With the opening of Motel Mademoiselle, we thought it would be cool to have an interview with one of the artists, the fabulous Deb, so that we could get into her head and see what it is that makes her the great woman she is.
Hi Deb! First off, mermaid or good witch?
What made you leave Melbourne and move to San Francisco?
I had been wanting to live in USA for many years before I made the move. I had travelled the states a few times growing up as I have extended family in NY and LA and funnily enough I had always wanted to move to either of those two states. About 5 years ago I made a 7 week trip and spent time in NY, LA and SF and completely fell in love with SF, the people, and the art scene here is great. I flew back to Melbourne and I was like, “It’s time.” I need a change in scenery. I love Melbourne completely but my life was beginning to feel like that movie Groundhog Day. I have been working super hard on applying to obtain citizenship for years now so hopefully that will happen soon. I am completely in love with SF and this is where I want to stay.
A lot of your art includes goddesses, mythical entities, and a wide variety of other religiously symbolic imagery. Do you consider yourself religious? Can you explain your relationship to these powerful icons?
No, I am not religious at all. I love to explore other cultures in a lot of my art and other belief systems but I am especially drawn to Hindu art in a big way. It has so many wild stories and meanings and so much of Hinduism is about being peaceful and a good human. I love portraying my women to be a complete mix of different cultures from all over the place. My art has always portrayed this. I also like to travel so I get inspired by the way people live in all different parts of the globe.
If your characters could come to life, what would you envisioning them doing? Who are Debs Dolls?
They would do a lot of Rollerskating. Eat heaps of vegan donuts blow high bubbles with bubble gum, sleep a lot on hammocks, swim with dolphins and fly with unicorns, you know usual stuff like that… Um, also definitely hang out with animals that spoke the same language and have crazy wild tea parties like Alice in Wonderland, jump through portals, argh this question is too broad.
Name three of your modern day favorite super heroines.
Poison Ivy, She Ra Princess of Power, Sucker for Wonder Woman.
In the past you’ve donated to a lot of charities and contributed art to campaign for social change. What are a few causes that motivate you and your art right now?
I continue to raise money for cancer. Suicide, people with eating disorders, homelessness are ones I have tried to help with a lot. I am big on helping for charity as much as I can handle every year, for every year I have been a freelance artist I have taken as much time as I can possibly handle to help out with charities. Actually, I think there have been a few years I spend more time raising money for charities than myself. There has to be a balance so I don’t fall out of my own balance, but it is one thing that makes me happy and feel like the unspoken Karma I will hopefully get in return will help me get through life.. but I do as much as I can.
What are your favorite pair of heels currently on deck?
100% my ice-cream heals made by my good friends Fiebiger shoes, who I have collaborated with and more to come.
Describe your power suit.
My power suit is a giant strawberry and mint chocolate chip ice-cream suit that would light up and glow and shoot out colored paint any time people try to bite into my giant ice-cream power suit. It’s vegan, of course.
As a woman, what would you say has been your biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it? Conversely, what has been your biggest victory?
When I was young any boys saying, “you can’t paint its a boys thing!!” Drove me nuts, persistence pays off I guess. Another big one is a couple of years ago my painting hand started to get really bad and I deal with multiple issues still now. Pretty much everything I paint now causes me pain. At first I stopped painting for 6 months to try let it get better but it keeps flaring up when I use it. This is a constant challenge for me. In the time I tried to not use it I was severely depressed and I have decided that not painting is more painful emotionally then physically painting as much as I can handle. You do what you have to do to get by. I paint, that’s my thing, that’s why I was put on this earth. I will always paint. I have been trying to become ambidextrous, it’s tough. I’m keeping on it in the hope it will become a thing, that I can use both my hands or even the less dominant one more often to give the other one a break.
What’s next for Deb?
What’s next.. ? Heaps! I can’t tell you but I have a lot of amazing things lined up one after the next to shoot out to the world, stay tuned. Thank you for this interview, this was for sure one of the funnest interviews I have had in awhile!
For inquiries about available work from Deb, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org