March 30, 2017 by Laura Gomez


Artist Interview

Name: Ha Pham

Birthday: April, 7th

How would you define yourself as an artist? That’s hard because I do many things but mainly, I would say female figurative/ portrait with a touch of fantasy imagery.

Why are you an artist, and when did you first become one? When I first came to the United States, I was 8, I had huge cultural shock. I couldn’t speak the language or read so I became drawn to pictures in the books at the library and soon I started drawing them as a way to relate to things. So being an artist came naturally to me because I was a way for me to escape. I didn’t use call myself an artist because I never thought myself worthy of being one until I enter art shows and I have to present myself as an artist.

What art do you most identify with? I love impressionistic portraiture and figurative works.

What themes do you pursue? I tend to be attracted to themes that are a little melancholy and a little fantasy.

What inspires you to work? Other artists, seeing other artists’ work pushes me to work harder. I have a competitive edge but that’s only to better myself.

Color: grey or black
Book: One Hundred Year of Solitude, Stand Still Like a Hummingbird, the Jitterbug Perfume
Movie: City of God, Trash, Little Boy, the Dreamers, Malena, the Man From Nowhere
Food: pho, Japanese ramen, banh xeo

Quote: “feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly “ Frida Kahlo

Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start? It depends from time to time. Sometime I have an idea brewing in my head for a while from seeing different things, other times it starts with a photograph and I start building on it.

What Role does the artist have in society? I think an artist can either take you out of reality and make you forget about life’s tragedy or confront you with the tragedy, each has its own beauty.

Do you suffer for your art? Yes when I have self doubt or when I have an artistic block I get very depressed, like what is the point in life. On the other hand, art has also helped me through a lot of suffering, like a breakup or loneliness.

You seem to use a lot of symbols in your work. Do your works tell stories or are they simply decorative elements of the project? Sometimes they have meanings, I like to use flowers as a theme. After reading the Jitterbug Perfume, I see flowers in a whole new way. I like hummingbirds too, I think of myself as a little hummingbird.

Should art be funded? Why? Yes, absolutely. I think many young people may have the interests but if they never have access to art education or supplies, then we might never know their full potential. I remember from elementary through high school, I was encouraged by my art teachers to pursue art. That kind of support was very important for any young person. Also, I believe art is a great form of therapy has helped so many people with depression or trauma.

What famous artists have influenced you, and how? John Sergent Singer, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Gustuv Klimt. I think these artists were original in their executions and with strong view points, I really admire that.

What other interests do you have outside of art? Photography, violin, travels, thriller movies

You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today? I go to the Dali Museum in St.Pete, and the Ringling Museum in Sarasota

How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? I would be very depressed

Luxury cars: I don’t care for luxury cars, I can’t have nice things because they will end up getting ruined.
Fashion Designers/Fashion Brands: I don’t care for fashion brands
Describe your style: “Define yourself”… Umm mostly dark or earth toned comfortable clothing, leggings, ankle boots
Luxury watches: I don’t care for luxury watches, do people still wear watches?
DJ/Music/Singer: RHCP, Van Hunt, FKA Twigs, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Billie Holliday, Little Dragon, Duke Ellington
Hot places: Spain, Portugal, Italy. I want to go back to Spain and live there for a year.
Travels: I went backpacking last year to Spain, Portugal, and Italy last year and fell in love.

Who are the sportsmen or sportswoman’s you admire the most? I used to love Micheal Jordan

Who are the artists you admire the most? JAW Cooper, Soey Milk, Romel De La Torre, Dan Quintana, Audrey Kawasaki, Jeremy Mann, Agnes Cecile, Kildren, Tran Nguyen, and many more that I follow on Instagram.

What are your next projects? Right now I have an auction on April 7th. I’m talking to someone to have my designs on tshirt. Other than that I want to do some more final pieces for galleries and fill up sketch books.

What’s the best advice anyone gave you? Sketch when you feel like it, sketch when you don’t feel like it.