Back Talk with CJ MetzgerJuxtapoz // Tuesday, 07 Sep 2010
CJ (Candice) Metzger is a painter, illustrator, writer and designer working in Los Angeles whose works are “like modern icon paintings depicting moments of time, of events or reflections.” Along with her sister Miss Mindy, the pair will present a dual show, Pie in the Sky, this Friday.
One reason you make art:
The last good movie you saw:
Dinner for Schmucks. I just love the word “Schmucks” – oh, and the tiny taxidermy mice dioramas were darling!
Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to:
I want to learn how to Flamenco Dance.
Favorite country or city visited:
A few words that sum up your philosophy on life:
Try your best at everything you do.
Something you want the world to know about you:
I’m still married after 10 years and have a lovely, creative, quirky, ingenious little seven-year-old daughter named Sophie that is often my muse.
Something that annoys or frustrates you about people:
People who lack capacity for empathy or compassion. Selfish people need to leave Earth now.
Something that concerns you:
That the selfish people will make like difficult for the rest of us.
Artists you admire:
A few of my favorite are Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo, Maurice Sendak, Joseph Cornell, my mother Linda Johnstone Allen and my sister Miss Mindy.
The power of imagination makes us infinite. -John Muir
The first record or CD you ever bought? The last album you downloaded?
First was Men at Work (LP) that my dad bought me for my birthday when I was 9, and most recently I downloaded a…. a… Miley Cyrus Song (for my daughter – I swear!)…
Something you do when you’re procrastinating?
I’ll do anything but pick up a paintbrush. I’ll sweep floors, wash dishes, weed the garden, clean the garage – but luckily these busy activities act like an activating serum that eventually brings me back to painting.
What is your most defining characteristic?
“I have extremely white teeth for someone who drinks so much black coffee” (as observed by my sister Miss Mindy).
What is your greatest fear?
I guess I what really makes me fearful is the thought of being without my family. If anything were to happen to them I’d be devastated.
The moment you realized you were an ‘artist’:
Hmm… there was never really an exact moment of realization. With my grandparents and mother being artists, it was always just the way we all lived. However, I do remember the first time I felt like I was a Professional Artist – it was when I sold my first painting to someone who didn’t know me, wasn’t a friend, or wasn’t my mother. That was a great feeling.
Your greatest quality:
As an artist, I think it has to do with my ability to subtly combine unusual colors together. As a person, I’m good at blending situations together – I’m fair and see both sides. I’m often the diplomat.
Something you wish you could change or alter about yourself:
I can be at times relentless at scrutinizing myself – especially when it comes to artistic decisions. I wish I could extend myself the same empathy and compassion that I do other folks and just cut myself a little more slack!
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and was it worth it?
Whilst most artists will say leaving their full time gig was there biggest risk – for me it’s been delving BACK into a full time design gig while trying to maintain my fine art career. It’s a challenge, but I’m finding that I can do both pretty well.
Something you wish you had known five years ago:
That nothing is permanent. Things are always changing - and that realization can sometimes make me extremely nervous, or it can be the biggest relief ever (luckily, lately it’s been the latter).
What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years of your life?
On a personal level, I hope I can find a better balance between work, art and family life. Right now I feel like a bit of an octopus – with tentacles in soo many directions. Multi-tasking is a part of life, but there must be a limit!
On a professional level, I hope to get another children’s book published. I’ve been working on a story concept for about a year, but I’m looking forward to really getting the entire project written, illustrated and in bookstores. It can’t just sit on my laptop forever!
The Artist Sisters: Miss Mindy and CJ Metzger
Pie in the Sky [More info on the show here]
Opening reception this Friday, September 10th from 7- 10pm on
Runs through October 9th, 2010