Within the Serpent of Time: An Interview with Artist Elena Stonaker


Occupation: Artist 

Aspiration: Same

What are you grateful for? My inspiring circle of friends and family, being able to what I love to do,  the chance to live on such an incredible planet. 

Are you formally trained or self taught? A bit of both. I went to art school, but I've learned just as much, if not more from experimentation and play.

Who are your favorite Artists: Leonora Carrington, Yayoi Kusama, Keith haring, Kaisik Wong, Jodorowsky,  Keith Haring, Hieronymous Bosch... To name a few. 

Complete the following sentences:

Art is important because:  anything becomes possible.
When I like a piece of art:  It makes me feel empowered.

Your work is filled with references to the body and crude humanoid forms-  can you talk a little bit about what these figures represent to to you?

I've always felt a bit awkward as a physical person.... Like my soul floating outside somewhere above. With my art I really want to create a bridge between physical and metaphysical realities. To me the body is very much a vessel for human experience and sensuality and creation. I like to play with that. 

How do you find time to be so prolific with such labor intensive pieces?

I am really lucky to love what I do so much that I pretty much eat, sleep, play doing it. At this point in my life, my work is my marriage and my children and I give it most of myself. 

Women you admire and why?

I have so many incredible women in my life... My mother... She has always been ahead if the curve. She's an incredible healer, thinker, farmer, cook. She's humble, hardworking and tuned in. 

Books/ albums you love?

A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, anything by Joseph Campbell, The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington. 

Any good dreams lately?

I've been having a lot of dreams about effortlessly giving birth to twins. 

Any fun projects coming up for summer of 2014?

Working on a new piece for my dear friends at the Ojai Rancho Inn... Possibly headed home to Colorado to help harvest peaches on my dad's orchard... Other than that who knows what interesting adventure the universe has planned. 

Do you have any advice for happiness? 

Listen to the little voices telling you to do what makes you feel good. Practice forgiveness and love, especially toward yourself. Learn to find great joy in simple things. Go outside and play. 

Elena contributed original art for the cover of our summer 2014 playlist

"Everything Is Medicine." ( Banner photo by Dominoe Farris )





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See more of her work at www.elenastonaker.com