Artist Profile: Curtia Wright
Updated: Apr 2
What made you first start drawing?
Growing up, my parents used to give me a lot of paper, pens, and markers to draw with. They used to draw with me and for me. Just from that and their positive reinforcement in my work it kept growing from there.
When it comes to art, what sparks a piece for you?
Anything can inspire me. A pattern in the ground or going to a gallery show and surrounded by art. Something that is aesthetically pleasing or even music can inspire me.
Do you feel like art school has stifled your passionate for art work?
I feel like it stifled the creative process. It might it harder to approach a drawing without a heavy concept behind it. In art school, you overanalyze everything because everything has to have a deeper meaning or purpose. When I draw now, I don’t draw just to draw. I like to have something deeper in the back of my mind. I like to have a thought out process instead of doing it to be only aesthetically pleasing.
How do you feel your lessons from art school has improved your work?
It has exposed me to a lot of art and people who influence me a lot. At the same time, it puts you in this academic box where you paint for academic value instead of the larger picture.
Do you have any inspiration from art (heroes)?
I’m more attracted to movements instead of specific artists. The abstract expression movement or the artists who came out of NY in the 80’s and 90’s (like Basquait). I’m influenced more from my peers mostly since they are around me a lot. Kerry James Marshal, Toyin Odutola, Roger Dean, Jon Rafman, Winston Chmielinski, and Katharina Grosse are to name a few of my favorites.
What do you feel in front of a blank canvas?
It is sort of daunting but it depends on my mindset at the time. If I’m interested then it is easy to do it. However, if it is a large canvas it can be a bit daunting and it is hard to start. I usually start in the middle and work my way out. I get more confident with a smaller canvas, small piece. It is easier to analyze a smaller canvas but when it is larger you need to back away to break it down to how it works. As the viewer, it is easier to do it. When you are painting it, you are thinking about the view. You are thinking about the gallery setting and a lot of other factors when you are finishing the piece.
I think a lot of it comes from observation and I am constantly studying different techniques and artists. I also go to galleries in the city and talking to people about their techniques to learn more to add to my own works. I practice painting and drawing to get better.
What is the perfect piece of art to you if it exists?
No. This is why I have never been a fan of hyper realism because it is striving for the perfect canvas/picture. If you are striving for the perfect picture, you might as well be a photographer. I don’t think you can achieve perfection with anything especially with painting. You shouldn’t be trying to make the perfect painting because sometimes mistakes are beautiful.
How do you describe your style?
Do you prefer pens, pencils, or a brush?
Pencils and crayons. They are seen as very juvenile used mostly by young children. If you use them in a certain way, you can achieve the same effect as painting (like blending and layering). A tube of paint could be $200 and crayons can run for $1. I can draw anywhere and I can’t necessarily paint anyway.
What do you feel is the best quality in terms of art that you have right now?
My willingness to experiment with different mediums and subject matter.
And the biggest opportunity for growth in regards to art you have as of right now?
Not getting my work into a public space. I need to get my work into that public social space. I need to network more instead of relying on internet.
What is fun and rewarding for you in regards to drawing?
Going in with an intention and coming out with something different. I like the process with drawing. The process of the whole thing is more interesting than the finished product. There are so many layers and elements to it which makes it more interesting to me.
Where do you want to take your career in art?
I would like to teach in the future when I am old. Right now, I want to stick with drawing and painting. Showing it outside of Canada and travel with it.
How do you want your work/portfolio to be remembered for?
I don’t know right now. It is too early to tell for my entire career.
What is the best advice you can give someone with a strong desire to do art like yourself?
Don’t give up because there is always a second chance when it comes to art. You can keep experimenting and reinventing the idea. I think the biggest advice for me is to keep all my old stuff. No matter how shitty it was, you can always learn from your old work. It teaches you to always remember where you came from.