Art, // February 11, 2015
Hosanna LaFazia – ARTIST
Interview with artist Hosanna LaFazia —
1) Who are you and what do you do?
I am Zanna! Otherwise known as Hosanna LaFazia. I paint, I draw, I write, I play with cameras. I have issues with sentences beginning with “I”. In March 2014, after careful consideration and a few nudges from the universe, I took a leap and left my career in banking to work on creating and selling my art full-time, with plans to reevaluate in a year. Quite the learning experience, so far.
2) Why art?
The short story is, around 2006 I struggled with depression and anxiety to the point of disability. I’d painted in the past, it usually wasn’t very good but I had enjoyed it, and after several years of not touching a canvas, I picked it up again. It provided me with a way to get out of my own head, and continues to be my therapy on an almost daily basis.
3) What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
I’m not sure I ever consciously thought, “hey! I wanna be an artist when I grow up!” I remember my mom hanging a fingerpainting of a turtle on the fridge when I was four or five. I remember painting daisies on the basement wall with my dad around the same time. I’ve always had something to draw on, a continuous chain of sketchbooks. I know in high school I ticked off my guidance counselor when I dropped out of a couple college prep courses because I didn’t see how they would be of any value in my career as an artist…so, there’s that.
4) What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
The female form is a constant in much of my work, as well as water in some form or another, and turtles or snails. Things with shells. Oils are my go-to media, although impatience or need for quick work has me reaching for acrylics often enough. I’ve also been dabbling in mixed media (read: GLUING THINGS!!!) in the last several months and tend to like it. I have vague plans for the bulb of a turkey baster taking up space in my kitchen drawer (GLUE IT!!!), and I’ve been working on painting a skull-shaped vodka bottle the last week or so. I’ve also revisited my high school art class roots and have become very fond of painting on wood panels in leiu of canvas.
5) How do you work and approach your subject?
It’s pretty rare that I actually have an idea before I start painting. It’s the act of putting the brush on the canvas that does it for me, and the paintings really do seem to materialize in front of me. Thinking too much about what I’m doing tends to result in mud, I’ve made a habit of taking a break when the thinking starts. That said, very recently I’ve been able to realize what I wanted to do, sleep on it, and get up the next day and paint it, exactly once. It was AWESOME. I might want to try that again sometime.
6) What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
Sidewalk chalk drawings and otherwise, my children. They’re right up there with Picasso and Dali. All tied for First. In addition, I very much admire the work of Zbyszek Kozoil – I stumbled upon his studio in Key West in early 2013 and had the honor of meeting him, sitting with him and leafing through the book he was working on. Our conversation that day became something of a turning point in the way I think about my own work.
7) What are the best responses you have had to your work?
In 2007 I had a piece in a show at the AI&G in Salisbury, Maryland. As I was standing behind a couple who were looking at my work, one said to the other, “Whoever painted this was either very religious, or psychotic.”
8) What do you like about your work?
IT SELLS. I’m amazed every time. That, and, the canvas is my dearest friend. The things I cannot put into words, it accepts. Sometimes I don’t even know the story I’m telling until it shows me. It’s magical. Look at me waxing poetic.
9) What advice would you give to other artists?
10) Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I see myself looking back at this point in my life, thinking, That’s where it all really started. Look how far we’ve come.