It’s obvious that Ink Monstr has huge love and respect for Naomi Haverland; from her “Awsum” wall mural in downtown Denver of a little kid covered in dripping paint and a gold crown, to her live chalk art at Comic Con of Chunk and Sloth from the Goonies. Naomi has a huge talent that we are in awe of every time we see her work. While Naomi isn’t participating in this year’s sticky she still came in second place last year and we wanted to hear what she had to say about our biggest event of the year.
How long have you been creating art?
I think I have been creating art forever. Not necessarily always good art. But I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t creating some kind of art. I was an artist when I was born- just a bad one.
How would you describe your style of art?
I usually just call it “realism” because getting more specific than that confuses most people. I focus on human expressions and lighting. My influences include Norman Rockwell, Chuck Close, Mark Ryden, as well as a lot of artist in Denver currently producing cutting edge artwork that amazes me daily.
Is there a certain memory in your art career that stands out? Will you tell us about it?
Obviously, the day the “awsum” Ink Monstr mural went up downtown, was one of the most memorable days of my life. I went into the day not even sure that it would happen since there was a lot of back and forth legal and logistical details to still be worked out. Not to mention that I just couldn’t believe that a painting so personal to me would be blown up as large as it was and in such a prominent location. It just seemed surreal. I began thinking to myself that if this was the pinnacle of my career as an artist, I would be content, because I couldn’t have imagined anything more satisfying. To tell the truth, though, it seems to have had the opposite effect. Instead of making me content, the experience has exposed me to a world of talented street artists that I wasn’t aware of before. This awareness humbles me and makes me realize how much more I can grow as an artist. I think that’s a good thing, though. It’s expanded my pool of artist to learn from and furthered my goals to aspire to.
Have you always wanted to be an artist? If not what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think there was a time when I was a kid that I wanted to be a marine biologist. I think it was because I thought marine life was so beautiful, and because I liked making origami fish puppets. I was misinterpreting my passion.
Why have you entered Sticky Situation in past years?
I entered Sticky Situation last year because I felt so honored to be asked to participate with so many of the Denver artists that I admire so much. Also, I knew that everything Ink Monstr organizes ends up being something awesome.
What’s your favorite part about Sticky Situation?
The opening party is the most fun part. It’s put on so well. The combination of great art, great music and a great venue make for a really great experience. Also drinks make it fun too. I will definitely attend the party this year even though I won’t be competing in the sticker contest.
If you could meet any artist dead or alive who would it be?
I’d like to meet Frida Kahlo because of this quote from her:
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought, there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there you read this and know that yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”
I’d like to tell her thank you for thinking of me and let her know I am, indeed, thinking of her too- my weird artist sole mate buddy from a different time and place.