If you’ve never been to 1000 Parker St., you’re really missing out. I always meet amazingly talented people there.
Come think of it, most of the talented people I meet anywhere turn out to have studios in this building. Miriam Aroeste is one of them.
Miriam has become a regular at Designer Happy Hour events over the last few years so when she invited me for a tour of her art studio, it was no surprise to hear that familiar address. Miriam is a contemporary fine artist and works in a variety of mediums but my personal favourites are her ink on paper works. While touring her light and bright space, Miriam tells me about how her background in film, what inspires her work, and her passion for bringing the arts community together. That’s my kinda lady!
I understand that you have a background in film, how did you migrate to painting and when did you decide to make it your full-time gig? How has your experience in the film industry influenced you as a painter and small business owner?
Film making is a very creative and artistic endeavour. Logistics are different but you are always creating new ideas that can translate in Art, any form of art. I decided to leave the Film Industry when I got pregnant with my first son. I was traveling a lot and working really long shifts so I decided to do something I love and I could manage from home or close to home. After trying a few different things I decided I wanted to do Art in a serious way not only as a hobby. Working in the Film Industry has affect me in a positive way from the management and precision point of view. I learned to act fast and effectively.
Can you give us a brief breakdown of the process behind your paintings? What is your favourite part of that process?
Every painting has a life on its own. Some are born in the moment and some are created based on more specific ideas, concepts, stories and feelings. My process is very spontaneous, the direction I take is based on aesthetics, composition, feelings and ideas but it is a very intuitive process mainly that dictates the direction.
What does a typical day-in-the-life-of-Miriam look like?
I love my life because every day is different and that keeps it really exciting! But it usually starts with a good cup of coffee that my husband makes for me. I typically spend several hours in my studio every day, I’m in and out for meetings, and I enjoy nature and going for walks and love being around nice people.
Tell us about your workspace and why it works for you:
I love my studio because it’s really cozy, has big windows and lots of light which is really important for an artist. I love the fact that it’s in a building full of artists, artisans and creative people. I know most of them and love the interaction and social camaraderie among us.
What item or element of your workspace could you not function without and why?
Light and enough space to work. Light is very important to get the right palette and have a better understanding of the process; and room is essential to be able to work on more than one painting at the time.
Do you have any work rituals or habits that help you focus and get down to biz?
What’s next for you/what are you working on right now?
I’m expanding my horizons and getting representation in other cities, counties and even continents. [Editor’s Note: Since this interview Miriam has also moved into a new and larger studio space at 100 Parker St.]
Miriam’s Quick fire round:
The first thing I do in the morning: Day dreaming
When not at the studio, you can find me: Scouting the city to take good photographs, Dancing Flamenco, or Hiking Quarry Rock in Deep Cove
Pencil or Pen? Both
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Favourite Vancouver neighbourhood: Point Grey, Kitsilano, Commercial Drive [Editor’s note: that’s cheating! … but I’ll allow it]
What you love about it/them: Point Grey and Kits: the views and the beaches, Commercial Drive: the people and the funky restaurants.
What you would change about Vancouver: The weather
What I’m reading right now: The tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell and 33 artists in 3 acts by Sarah Thornton
Media that I read/watch/listen to (almost) daily: Blouin Artinfo
Vancouver Maker/Designer/Artist that we need to know about: Too many to choose from….
Many thanks to Miriam for opening up her studio (and for helping me find my way out of the building at the end – this place is a MAZE). I encourage you to check out Miriam’s work online and to say hi at the next Designer Happy Hour event. psst! she’ll also be hosting DHH in her new studio space very soon.
If you know of a Designer, Artist or Maker that you’d like to see featured in an upcoming Designer Desk, please let me know in the comment section below.