Here is an interview I did a couple of years ago with painter Ivan Roxas. I originally did it for my old site moretoart, now I thought I would re upload it. It was pretty simple, I sent him a few questions, he sent a few answers.

English is not his first language so I edited slightly, only so the text will sound as smart as he is. Hell I don’t even know two languages, but he managed to write great heartfelt responses for your reading pleasure. Here it is.

Interview with Artist Ivan Roxas

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get started in art?

Nothing much to tell about myself. Im now 34 years old (at the time of the interview) and have been oil painting since I was 12. Even further back I remember being three years old making sketches and doodles. Then by age 10 I knew I was going to be a painter.

Are there any paintings by another artist you wished you had painted, and who are some of your influences?

Even as a child I was not interested in copying other peoples art. Even then I would rather create my own works. But I do remember admiring the paintings of J.E. Millais’s “Ophelia” , J.W.Waterhouse’s “Lady of Shallot”. And Michael Angelo’s paintings inside the Sistine Chapel.

The Lady of Shalott, 1888, oil on canvas, 153 cm (60.2 in). Width: 200 cm (78.7 in).
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The Lady of Shalott, 1888, oil on canvas, 153 cm (60.2 in). Width: 200 cm (78.7 in).

All of your paintings are beautifully rendered and well thought out, could you give us a glimpse into your working process? do you start with a sketch, model or idea? where do you go from there?

Hmmm… I do not have any specific “process” but I like painting directly into the canvas.
I rarely do pencil sketches nor under-drawings.

About the ideas. For me most of my paintings are like journeys into the unknown. I myself don’t even know where my painting will lead me. Maybe because I do not want to make any final or fixed studies before I paint.

What are you currently exploring in your art?

I always want to explore “the self”. Painting is my Meditation. Through every act of painting, I make it a practice to not only observe my painting constantly, but also watch what happens from within.

What are your views on contemporary art and its habit of glorifying abstraction, minimalism and expressionism?

I don’t mind, It’s okay with me. I don’t want to be part of any “ism”. Ism is collective. I am much more concerned with individuality. So what I do is just enjoy everything that is happening in the outside world. 😀

Do you think there is still a place for the old tradition in high art?

Hmmm… I do not want to be a part of any “tradition” either. They’re a thing of the past. Yes, we can learn something from them. But it is useless to repeat the same thing over and over again. Copying them is insulting them. But to evolve from them is sign of deep gratitude and respect.

About “high” art. There is no such thing as high or low in art. The word Art is enough! When someone says this is high-art, it means he /she is just measuring things, comparing things. That approach is discriminatory. It is a very egoistic approach. Perhaps they’re selling something. 😀

The idea of beauty? Haha I asked the question so I did not have to answer it, not an easy one.

The idea of beauty should not remain only as an idea, we need to experience it.
Idea is only mental, only a potential. But beauty is in everything! The moment you’ve dropped the idea, and instead observe and embrace life, accepting of what it is…now beauty will no longer be just an idea. It will become the pulse of your own being. And whatsoever you do, will be automatically beautiful.

Where do you find motivation and inspiration, and how do you fight the lack of?

My motivation is in Everything and nothing. One of the reasons I paint is because I want to “share” my vision, my sensitivity with others. I want to use my sensitivity as a tool. Because I know that not all are sensitive enough to appreciate the beauty in all things. For example: a theme about death, I need to paint them first so that other will notice the beauty of it.

When I am not in the mood to paint, I simply do not paint. Sincerity is my way of life. When the urge to be creative is not there, I do not force the situation. But it is important to acknowledge the lack of enthusiasm within yourself. Do not try to justify it, It is a natural process. A true flower doesn’t bloom the whole year round. Just enjoy the moment and relax. 😀

To see more of Ivan Roxas’s great work go to his Deviant Art page