If I were to draw my inner soul, well let’s put it this way it would be one cluster f@ck of a mess. I’m so infatuated by Artists, the level of depth they’re able to extract from their minds eye and commit it to paper – consistently astounds me. When I look at Zuzu’s work, I’m not only moved by the extremely idiosyncratic imagery but also the way her work exudes such clean lines and caverns full of lush visual drawings. It’s the meticulous little details that get me, when I see a new picture by Zuzu, I have no idea what to look at first: the actual piece, lines, or look for secrets woven images.
Kind of like,
“A Dream Within A Dream” By Edgar Allan Poe
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Zuzu’s artwork is like a Babushka Doll (nested dolls) one must open their mind one layer at a time. For more information on Zuzu and where to purchase merchandise with her artwork please check out Instagram @zjarime or Zuzu’s link tree https://linktr.ee/zjarime.
RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, how did you overcome it?
Z: Yes! I always tend to get creatively blocked when it comes to me being overworked and stressed. Art for me is the way I choose to cope with stress originally, but when I feel burnt out and tired in general life, I tend to overcome it through writing poetry! Writing for some reason flows easier when I'm stressed than illustrating my emotions
RMMW: We all have an inner critic; how do you contend with yours?
Z: My inner critic has always come in the way of me and myself and thank goodness, It doesn't necessarily impact my artwork. I contend with my inner critic through artwork, through illustrating the sadness, the grief, the shame. It helps me shed my skin continuously to rebirth into a wiser, improved version of myself. Looking back at most works as well, I see how I sometimes battle my inner critic through series of works that look like utter chaos. Within putting it through visuals, I am able to reflect, release, and seek guidance from my subconscious.
RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before starting a new piece?
Z: Before I start a new piece I like to be very impulsive. I don't like to think too much about what I'm going to do, but I enjoy just "doing". I remind myself that I am allowed to finally be free and escape through this. I remind myself that I am not a prisoner to myself or to others. I remind myself that it's okay to feel and I proceed to draw the emotions I embrace.
RMMW: What came first your love of art or poetry?
Z: My love of art definitely came first. Way back when I began high-school I doodled all over my notes until I realized they meant something to me; they explained me when I struggled in explaining who I am. That's when I decided to become more serious and bought a cheap sketchbook and from there it took off. I never felt so completed after I began drawing, I finally felt understood. Poetry came a bit afterwards as I started becoming more aware of my thoughts and emotions. I developed a deeper love within poetry though as I learned how to communicate in a way with myself that I thought was impossible.
RMMW: What is your favourite medium to create with?
Z: My favorite medium has always been ink! Although recently, I've been loving thick markers as well as watercolor :) depends on the day, the mood, and how I'm feeling!
RMMW: What is your writing process, pen to paper or right to the computer?
Z: My writing and drawing process has always been traditional pen to paper! The electronic shit these days give me a headache, I just stick to the "Old school ways"
RMMW: What is your favourite theme to draw or write about? And why?
Z: Sadness and Anger are the emotions that revolve around my works; but my favorite theme's to draw/write about are lessons I learn and experiences I have. It's important to understand that as humans although we feel so disconnected and scattered from one another, I still believe we are one. There are pieces that of you that lay inside of individuals that you have met, people that you love(d) /connect(ed) with. Unity is one primary topic that I'm discovering still as it's something I hold close to me. And it's because we are, as humans, each other's teachers and students.
RMMW: What was the catalyst that began your artisanal journey?
Z: Back when I first started high school, I was really lost and misplaced. I felt really not okay about myself. I transferred high school's because I was struggling. I didn't know who or what I was and the first high school I went to really impacted the way I viewed myself. When I transferred and went to my second high school, all started falling into place where I felt okay to draw how I felt. I felt okay to start finding who I was. From then on art has helped me through harsh situations that I've had to go through as well as small implications that I've experienced.
RMMW: What is your preferred artist's tool and why?
Z: My preferred tool would be my hands. I personally love smudging and making parts of my work look very deformed and weird!
RMMW: Do you feel social media hinders or helps artists?
Z: I feel it has the ability to do both. In my personal experience I've seen a lot of artists feeling pressured to post content everyday to keep up with every other artist who may be doing that. It creates some form of pressure if you allow it to. BUT, in my opinion it helps artists a ton because without social media, I wouldn't have met have of the beautiful individuals I know on there who create for similar reasons that I create! The best part of it, you get to learn about other's techniques, experiences, and make amazing friends along the way.
RMMW: Please tell us a little bit about your Obsession Zine, what is its origin story?
Z: "Obsession" Was a zine I created in hopes to relinquish parts of ourselves that we hold onto dear life. Why do we 'obsess' over little things, and what makes us infatuated with certain things? Where do these feelings stem from? How can we learn about ourselves through this process? This all came from a bad experience I had in the past with a person, that made me think of the word "Obsession". What holds us to be obsessed with certain concepts, obsessed with learning or with numbers or with anything? The goal was for all participants to reflect on themselves to show a side of themselves that wasn't so pretty or beautiful. These not so pretty sides of us are a part of what makes us who we are, and without addressing that I feel like we then wouldn't even try to make room to improve ourselves for the better.
RMMW: Regardless if it is Poetry or Art, how does creating make you feel?
Z: Creating makes me feel liberated. Creating makes me feel like I’m in charge of my life, and that this artwork that I make, these feelings that I hold, they are MINE. When all spirals, this helps me feel controlled yet free. This helps me feel like impossible is possible, it helps me realize that there is so much beauty even in the pain and ugly we hold within us sometimes. Creating makes me feel conscious, and it makes me feel like I can understand life and myself that much more.
RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?
Z: To heal :) It's been a wish of mine since I was younger to heal and help other's the best I can. If there was a superpower that can help take away the pain that others feel, pain that was caused by themselves or others, I wouldn't want to take it away entirely, but I would love to heal the wound with love.