Ambar Januel – Los Angeles, California

Savage Utopia: Acrylic on Wood, 2'x4', 2015

Savage Utopia: Acrylic on Wood, 2’x4′, 2015

Briefly describe the work you do. 

I create through a multitude of approaches, but my most active and intuitive medium is painting.  My work is a deep intent into the root of self representation within a culture.  The perception of oneself within the place they were created, and have been placed.  I often speak of family and destruction, how many allow one to lead to the other.  I am especially interested in the intentions under which children are raised, and the psychological aspects of their growth.  My paintings allow the proximity of parenthood, diverse cultures and languages, self interpretation, and chaos to be pronounced within one textured level (several placed upon each other, as layers), the level within which we are all able to understand, through our own recognition of history.  

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

My past is a multitude of often incoherent layers; foreign houses and homes, homes many might not label so.  I was taught to view the world differently; in a way to experience it as all others do.  Through my practice and my own recognition of chaos, I hope to bring meaning to history in a form that speaks to multiple cultures that might possess barriers in other terms.  From an education that has been primarily self taught including psychology, language studies, fashion, writing, and philosophy I have grown a structure of acknowledgement that mirrors my work.  

 Delicate Entities of Edible Decisions: Acrylic on Wood, 6'x3.5', 2015

Delicate Entities of Edible Decisions: Acrylic on Wood, 6’x3.5′, 2015

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

My studio is a constant rotation of places.  I often take it with me, whether it be only with the constant moving, or literally taking it with me.  Most recently my partner and I have begun to set up our studio in the middle of nowhere; in the mountains, in a field, by the ocean.  Taking our work and materials, and placing them in nature.  While our work does not obviously reflect this mindset, our minds often are in need of a refreshment and these locations are the perfect breath of fresh air.

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

When I began to create work I was very naive and a bit ignorant.  I did not quite yet understand my position in the world and how I was able to take advantage of my work to speak from it in a manner I could not speak from before.  Feeling afraid and vulnerable within a piece forced me to step back, until finally now I have adjusted to realizing that my movements and beliefs are shadowed and integrated into the entire diversification of human kind, whether it be in parallel or in direct opposition.  

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

My work is in constant rotation.  Sometimes it comes intuitively and naturally, and at times I feel that I have to force it.  Regardless of whether I am actually physically painting or creating I am always thinking.  Every day I wake from a fresh dream that puts an incredible amount of pressure on my creative state.  When I am not working I am researching, I like reading about psychology and foreign cultures as well as social issues to keep myself in constant vigilance of our times and this world.  

How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?

My work is dynamically different.  There have been realizations on an extremity of issues that have developed my work to where it is today.

An Integrated Domesticity: Acrylic on Wood, 2'x4', 2015

An Integrated Domesticity: Acrylic on Wood, 2’x4′, 2015

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

While I tend to remain close to the news and to current affairs I also like to keep a safe amount of distance.  Visual artists have influenced my work incredibly, however what I find that I am most drawn to is the creation of the piece itself, the way the artist crafted it, created it, and put themselves into it.  In the same way I have always been very attracted to writing and poetry, as a child I would read and write poems and view perceptions from philosophers based on the abstraction of their writings, instead of the actual content.  My work as a whole is influenced by my family, my pieces speak from a figurative society; while they are always conceptually based off of personal experience, I use my research and reading to connect it to everyone else.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests? 

I find that my versatility in work subjects is what continues to push me to be an artist.  Mentally I need other pursuits, I thrive under the pressure of business, and I am constantly pushing for my own endeavors.  I find it a bit thrilling, and I fear that if I solely created paintings I would become lost in it.  While this in part may be the closest I am capable of coming to true happiness, I am also aware that I would be giving up everything else I’ve ever had.  Currently I work closest to the fashion industry, as well as freelancing in graphic design and writing.  These topics allow my creativity and imagination to stay in focus, while feeding my need for a self created regime.


Headshot_AmbarJanuelI have been constructed through the teaching of deconstruction and misconception.  Taught through a diversity of cultures and locations.  Living in homes with indigenous peoples, and then moving to a city of 20 million; moving to create personality.  I have been taught to believe in human kind while remaining strangely cast aside and protected, protected from the very own who raised me.  Most recently I have taken to Los Angeles and I believe that it is because it mirrors this kind of perception, the people that reside here are artistic and strangely happy, yet they (and we) tend to live five feet back, always participating yet always removed.  


All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 




About 365Artists/365Days

The purpose of this project is to introduce its readership to a diverse collection of art that is being produced at the national and international level. Our goal is to engage the public with information regarding a wide array of creative processes, and present the successes and failures that artists face from day to day. The collaborators hope that this project will become a source for exploring and experiencing contemporary art in all its forms.
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