Friday, December 16, 2011
There is nothing as special as having a deep and unnerving passion for the work one does. Artist Anca Gray is not stranger to this. A passion for her art seethes from her every word.
After acquiring a degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, spending a few years as an architect and designer, and working at a local organic restaurant, in 2010 Anca finally started working full time on her art.
"My parents say my favorite toy to play with when I was very young was a pen and paper. When we went camping, I would first sit down and draw the trees and mountains and only then run around and explore. To my mother's despair, I always loved getting my hands dirty, and creating is in my blood. Although I got derailed by family and society's expectations, in the end it was just a matter of listening to my heart, letting go, and jumping in," Anca said.
You can purchase the Romanian born, Chicago based, artist's beautiful mixed media artwork internationally through her Etsy shop, Anca.
"I love creating delicate new art pieces out of discarded vintage books and found objects! They become one of a kind, original, mixed media abstracts and figure paintings. I also create found poetry reclaimed from existing vintage books. I am interested in everything poetic, emotion, capturing and savoring unique moments in time and space, the simultaneous absence and presence of all colors, embedded memory of objects, texture, and a raw and feminine aesthetic. I wish for my work to reflect glimpses of hope and [to] help widen the horizons of possibility," Anca said.
Anca's artwork is also at times dreamlike and geometric, and always unconventionally alluring.
"My husband dubbed me Anca Gray because I surround myself with black, white, and gray, and lady gray is my favorite tea, of which I drink about a pot of every day," Anca said.
Her daily pot of tea might be what allows Anca to work often chaotic hours. "I'm fairly obsessive, so I stay with a piece until it is finished, which means it needs to be finished within days. I've been known to work on a piece for 30 hours straight, and only get some sleep once it feels complete. I often work on several pieces at once while I wait for layers of paint to dry."
Anca's inability to stop once she's started working on a piece, is a true testament to her passion. And every piece she creates and sells is a piece she truly believes is complete and ready to be hung in a buyer's home.
"I finally know what I want to be when I grow up, so I wouldn't trade it for the world. I am doing what I long to be doing. What I've always longed to be doing," Anca said.
Outside of her craft Anca enjoys everything about food, cooking for friends, reading food blogs, parties and afternoon tea with friends, camping, reading, skydiving, seeking god, and loving her husband all while trying to remember to breathe.
Anca is not truly sure where she will be in five years, as she believes that anything and everything can change within that time frame, but she hopes that she'll still be cooking for and feeding the people she loves, getting her hands dirty, and becoming more comfortable by the day in her own skin.
You can follow Anca's journey through her Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts.
SPECIAL TO MY READERS: Get 15 percent off your purchase at Anca's Etsy shop by entering promo code MORE15 at checkout!