Interview with Artist Jane Nassano
What is your medium and why did you chose it?
My current medium is Found Objects and Mixed Media. I first started by applying little pieces of found objects (aka: junk) to a series of monoprints on which I was working. As I went along, I discovered I could do some really interesting things using only the found objects without adding them to monoprints or anything else. I really loved the idea of finding things that other people had thrown away, using them as recycled art materials. Keeping items out of a landfill and using them to create art pieces for a gallery wall or a wall in your home, is something I find as very rewarding.
How long have you been making art?
I have been making art since I was a child. Graphic design was my specialty in art school and I have always loved the design of a printed page, poster, brochure or billboard. I started my fine art career about 30 years ago working in soft pastel (and some watercolor) and created very photorealistic florals, nudes, portraits and landscapes. It was only about 6 years ago that I changed directions and started working with mixed media and found objects. I have loved every minute of my art career, no matter what medium I happen to be working.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration these days comes from the objects that I find on the ground, in the alleys and along the canals of my neighborhood. I find treasures in thrift stores and junk shops as well as all the things that people give me which they no longer have use for. I play around with different pieces until I find a combination of things that can look like something else when put together. Angels and crosses have a way of showing up for me during my creative process.
What is your favorite time of day to make art?
I am a night person, I may start making art in the late afternoon/evening and work till after midnight.
What does your studio look like?
My studio is full of junk, and is quite a mess. Every single desk, table top or counter is covered with corroded metal pieces from car parts to old tools, from rusty bottle caps to bent and rusty nails. Broken pieces of china and pottery, chipped or cracked stoneware, outdated and broken jewelry, old wooden slats and cacti skeletons are some of the raw materials you will see in my studio.
Do you listen to music or have complete silence when you work?
I can easily work with or without music. Sometimes working in silence is good because I can hear myself think. Other times I don’t want to think too much and play music to keep my mood elevated.
Describe your creative process.
Many times I start out with an interesting ‘found object’ that I really want to do something with and I just try holding other pieces up to it till I can see how connecting them will create something recognizable, a creature, a cross, an angel. I also create mosaics on wooden objects like a mantle clock or a birdhouse, covering every square inch with little broken pieces of pottery, glass and jewelry. These mosaics are very time-consuming as I put pieces together like a puzzle, leaving no space in between for grout. Sometimes I question my sanity when I decide to do pieces like this!
What else would you like people to know about you or your art?
I have known that I would be an artist my entire life, since I was about 8 years old. It has always been an asset to me, knowing what my purpose is supposed to be. Making art, in whatever form it may take, is what I was meant to do. What inspires me, is when people want to own my work. When a piece of my art speaks to them and they want to include it in their life, that is what makes me want to make more art.