Austin artist Lena Damvar escapes into her art. Whether it's the luscious tribal designs or the intricate mosaics, Lena's work is full of meaning. Lena talked to us about her work, life in Austin, and what keeps her inspired.
Hi Lena! Tell us about your work!
It all comes out of inspiration and curiosity, and generally one idea winds its way to another. I draw tattoo designs and “tribal paisley” swirl art, as well as mosaic-style pieces. Most recently I’m experimenting with painting on glass and etching designs into the paint.
Line art and mosaics differ greatly; are there any ways in which creating in each of these mediums are similar?
They both take a very long time to create! I spend hours hunched over my desk, and have to step back often in order to make sure my lines and squares still look like what I’m trying to design.
Of the mediums in which you create, what medium do you prefer and why?
I’m most comfortable with the swirls, I think because I’ve spent the most time with it. I have a good relationship with the pens I use - we can predict each other’s movements, and that helps a lot with drawing straight lines.
Have you always been an artist at the core or is this a recent change?
I’ve always been a misfit, that’s for sure. When a child draws in class instead of paying attention, the teacher doesn’t tend to label him an artist. But I’ve definitely always had the need to draw on something or another.
What was the first moment when you realized you are capable of making an art career for yourself?
Where do you draw your inspiration? - Pun slightly intended!
I’m a huge fan of henna. To me, it’s one of the most beautiful art forms in the world. I also love ancient art: native and islander art, Greek and Roman era mosaics, and mid-century stained glass. When I get stuck, I look through the photos I’ve collected and am always inspired.
What is one milestone you have set for your career that you have yet to achieve?
It would be so amazing for someone I don’t know to commission either a drawing or a painting.
What is your favorite work of art by another artist and why?
"The Triumph of Death" by Pieter Bruegel. Every single time I look at it, I find something new. The detail is unbelievable, and it never ceases to give me the shivers.