to see my work as inspiring to people, just as I'm inspired by people who are doing what they love in the world, whatever it happens to be. I think this attitude is attractive, so hopefully people will be drawn to work that is trying to give back something, not just show itself off.
Are You Currently Working on Any Special Projects?
Right now I'm working on opening a store in Portland called The Merchant Company for crafters and vintage collectors. It will be like an upscale flea market. We have a big back room to have craft nights, classes and workshops. There is a great printing community in Portland and I'm excited to bring it all together into a single space. My newest screen printing project is making screen printed pillow cases and duvet covers from upcycled fabrics. I'm also working on a line of coasters with retro RV's printed on linoleum.
I'm vegan and donate 10% of my profits to animal rights organizations. Being vegan saves 100 animals a year!
Check Out Dunja's Etsy Site and Website