Los Angeles, USA
Hilo x JB
GET TO KNOW CHLOE PARK
Q: WHAT DOES BEING AN ARTIST MEAN TO YOU?
A: I think James Baldwin said it best when he said, “The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don't see.”
For me, being an artist means to strive for something higher and grounding it back down into tangible form. It’s sharing my point of view and perspective, which is steeped in authenticity and being yourself. (My Sagittarius Sun speaking here).
My medium is ceramics, but the point is really beyond clay. There are levels to my process… there are lots of things simultaneously happening at once. The core of my work is infusing universal truths into my pieces to achieve a semblance of balance, harmony and beauty for the viewer. It means bringing together all my references, philosophies and experiences into an object or thing that is a reflection of me, but also a reflection of you, the viewer. As an artist, finding people who understand you and your visual language is the highest compliment. But also at the end of the day on a surface level, I just want to make something that I like.
There are three main rotating states that I hope to invoke when someone is sitting with my work:
1. A place where the mind can get quiet and sit in peace.. Find self love and equilibrium, comfort in oneself.
2. The vibration of childlike wonder, awe and curiosity.
3. Joy. I want them to feel good and happy.
Q: WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORKS? ARE THERE SPECIFIC COLORS, PLACES, EXPERIENCES, ETC. THAT YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM?
A: Life is definitely a major inspiration. The tiny details really get me going…
The way my dog tilts his head when a breeze comes when we’re on a walk, so his hair can blow in the wind is inspiring to me - how present he is to his surroundings and how much he enjoys that feeling. It’s so cute to watch. Sometimes in the car I’ll drive the long way home so he can stick his head out the window for a bit longer.
Flowers, how delicate and perfect they are, fragrant with the most beautiful scents and turning towards the sun when they bloom.
Traveling especially - but living like a local, instead of traveling like a tourist. There is so much to learn from, adapt, grow, take in different perspectives and ways of being, ways of thinking, from other cultures. It forces any rigidity to soften and reform - which is always a good idea to shake up old static beliefs and opinions to have an evolving mind instead of one that is stagnant and complacent.
People…anyone who takes the time to feed their brain, is completely absorbed with what they do and have mastered their trade and/or craft. Even beyond the arts, I am really fascinated by people who are the best in their field at anything - fixing clocks, farming, refurbishing vacuums, trimming trees, etc. The knowledge they have in their particular field and their finesse in skill is inspiring.
I also love clouds and the sea. I feel the most free when I’m reminded of the vastness and infinity of space. Nature in general… being somewhere where the landscape of the Earth is predominant.
Last but not least, being isolated in my studio. Being cut off from everything and staring at a white wall is very fertile for me and my imagination. I left space in two areas of my studio open for this purpose, because as much as I need inspiration, I need blank space and nothingness in order for the somethingness to rise out of it… I guess that’s the yogi in me.
Q: OF ALL ARTISTIC FORMS, WHAT DRAWS YOU TO CERAMICS?
A: Ceramics incorporates everything that I enjoy doing and hits all the spots. It’s a very physical and tangible art form. When I first attempted working with clay, it showed me the immediate mirror of my hand. I was hooked from the start. It’s mentally stimulating to find balance in structure and engineering of form, and it captures the heart, evoking emotion through color, texture or concept. It brings me a sense of
weightlessness when I can look at the final piece and I’ve successfully incorporated all these elements.
I like that it is an honest art form that I can’t hide behind. Every step needs to be executed perfectly for the result to be what I imagined it to be. I can’t rush or skip a step or the faults like a crack, a weird glaze reaction, or the piece even blowing up in the kiln, etc will be seen in the final work. It forces me to be more patient and surrender to the outcome. I see so many similarities to the path of shamanism and yoga in its philosophy as well, which attracts me to it. Ceramics is a great teacher if you really pay attention to what you’re doing and the crossover into life is a very trippy thing. Ultimate oneness for me.