Monday, November 28, 2016

Q & A with Allen Forrest | Artist

Born in Canada and bred in the U.S., Allen Forrest has worked in many mediums: computer graphics, theater, digital music, film, video, drawing and painting. Allen studied acting in the Columbia Pictures Talent Program in Los Angeles and digital media in art and design at Bellevue College. He currently works in Vancouver, Canada, as a graphic artist and painter. He is the winner of the Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University's Reed Magazine and his Bel Red painting series is part of the Bellevue College Foundation's permanent art collection. Forrest's expressive drawing and painting style is a mix of avant-garde expressionism and post-Impressionist elements reminiscent of van Gogh, creating emotion on canvas.

Literary Juice: How long have you been creating art? Is it something you would define as inherent?

Allen Forrest: For almost 10 years I have been drawing and painting. Art was inherent, but I had forgotten my need for it. After going through Orgonomic (Reichian) therapy, I found I had to get involved in creating art. During the therapy I started thinking about art until it was on my mind so much of the time I was compelled to do something about it. I drew and painted naturally as a child, but lost my way as I grew up. For many years I searched in different creative arenas. Thanks to the therapy, I got back in touch with art again.

LJ: What is it that influences or inspires your work? What excites you the most as an artist?

AF: Other art inspires me, whether it is painting, music, film-making, photography, writing,  sculpture, any art form can light my fire. I get the most excited when I see something I am working on – work. That moment when it jumps off the canvas at you and says—here I am!

LJ: How, and where, do you work? Are there any techniques or methods that you practice?

AF: I work both in my room and in my art studio, depending on the size of the work or the medium. Large paintings are done in my studio, whereas smaller works on paper are done at a table in my room. I try to draw every day and work in different mediums. I like to work fast at first, then study the piece for awhile. I especially do this when I paint. The initial fast sketch, then I slow down and study the canvas, wait and see when I feel I can do more to it. Step by step I dial in the completed painting, in stages, getting to know each stage and feeling when it’s time to move forward.

LJ: What is your least favorite kind of art? Why?

AF: Well, I wouldn’t say that I have a least favorite kind of art, but let’s say art that I don’t examine and consider as much as I do others. For instance, I don’t look at pop art that much. I don’t feel there’s much depth there. Even the photographic representational art style I find more a technical accomplishment than a creative one. I’d rather spend more time studying Expressionism in its early forms all the way to its abstract works.

LJ: Is there anything you are currently working on that excites you?

AF: I have been pushing my drawing style into different avenues for the last couple of years, and I am now getting a look that I like very much. I am using this new style to create different series work, some of which is for books and magazines, some just for myself. I have also taking this looser chance-driven style into my painting.

**You can find Forrest's works in our December '16/January '17 issue here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Allen Forrest's story with such a great way. Looks like Allen is a multi-talented artist with some great designing sense and approach of reflecting thoughts on the drawing board. Where can i find his paintings and other work?


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