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Art & Life with Crystal Schrader

Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Schrader.

Crystal, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’ve been told I was creative since I was little but while growing up I put my focus into science because I thought it was more practical. I did take video production and art in high school but it wasn’t until I was accepted to USC’s film school that I really was honest with myself about my desire to pursue a creative career. While at USC, I focused my film studies on production design and also took courses at the fine art school. I’m currently working as an art department coordinator in the tv industry but in my own time, I’ve been working a personal body of artwork. I began with photography and started creating surreal composites. In the summer of 2017 I discovered fluid acrylics and I just took off with those. The lack of control over the fluid mediums has freed me up as an artist and I feel like I can’t keep up with the ideas I have now.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I work with fluid acrylics and alcohol inks on Yupo, which is a synthetic paper that allows the paints to swirl on the surface. Since the paints move and dry at different speeds, I use time as a tool in creating the paintings as well as using my own intuition in deciding what to do next. I don’t start with a plan aside from a general color palette I’d like to use. Once the first color is laid on the surface, the rest of the painting flows in an unedited, subconscious manner.

The final painting is like a snapshot of my state of mind at the time (energetic, busy, soft, etc.) The paints are only controlled enough to give the composition a sense of balance and depth and I hope that the final works give off the sense that something has been resolved. I think the shapes, colors, and textures that recur through my work reveal my longtime interests in molecular biology as well as the oceans (specifically coral reefs).

Because of my interest in film design (and almost by default, interior design) I have taken my paintings a step further and created home decor patterns which are available on a range of home goods with Deny Designs.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
I’m the wrong person to ask since I’m extremely hermitic and protective of my alone time. It could be because I don’t get a lot of it working tv industry hours. I do feel connected to other artists through Instagram though. It’s a great time to be an artist with everyone sharing their journeys like an online diary. We all go through the same joys and doubts and it’s nice to know there’s a community out there that is in the same creative mindset. If you do want to connect you’re just a DM away.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I’ll be exhibiting at SugarMynt Gallery in Pasadena starting June 2nd as part of a group show called Visual Dessert. I frequently post process photos and finished works on Instagram so people can follow my journey there. I also have a website where I sell my original paintings and prints. At the bottom of the page you can sign up for my mailing list to receive the latest news and exhibits!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Crystal Schrader, Matt Schrader

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