'Artists can make a living doing their art.'
Dorielle Caimi works from her studio in New Mexico, USA. Dorielle’s works are unmissable, she uses vivid colours and intriguing symbolism as she seeks to highlight and re-imagine narratives surrounding women.
Where is your current studio? What would be your dream studio?
My current studio is in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is definitely my dream studio. It’s a converted two-car, two-story garage with a bathroom, and little kitchen, and a view of the high desert. I’ve had dozens of studios in my life (my bedroom floor, my closet, storage rooms under stairs, with other students, basements, lofts, etc.), and I found that once I got into a sweet flow state, however, any of those spaces became my dream studio because each of them was a space that allowed me to float in another dimension for a while.
Do you prefer to work in silence or does certain music inspire you?
I rarely work in silence. For the first ten years of my career, my day would open with NPR, move into something like Brandi Carlile, Dire Straits or classical, and then end with rap or electronic music with a good beat. Now, I usually have Netflix on in the background or I listen to podcasts. The music that has hands-down inspired my work the most is the music of The Knife, particularly their album “Silent Shout.” Honestly, I don’t know if I’d have an art career if it weren’t for their music. Their lyrical imagery is so creative and vivid and the beats are so juicy and electric. It definitely helped me to break rules and expand my mind.
Studio life can lead to isolation, how do you address this/ keep a balance?
This was something I was aware of when I graduated: the social isolation of the artist. So I’ve kept a very active social life. It’s been a bit tough this year due to the pandemic, but I have a really cool group of people in my quarantine pod; I have a husband who lets me chatter on about my day; my family is but a short drive away, and I keep in touch with my friends via a video messaging app called Marco Polo. This is how I didn’t go too crazy this year. Although I came pretty close. Describe a moment you had an epiphany concerning your creative life.
My creative epiphany came at the end of my senior year in art school when I really internalized that there were no rules when it came to art and how to have an art career. The landscape is ever-changing and I took advantage of that. It gave me a profound permission to keep painting when I moved home after school to my parent’s garage in the middle of Albuquerque. What a little transcendent space and time that was! Nothing existed around me for those four post-school years except me and my work. It was simply glorious. What is your favourite/ least favourite part of the creative process?
My favourite part of the creative process is when the idea strikes. It never ceases to give me goosebumps and butterflies in my tummy when the voices of the ether come knocking on my chest with inspiration. My least favourite part of the creative process is the actual doing. Once the excitement wears off, it can become pretty hard work. I deal with that by just getting myself into the studio every day and chipping away at the whole. Eventually the painting starts to materialize and I feel that excitement that I did at the beginning. Then, I let the painting go out into the world and the process starts all over again.
Nature versus nurture- do you believe you have inherited abilities from creative parents, do you have creative siblings? Can you identify environmental factors or influences which led to your choices or directions?
I know that I do have some inherited abilities because I’ve always had an aptitude for visual art. My dad is an artist, musician, song-writer, stage actor, documentary film-maker, etc. So I had the creative gene growing up. But I also had the support of my parents to continue doing my work, and that was where the drive came from.
If you could time travel, what advice would you give the younger you, regarding pursuing your artmaking?
Keep going and be patient. An art career takes a long time to develop and come to fruition, so don’t give up. It will be worth it.