Stay hungry, my friends.
I am constantly inspired, perplexed, curious, amused, and awed by the mad river of art and life. All of it influences me in some way, and as I sift through it, some stays with me and shows up in my work while other aspects pass on through, finding no resonating hooks in me to grab on to. Virtually anything is good fodder for creativity if it elicits a response and sparks a new awareness.
The influences that most tend to show up in my work include the following: Mood. Feeling. Shamanism. Mysticism. The faery realm. Animals. Music. Nature. Fibonacci Sequence. Serendipity. Synchronicity. Sacred geometry and mathematics. Patterns. Childhood memories and perceptions. Wormholes. Time travel. Dreams. Subjective experience. The sublime. Nonverbal connection. Facing personal demons, finding grace, uncovering peace. Chaos. Paradox. Animal tracks. Fingerprints. Identity. Community and individuality. Thought processes. That which can’t be seen or measured. Multi-dimensionality. That which is hidden. Addiction. Insecurity. The space of a question. Beauty is not a dirty word. Ozzie and Harriet were laundering money for the mob. States of awareness. Non-linearity. Myth. Habit. Timelessness. Hope. Everyone is innocent.
Most of my work uses color and texture as the driving force to evoke and explore the feeling being defined. The canvas becomes a conversation and a meeting ground for questions and contrasting feelings seeking collaboration, clarity, unity. Sometimes no collaboration is reached, and the question remains unanswered. But the time spent sitting with the question feels alchemical. Allowing oneself to stay in that space of not-knowing is just as important as discovering answers, but can be hard to stay present to. The act of sitting with the non-knowing can elicit feelings of anxiety, frustration, futility. But facing the space of not-knowing is often an initiation point, a mystical gateway into greater seeing.
My work is intentionally non-intellectually driven: I don’t like to lead with my intellect when I paint, but rather, let the mind reflect on what is emerging, after the fact. In this way I find that painting becomes a dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious mind, and often is able to show me things, much in the way that one would interpret their dreams. I find that the intellect is an incredible tool and good friend, but everything works better, include painting, when the intellect isn’t driving the boat. When I trust my instincts to take the steering wheel, I find access to much broader perspectives, and to pathways I didn’t even realize existed. And that means relinquishing control over what I think I know. It’s a willingness to stay in shoshin (beginner’s mind) and be the fool, in order to be open myself to new ground and new ideas. As my wise Dad once said to me: "It's good to always be a little bit lost."
Some favorite artists include Cy Twombly, William Kentridge, Kathe Kollwitz, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Alice Neal, Wayne Thiebaud, Squeak Carnwath, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lucian Freud, Egon Schiele, Sam Sartorius, and many others.
Jan Zoya is a mostly-abstract painter and mixed media artist from Los Angeles who has lived in Peru for the past 5+ years. Her training and influences have followed a diverse path, through art school, graduate art residencies, and additional art studies in China, followed by intensive studies with the indigenous shamans of the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon jungle, learning the energy-medicine arts of the ancient traditions. Other influences of her art include animals, nature, dreams, memories, the magical races, interdimensional realms, and the mundane. Jan is also an avid fan of music, writing, hiking, yoga, and hot peppers.
The name Jante comes from when I was first learning to write my name as a preschooler. I insisted on writing Jante, rather than Janet. I continued writing my name as Jante for a few years. I still like it better.
My relationship to painting is influenced by my experience of reality during my "Jante" years when the magical essence of life infused my perceptions, resulting in work that is abstract and dreamy, and a bit innocently magical.