Imurj Look: “Illumination & Flow State”
Molly Chopin is a visual artist living in Raleigh, NC. Chopin’s works of art, “Illumination” & “Flow State”, are on exhibit in the Imurj Main Gallery exhibit, GLOW. Chopin discusses the inspiration for her work, her art career, and the support she has felt as an artist in Raleigh.
Q: Describe yourself & your artistic style.
A: I’m a former art teacher of the school system who has transitioned into a career as an artist, with specialties in commissioned paintings, murals, and body art. I teach private art lessons as well as painting classes at Pinot’s Palette in Brier Creek. When I am not teaching or working on commissions I enjoy creating personal work inspired from nature, emotional states, or symbolic visions that I receive out of (sometimes seemingly) nowhere. I create with the intent to transmit through my work a representation of human experience that is universal enough to where anyone can find a sense of camaraderie or catharsis. I am strongly drawn to sources of light as inspiration, as well as layering effects of color and texture to where an almost kinetic effect is achieved on the eye.
Q: Describe your art/piece that is on exhibit at Imurj.
A: “Illumination” is meant to capture the experience of a revelation received— a moment where someone has “seen the light” but not through physical eyes.
“Flow State” is meant to capture the ecstatic joy experienced by artists who have disciplined themselves to slide into a state of mind from which movement and creative play flow freely and easily.
Q: What inspired you to create this piece of art?
A: “Illumination” came from a chapter where I was facing a crossroads of either choosing to let a painful life circumstances continuously rule over my headspace and existence, or to learn and let go, and to let myself find the drive and strength to move forward into finding more light.
“Flow State” is inspired from the joy that I can detect rippling of the flow artists I am lucky to call friends when they’re dancing from the heart, and also from the inspiration I find when creative work flows freely from me to where I feel less like a person, and more like a conduit.
Q: What’s the process of making your work?
A: I start with a sketch and underpainting; from there I build up layers of paint, alternating between realism and abstract effects to capture a sense of reality that is both physical and emotional.
I sometimes incorporate other materials like handmade paper, which then get painted over for different textural effects; then lately each painting has been finished off with jewels or LED lights or both. I am inspired by the kinetic styles of both the Impressionist and Futurist movements.
Q: Does local Raleigh/NC culture inspire or influence your art?
A: Most certainly; I have found some of the most wonderful, supportive, creative, and inspirational individuals in the Triangle who have only made me was to create more. I love collaborating with friends here and have had incredible experiences and senses of satisfaction gained from works where multiple efforts and ideas were involved. I have seen so much growth in the arts scene in the 6 years I’ve been living here and am eager to contribute efforts for more growth.
Q: Why do you love what you do?
A: It feels like a gift to be able to wake up on so many days feeling excited about projects that are in the works, or to continuously be able to dream up new ideas and have the resources and techniques to bring them to life. Creating always provides a personal sense of catharsis, as well as satisfaction to be found from the journey of striving for constant improvement; but the best joy comes from seeing the work that I’ve made has brought smiles to faces, whether for an instant or awhile. Or made someone think about life in a new way, or made them feel a little less lonely even for a second of connecting with the work.
I love teaching and loved working with students when I was in the school system, but most of my personal creative ideas had to be put on the back burner for the sake of staying on top of tasks for school. I feel lucky to now have a chapter where I can play so much and yet continue to experience so much growth as a creative spirit.
Molly Chopin‘s “Illumination” & “Flow State” are on exhibit in the Imurj Main Gallery until July 29.