By Phani (Fidel Gomez)
As part of the exclusive contents of AC, linked to the artists of our community, on this occasion we had the opportunity to talk with the North American artist, Maryanne Chisholm, who has a work full of poetry, lyricism and great expressiveness.
Maryanne is an exceptional woman, one of those people who are really worth getting to know, because of her life example, because of her sense and tenacity to overcome the biggest obstacles that arose in life.
She knew how to find in art a way of expression, a channel of communication, as well as a way to capture the deepest aspects of her soul.
As we can read in her autobiography
“I created a majority of my pieces, including one recently sold called “the agony of faith, while life hangs in the balance” to convey the excruciating effort of faith required in prison. This was not a place for a person who was once an optimist. I had to make a conscious decision not to listen to anyone who is negative. (Pretty much everyone there was negative.)
I wrote a poem and painted, and drew in ink, every tiny nuance of this chaos and miserable stress in this painting. The gears were my need to be a machine in this time. I could not have human emotion, I had to be robotic. Wake up, survive till the evening…then sleep.”
Without further ado, we leave you with our guest Maryanne Chisholm.
Phani: Maryanne, tell me about your artistic career, at what point in your life did you decide to dedicate yourself to art?
Maryanne Chisholm: It was, ironically, after I lost everything, that I decided to dedicate myself to art. I had absolutely nothing, losing my freedom, my family, all of our assets, we were destitute. I was sent to prison for 32 years. I had been convicted in my mental health symptoms, despite another man confessing. To started doing portraits to survive. Then I moved into expressive art.
Eventually I did original pieces in surrealism with abstract influences, featuring female faces. They represented aspects of my emotions. They were my struggle to remain positive each day.
PH: Describe your creative processes a bit, how are your works gestated and developed?
MC: I work in a variety of mediums. From oil pastels, to Watercolor and enamel pieces. I love building on canvases with horrible quality photos on them. I know that sounds funny, but I love using that method to build spectacular detail from my imagination or a visual reference. I am drawn to hyperrealism. Likewise, I love creating impossible situations in hyperrealism.
The paradox is fascinating.
PH: Throughout your artistic career, what have been, or are, your main influences? I confess to you that I see a lot of surrealism in your work, as well as poetry.
MC: I thought of several things when I began to create. I didn’t have many visual references, so I had to create them from my imagination. I would envision textures, and elements to create a figure with a story through elements of illusion. I used this concept in many of my pieces.
Spirituality was a common influence, as were dreams. I remembered loving Mucha and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. I found Dali intriguing, but I longed for richer Surrealism.
PH: What are your main sources of inspiration?
MC: Religion & Renaissance, Dreams and positive thinking influence everything I do. Hope is the thread that keeps me moving forward.
PH: What do you believe in? What do you love, and what are you afraid of?
MC: I believe all good in the world be it from religions, faiths, or ideologies are rooted in love and truth.
I love authenticity, kindness, I love finding like-minded people who are willing to take chances on helping make the world a better place.
I am afraid I will not be able to do enough to help the people who are counting on me. I try not to think about that. I love every moment in the laws of attraction. Lately we’ve really been tested. I’m thanking the universe, God, and anyone else who may be listening for this great
backstory. I know it exists to preface our success story.
PH: Maryanne, when and what motivated you to enter the world of crypto art? Tell me about your experience in the NFT ecosystem.
MC: It’s been a rollercoaster. Exhilarating, equally devastating. Wonderful, and terrible. The immense joy of sales and recognition, in contrast to scams or bad actors. It is bipolar, it is filled with joy, anguish, opportunity, and loss.
I want to make it better, safer, kinder. At least in my corner of the world.
PH: In your words, how do you define a successful artist? Both inside and outside the NFT ecosystem.
MC: Self-sufficient, with the resources to continue to create and inspire others. Having a concept, and expressing it through paint, or pen, sculpture, music, paper - with the means to do it again and again.
Improving as time progresses. I believe that is success.
PH: Tell me about your experience in the different crypto art marketplaces, I know you are an ambassador for Known Origin, tell me about this too.
MC: I’ve loved seeing the different projects, and it is always a bit heartbreaking to see some of them go. Known Origin has always been kind to me, supportive and lovely people work there. I am particularly honored to have been their ambassador for what I believe is going into my third year now.
Some did not make it, I remember these people with respect for the effort and a boy of melancholy over the outcome.
PH: Based on your experience, and from the perspective of an influencer, what are the best strategies for artists to achieve visibility in the NFT ecosystem?
MC: Tenacity. Show up, keep creating. Test your work, out in the community. Share the
work of others, engage, support, and think of people other than yourself.
Above all else, maintain quality and character. Be positive as much as you can, no matter what life throws your way. If you are shining a light, others with lights will find you.
PH: How has your relationship with crypto art collectors been? Is it easy to connect with them?
MC: Every collector is different. I had one Collector who said I was a horrible “Shiller”. He was right! I finally had to realize, I can’t live my life in fear all the time.
When I stop looking for sales, and I stop pushing, that is when they come. Not always when I need it, but it is consistent when I let go of anxiety and allow fate to step in.
That is incredibly hard to do!
PH: In your opinion, which are the most recommended blockchains for mining NFTs and why?
MC: Ethereum and Tezos. Ethereum for the popularity, and exposure. The drawback is gas fees, which are at times preposterous. This is where all major sales are, however. Tezos for affordability and the bliss of finding incredible art at amazing prices. The drawback is it is so inexpensive that fine art valuable pieces are uncommon.
PH: Maryanne, tell me about your experience with GIFs, I know you've done a few.
MC: I’ve done about 300, with over 110,000,000 views! It is free advertising, exposure, movement, expression and a wonderful way to grow your base. I create with GIPHY, which is connected to Twitter. Many of my GIFS can be found by searching my name.
PH: What is art for you?
MC: Art is the expression of one’s soul. It evokes reactions. It causes contemplation and any number of emotions. Art is the embodiment of my psyche.
PH: Throughout your life, what have been the most important books and authors? How did they mark you?
MC: "One Hundred Years of Solitude" is a novel that changed my life and the way I looked at the world. It is by Gabriel García Márquez.
Anything paranormal, supernatural, historic in any religious or spiritual, I wanted to understand the common thread that tied us all together, yet separated us by borders and conflicts.
I also loved The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, I read this when I was eight. I remember returning from Europe as a child, and the class in my school was reading a book about a duck. It was 30 pages long. I read it in 2 minutes! The teacher didn’t believe me and quizzed need in front of the class. That was when I began to question the American school curriculums. I told the story of the Hobbit and asked why we didn’t read that. Books open up entire worlds.
PH: What would you recommend to artists who are already there, and those who are entering the NFT ecosystem?
MC: Set a goal for each day, no matter how small, and keep showing up.
Find a mentor if possible, believe in yourself!
PH: About 10 years from now, how do you visualize the world of art? That is, both physical and digital art.
MC: While art evolves, it is also treasured for its accomplishments throughout history. I love seeing it as a journey - in all forms. I am still mesmerized by Rembrandt and Van Gogh. I am exhilarated to discover new artists at the MoMA - digital and traditional will coexist as they move into augmented reality. It will bring art exhibitions to people all over the world.
PH: What is the legacy that Maryanne Chisholm wants to leave to humanity and the world?
MC: I want to be remembered as a woman and artist who created success out of despair; and helped make significant changes for many other people in need, for the better.
At The Artist Collective, we are very grateful to our friend Maryanne, who opened up her creative world to us, and from her own words, made her wonderful work known.
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Until the next post.