Today we’d like to introduce you to Golareh Safarian.
Golareh, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Art has served different purposes and played different roles throughout my life. It started mostly as a healing therapy that soon became a way to connect. Growing up, my family moved around a lot, so I often found myself in a new country, rushing to learn a new language and eager to adapt to new customs. Sometimes the adaptation was easy, and I felt welcomed in the new community. At other times, the struggle was real.
I didn’t know about the benefits of artistic expression until later in my life (I did my first oil on canvas painting when I was in my late 20s), and so, without a proper outlet, I internalized a lot of my uncertainties and confusion which impacted my relationships, self-confidence, and social interactions.
Discovering art was the beginning of a healing process still in the works. Soon after this initial discovery, I also became aware of the connections I was able to make through art. I remember showing some of my pieces at a small underground event soon after I moved to LA in 2006. What I found most interesting at that event was walking around and listening to people react and talk about my work. I remember being surprised by their observations, realizing how true some of them were even though I had not been aware of them when creating the pieces.
After the healing and the connecting, came the search for acceptance. This was when ego took hold, and approval, instead of expression, became the end. I guess it was inevitable. As most anyone in an artistic field can attest, audience approval is invariably a goal. In my case, I was also working in production at a television network, eager to prove myself as one of the “creatives.” Regardless, this too was a learning period that led to me honing my skills and improving my technique, only to realize that the only element necessary in the creation of emotive art is a fearless commitment to vulnerability, which ironically brings with it freedom from thought, also critical to the creative process.
With ego still there, but in the back-burner, I shifted my focus to seeing. I knew that if I wanted to create anything worthwhile, I needed to become more aware. I needed to see the world, the people, the stories around me. To do this, I turned to photography. Through the lens, I observe, and study, and find most of my creative inspiration.
Today, art is simply a part of who I am. Whether it is a liquid acrylic painting, a travel photo, or a piece of glitch art, I cannot go too long without creating something. It is my most honest method of communication and its absence truly brings me down.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
People have often asked me how I classify my art. This was always a challenging question for me, mostly because I never quite knew where I belonged, or maybe I just wanted to go to all the parties. Maybe I was a modern artist. Maybe an expressionist? Maybe a figurative one. Or maybe I was just immature in my craft and didn’t have a defined aesthetic. After all, anyone who watches Project Runway can tell you, a good designer is one with a cohesive collection. I also indulge in a lot of different mediums. I work with oils, acrylics, digital programs such as Corel Painter and Photoshop, as an illustrator, a videographer, a photographer, etc. So, I consider myself a multi-disciplined artist.
The one constant factor throughout all my work has been my infatuation with color. We all live with our angels and demons, and these come in their shades and hues, so we associate positives and negatives with different colors. Through societal rules and expectations, we have learned to associate specific colors with certain emotions, but at the end of the day, we derive most of our color associations from personal experiences. Red can mean passion, or courage, or fear, or danger, or all of the above, or just a beautiful dress in a summer afternoon with no hidden meaning except our memory of that afternoon and how we felt on that day. In this sense, I suppose you can call me a color theorist. But even that is not entirely accurate if you consider color theory not as a study of symbolism, but rather a study of light and primary vs. secondary colors.
Having said this, lately, I find myself particularly drawn to one medium. I came across some glitch art a while back and stumbled upon pixel sorting. It was love at first sight. It resonated with me immediately, not only because it allows for the creation of poetic imagery that is beautiful yet haunting, but it feels relevant to who and what we have become as a society: a by-product of a digital world seeking perfection when it is our imperfections we should be celebrating. It also resonates with my background in video and production and allows me to merge some of my favorite mediums into one. I can combine photography with digital painting and pixel sorting all into one piece. With that, I guess today I’m a glitch artist and a pixelist. Tomorrow? Who knows.
The art itself is a combination of escapism, fantasy, nostalgia and, sometimes, protest. I try to capture the tug of war between our inner optimist and pessimist while acknowledging the beauty and value of the simple moments in everyday life.
Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
Just keep creating. Even if you have to go to work everyday and are exhausted when you come home and can’t dedicate too much time to your creative endeavors, make sure to always have a creative project on the side somewhere. This will feed your soul and keep you going. Or, if you’re nuts like me and hear the constant calling of an artist’s humble lifestyle, you can quit your job, start your own creative company, and dedicate yourself fully to a creative life. But know that if you do, you will likely have to let go of a lot of your current material attachments-at least at the beginning. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can see my work on the following sites:
Patron Art: https://patronart.com/golarehsafarian
I am also the Founder and Creative Director of Gogimogi Designs:
- Website: www.golarehsafarian.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/golareh/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GolarehSafarian/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/gsafarian
- Other: https://patronart.com/golarehsafarian
Victoria Safarian, Pavel Szabo