For this DopeAss Art we got a chance to catch up with talented, 19 year-old art student, Dee Wolfe. Find out how she got her start and what she plans to do after graduation.
Hi Dee, you really have an amazing talent. Where are you from and how did you get started with your art?
Thank you very much! I’m from Bronx, New York, and art has been in my life since I was a young child. I never really had any art classes; it wasn’t available to me in middle school, and we didn’t have any art classes in high school, but it was always something I’ve been surrounded by and interested in. Around 2012 I was doing nail art as my little side hustle for pocket money, and I got into using acrylic paints for my designs. I was a sophomore in high school around that time, and I just started doodling again. I used to draw little cartoons in class, and little things here and there. I had a friend who I looked up to and she gave me a sketchbook on the last day of school. That’s how I started art journaling for self expression and how I picked up the paintbrush.
That’s awesome, so you’re a self-taught artist. What’s your favorite medium to use?
Oil paint. Saying that is funny because when I was painting in acrylics, I absolutely hated the idea of oils, but I knew as soon as I started painting in college, they would have me switch. Now that I’m an oil painter, I don’t ever see myself switching back, and I have no idea how I went without them for so long.
Wow, so how would you describe your style of art?
I actually don’t believe I have found my style yet. I suppose that’s what I’m currently working on. My mission is clear: To merge my love for the human experience and interacting with others with having a voice through my work. I want some of my work to speak louder than I ever could with words. I would consider myself primarily a realist painter, I seek to capture life, and stories, but I’m also not necessarily into hyper- realism, I want my paintings to look like paintings, that allows me to be part of the story, to leave my mark in the equation. I’m working on a series of work that captures life, and gives something back to the world, whether it’s a thought, emotions, strength…Once they find a name for that, I guess that is my style.
I guess you’re still finding that out since you’re still in school, how do you find the time to do commission work ?
My commissions have only been open on my breaks from school thus far, but that all changes in the fall, where limited slots will be available. College is stressful, that’s no surprise, so when I come home for either a month or a few months, I just want to immerse myself in my work, so that’s what I do. I basically live in the studio during the semester, so I figure why not have a couple more canvases on my easel?
That’s a good plan, you wouldn’t want to interfere with schoolwork. What has been your favorite commissioned piece so far?
This is such a hard question. I absolutely love client work and the whole process. However, I would definitely have to say a fathers day piece I recently completed. The amount of love and dedication my client put into the concept and every single detail was beautiful. I felt honored to work with her to make her vision come true. There definitely were tears involved in the process ,and It was a great reminder about what my work can do for others, but also how connected I am to the work I do.
Who are some artists that you admire?
One of my favorite artists is PaperFrank, That man lights a fire in my belly to the 10th degree. I admire his work ethic and his unique style, I imagine myself to be like him one day, constantly traveling, having shows and producing new art at lightening speeds. It’s inspiring to see artists doing what they love every day, and making such a big splash in the art world.
If we’re talking art history textbooks,Then I’d definitely have to say Frida Kahlo, She started painting at one of the worst times in her life and made work that we’re talking about and admiring 70+ years later. She painted herself, and her work was centered around her life, and the things she faced. I’m inspired by that because It’s what I aim to do, Leave a piece of myself in my work, even If I’m not the subject.
After you’re finished with school, what’s your ultimate goal for your art?
My ultimate goal is to be a working artist. My end game is to build a team of professional artist and open ‘Dreamchaser studios‘. I have always wanted to be a business owner involved in youth outreach and for years I knew I wanted to be part of an artist collective of some sort. Dreamchaser studios would be a sanctuary for creatives. It would have studio space available for artists, Offer workshops, as well has host events for artists and the community. But until then I will be working my way up, starting with working on my own body of work and growing my art business.
That sounds like a really good goal. What would be your advice to those who like to paint or draw and want to take their talents to the next level?
My advice? Keep dreaming. I am a huge believer in consistently setting goals and having a plan. If you want something go for it! and believe in yourself because you have to be your biggest fan.
Great advice, how can people contact you if they want artwork done?
People can contact me through the information on my website www.Dwolfeart.com, and also through various social media @Dwolfeart