100 Creatives 2014: Nyssa Juneau, Artist With Postcards From Space
What She Does: The best thing for me as an arts blogger about going to Comicpalooza is that you meet so many new local artists who come out to show off their wares. Nyssa Juneau was literally the first person I ran into this year, as the two of us asked each other if we knew where the registration set-up was and struck up a conversation from there.
Juneau has been drawing ever since she was a child, sending art back and forth through the mail with a favorite cousin in an awesome version of pen pals. Currently she's an artist in residence at Box 13 Artspace. The work of hers that got my attention at Comicplaooza was a series of planetary post cards, each one detailing an exciting figure of the rest of the objects that share our solar system. My favorite in the series is the Jupiter you see above, showing the roiling storms that dominate the planet's atmosphere.
"I don't get to travel a lot, but I liked the idea of being able to send someone a postcard from another planet in the solar system," said Juneau in an email interview. "The idea was that if you made a trip to another planet and visited a run-down tourist shop, what feature of the planet would be on the postcard to send home? That interested me, and in the process of doing those illustrations I learned a lot of really fascinating things about the planets in our solar system."
Juneau also specializes in something she calls iPhone Drawlings. Childlike doodles done in a smart phone app. It's an interesting concept that allows her instantly publish her work, and comes across as a combination of Impressionism and Saturday morning cartoon. See her gallery here.
Why She Likes It: "There are many good things about being in the arts. Artists are good people, and others tend to forgive your eccentricities because you are 'an artist,' but hands down, the best thing about being an artist is just making art. Art is so important, it's vital, and helps us makes sense of our world and one another. I can't picture myself ever not doing art."
What Inspires Her: As evidenced by her planet series, Juneau likes to use her art as an excuse to go out and learn something. Finding out something new is a big inspiration for her. Her main artistic heroes are Kerry James Marshall, Sol LeWitt, Wayne Thiebaud, Bruegel, and Morandi, but she's also a fan of old pulp fiction illustrations.
If Not This, Then What: "I had always said that I would want to be in linguistics, if not art, because the relations between languages are fascinating. I also have an amateur interest in mathematics and mechanics."
If Not Here, Then Where: Juneau is a big fan of the art that is coming out of Germany these days. Especially that of Neo Rauch. If she left Houston that's the scene she would want to be in on.
What's Next: "I plan to do more cons in the future. It was an exciting experience to meet with other artists and see what they're doing. I plan to continue making and showing paintings, and also working with BOX13 Artspace as a resident artist. We want to continue to provide Houston with exciting exhibitions of contemporary work made locally and from around the country."
More Creatives for 2014
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Leslie Scates, choreographer and dance educator
Denise O'Neal, producer, director, playwright
Jason Poland, cartoonist
Courtney Sandifer, filmmaker, actor, writer
Lloyd Gite, gallery owner
Henry Yau, The Children's Museum of Houston's publicity and promotions guru
Angeli Pidcock, fantasy writer and mentor
Jennifer Mathieu, author
Scott Chitwood, writer
Anat Ronen, urban artist
Amber Galloway Gallego, rockstar and sign language interpreter
Michael Weems, playwright
Lane Montoya, artist
Jordan Simpson, SLAM poet
Joey & Jaime, designers
Suzi Taylor, photographer
Ashton Miyako, dressmaker
T. Smith, artistLindsay Finnen, photographer
Kaitlyn Stanley, tattoo artist
Eleazar Galindo Navarro, video game maker
Kate de Para, textile and clothing designer
Shawn Swanner, video game painter
Andy Gonzales, painter
Chris Foreman, comic book sketcher
Theresa DiMenno, photographer
Jessica E. Jones, opera singer
Atseko Factor, actor
John Pluecker, writer, poet and language justice worker
Ricky Ortiz, painter, tattoo artist
Rabēa Ballin, artist
David Wald, actor
Lisa E. Harris, performing and visual artist
Stephanie Todd Wong, executive director of Dance Source Houston
Pamela Fagan Hutchins, novelist
Heather Gordy, artist
Mark Nasso, comic artist
Marian Szczepanski, novelist
Jonathan Blake, fashion designer
Doni Langlois, interior designer
Kat Denson, dancer
Blame the Comic, comedian
Margaret Menchaca Alvarez, artist
Jacquelyne Jay Boe, dancer
Rene Fernandez, painter
Teresa Chapman, choreographer and dancer