Ayin Es AKA Artyczar

Hi, everyone! Welcome to the Creative Spark June Artists Spotlight!

I am thrilled to be the one who interviewed one of the site’s founders and owners – Ayin Es. We know them here as Artyczar. Ayin is one of those rare people who have art and the creative life force simply running through their veins. They recall creating artwork as a young child, before moving on to decide to learn about music - both the guitar and the drums. While progressing in their musical career they continued to work in oils, acrylic, watercolor, fabric and mixed media. Their work tells stories that range from whimsical and funny, to heartbreakingly personal. Oh, and they threw a little photography in there just for good measure!

But it’s more interesting to hear from the artist than the interviewer – so please settle back and enjoy getting to know our fabulous co-owner – Ayin!

1. Where are you from and where do you live and work now?

First, thank you for allowing me to chatter as the site owner. I haven't really felt like the site should ever be about me. It really should be for all the people here that make it what it is. That being said, I'm very honored to be included in the June Spotlight! Hurray!

So, I'm from Los Angeles, CA. I was born on the West Side in an area called Palms, which is an inland city suburb of Santa Monica. It was economically suffering in the 60s, so it's not as glamorous as it sounds, but my family wound up moving several (many) times all over LA. I've lived in so many neighborhoods, I can't say I'm from any one particular area of Los Angeles. When I got a bit older, I stayed in North Hollywood the longest, which is in the Southeast San Fernando Valley.

Then, I recently moved about two hours east of LA the summer before the pandemic to a town called Joshua Tree. It is part of the High Desert, roughly 4,000 feet above Palm Springs. It's a very artsy town filled with interesting characters. People tend to move here for a sense of freedom, quiet, and space.

2. How did you begin making art in your life? And how old were you?

Good Question. I really don't know exactly how. My earliest memory, although very vague, was making an "artist's book" for my mom with paper, tape, and crayons. It had a pink spine and was about all types of moms around the world that were essentially not so great in order to make mine look rather good by the end of the story. Ha ha. Apparently, I made the book when I was six, or thereabouts. I didn't paint "seriously" until I was fourteen or fifteen when I bought a set of watercolors. I'd been keeping sketchbooks from life since twelve or so, but it wasn't very good or consistent.

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In My Dreams, I Fall Apart/Dick Boat with Feet, 2013-2017. Oil and pencil on linen, 30 x 30 inches.

3. What is your favorite aspect of art? This can be art in general, or why you (or anyone) work at it. Please share your insights. Anything about this is valuable.

Hmmm. Probably expressing one's inner feelings. There's also a focus to it that takes me away from reality, almost like a distraction from my daily problems, like a kind of therapeutic activity to improve upon. I like to try to get better at the things that are most interesting to me, whether it be planned out or the things that come out instinctually. These can be the decisions I make or the risks I take or trying to express exactly what's in my imagination. I think there's really nothing more important than art, music, literature, etc. Anything aesthetic. It's a reason to live and be here on this earth and gives meaning to our lives.

4. You’ve shared a little of your background as a musician with us before. Can you expand on how you got into this? Also, did you juggle your musical career with painting, or did that come later?

Yes, here comes the windbag, brace yourselves...

I juggled both throughout, but art came before the music. Or maybe it didn't in the sense that my mother was a dancer and enrolled me in ballet farther than my memory goes back. But I hated it (and quit). I wanted to draw, color, and mess with art until my father took my older brother and me to a music store and made us pick out instruments. I was nine then. My brother got an electric guitar. I wanted drums, but I wasn't allowed because I was female at the time. I had to save for (part of) them or until I could prove I was able to play them first. I took snare drum in band at school. I got lessons for free from a friend of my brother's. Then my mom helped pay for a beginner set when I was twelve. Until then, I played classical guitar.

I later went to Musician's Institute at eighteen with the goal of being a working session player. I did very little of that, but I played the circuit and professionally until age thirty, touring and whatnot. I was then diagnosed with a disability that kept me from working regularly, and I eventually stopped. I rarely play now, but at least I was able to put 100% into my art career, full-time. Back when I was a working musician, it was difficult finding the time to paint, but I somehow managed to have a pretty steady output. Don't ask how. Maybe drugs (sometimes), maybe from being manic.

I showed around town in group shows and had some solo shows in coffee houses, co-ops, and non-profits. All the while, I was promoting to commercial galleries. I was actually building a collector base while in my last band (it started while I was on the road) by creating a zine/newsletter I mailed out every month that included pasted color copies of my latest art in it. I'd collect new people/addresses all over the country from whoever was interested in me. I also always have a painting on my outside bass drum head playing all over the country. Over time, things picked up, but it was slower than a pack of bored snails.

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Disorderly Conduct, 2022. Oil on gessoboard, 16 x 20 inches.​

5. Who are your artistic influences, or what types of art have influenced your work?

Paul Klee and Van Gogh are probably my two primary influences. I've always loved abstract art since I was a small child, just from seeing posters in lobbies of doctor's offices. I was fascinated with it. Later, when I discovered certain Outsider artists (Bill Traylor and Carlo Zinelli), it gave me permission to feel better about my own naive-looking work.

I mostly like painterly art, mostly contemporary artists like Lisa Sanditz and abstract painter Amy Sillman. Those two have really made a big impact on me. I get excited by texture, thick markings, and some collage elements at times. I'm inspired by a lot of my friend's art and art I see in magazines or Instagram, sometimes to the detriment of how I feel about my own work. I tend to like other people's work much more than my own. Definitely.

6. What is something you have not yet tried but have always wanted to?

Probably encaustics. But I hear they are a little messy, and I'm a bit of a neat freak, as some of you know. Ha ha ha.

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The Adequacy of And and Not, 2012. Oil on canvas, 34 x 34 inches.

7. What’s the best present you ever received? Who gave it to you, and why is it so special?

This may sound silly, but when I was twelve or thirteen, a mentor of mine gave me an ornament with pressed flowers inside. It was diamond shaped with beveled glass. Really quaint. Sounds like a dumb little trinket, but it was the very first present I ever received in my life--one that was picked out for me by someone who was thinking about what I might like. A true unwrapping of an actual surprise. I'd never had that before then.

8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you love to go?

Hannah and I have plans to visit Victoria Island in BC in about a year. I've always wanted to go there. I saw it in a movie and in pictures and have wanted to go there ever since.

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Watch How I Wrangle, 2019. Oil on canvas, 34 x 34 inches.

9. If you could advise an aspiring artist on one main thing, what would it be?

One main thing? Sheesh, that's not an easy question, is it? Not to advertise, but I wrote a blog post not too long ago called "Dear Younger Self" (https://esart.com/blog/dear-younger-self-advice/ ), which links to a whole series of articles that are specifically for aspiring artists. But if I were to nail it down to one thing, it would have to be that you must believe in yourself no matter what. Because if you don't, who will?

10. To date, what do you believe to be your most satisfying accomplishment? (This could be of a personal or professional nature.) Tell us why it strikes you as the most satisfying.

I'm calling this an "accomplishment" because there's certainly an art to maintaining healthy relationships, and lasting twenty-four years with Hannah thus far is more than a satisfying accomplishment. It is the most successful relationship I've ever had, and it continues to get better every day.

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I'm Here For The Party, 2021. Oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches.

Lastly, do you have a website, and/or social media platform(s) you would like to promote?

Just my website: esart.com, because the purpose of all my social media is to drive people there.
Great to read some of your story.byou are very inspiring. Great interview Terri