10 QUESTIONS FOR DONNA BATES
1. What is different from your work than others when painting the figure now?
I am known for my own mash-up style of urban, tough-chic edgy strong independent women or “Badass Chicks”. My women aren't pin-ups nor portraits, they are a different vision of power and sex flavored with leather, metal, graffiti, and fantasy!
2. How important is process versus end results?
I feel that what you paint can be as important as how well it is painted.
I love beautifully executed works but if that is all there is then they can seem more like studies to me. I do like to experiment with different techniques because I get bored easily.
3. What is your ultimate goal when painting the figure?
Always striving to create big bold statements that grab your attention, but ultimately figurative art’s greatest attribute is to be able to get the viewer to engage with the subject and feel something! To be either attracted, repulsed or create empathy. A glimpse into the soul seen through the artist. To show the beauty in all no matter the circumstances.
4. What do you like best about your work?
Being able to capture and share a little bit of the subject’s essence and soul.
Expressing my views on life and the world through my paintings while trying to keep them cool and hip. They are a mash-up of my views, taste and life experience, so I would want to own them myself!
5. What do you do you like least about your work?
All the little nitpicky stuff that I am constantly going back and forth with while creating the painting. Obviously, some paintings you are going to like better than others but always hope the next one will be even better. I do wish that I would experiment more with my technique or process.
6. Why the figure?
I have always been fascinated with people and their story. I guess that is why I paint and am a fan of figurative art!
7. Which are your greatest influences?
Everything! Life experience, music, comic books, graphic novels, film, ads, TV, cartoons, fashion, illustration and all kinds of fine art (whatever that is).
8. What is your background?
I started drawing as soon as she could pick up a pencil and as with so many creative people, I wanted to do it all. Although art was always my driving force, I started playing drums when I was 16 and played in numerous bands. Touring Vietnam in a USO Show during the war with an all-girl band, to playing with bands in the early LA Punk scene in the late 70's and early 80's. I then transitioned into computers in the early '90s, being one of very few women who entered the male-dominated 3D Animation/VFX field and went on to be one of the only women to teach CG Modeling at Gnomon School of VFX. After being laid off my last job, I decided it was time to get back to my first love, Painting. I have been painting now for a little over four years.
9. Name three artists you'd like to be compared to in history books.
Honestly, I have no idea! There are so many artists I admire and am a fan of, but I really don’t know who I’d be compared to.
10. What is your favorite work in the exhibition besides your own and why?
Wow, I don’t remember what all works are in the show but I do love Tim Okamura, Teresa Elliot and so many more that can’t bring to mind at the moment.