Angela Hines is a Mesquite-based artist who pairs images with words to tell a story. She spreads positivity by sharing uplifting quotes and drawing the heart of the words, which can range from song lyrics to bible verses to lines of poetry. One of my favorite creations highlights how nature is holy: tree branches against sky reminding us to Stand Still and Consider the Wondrous Works of God. Instagram is a great way to see the wondrous works of the artist, offering a behind-the-scenes look at her art process that shows the entire life cycle of some pieces. I enjoyed watching a collection of lines become an explosion of color and form, and it was nice to be reminded by J. Cole that impossible does not exist.
Our Q & A sheds some light on how Hines came to know the perfect combos of words and images to move our souls. Visit her at the next Commerce Street Night Market on April 27, where we’ll have plenty of earthy delights!
Q & A
What's your artistic origin story?
My journey as an artist started at young age. When I was a kid I loved to color and draw, but I never considered art as a career choice. In my sophomore year of high school, I had an art teacher that really opened my mind to the possibilities of careers in art. With my teacher’s guidance, I decided to go to college to become a graphic designer. Upon graduating college, I landed a job for a local screen-printing company. My days were filled with creating digital commercial designs, but lacked the essence of creativity that had once motivated me through the years. I began to miss the feeling of drawing on paper but was too tired after work to create anything. After working for the company for 2 years I decided to leave my job and my hometown to relocate and find a position with more artistic freedom. I eventually got a job teaching at a community college and found time to create. Today I am a pursuing my passion by participating in shows, informing the youth, and conducting business under AngelaO Art.
What is your mission?
My mission as an artist is to help people find peace in their lives. I believe peace is an integral part of one’s happiness. I want others to not only feel at peace when looking at my art, I also want to guide them to a path toward contentment in their own lives. I want to give them tools they can use today to ease their mind and tackle any situation.
What inspires you to create?
All of my inspiration comes from my life experiences. Strong emotions, thoughts, challenges—anything that occurs in my life that I am having difficulty processing or explaining, I create art to express it. Once a piece is complete, I get a feeling of relief and contentment.
How do you #connectwithcommunity?
I connect with community by participating in art shows and events that welcome average people. Many shows I participate in are 1 day shows that are held in unconventional places (restaurants, outdoor venues, etc.) where people do not expect to find fine art. I love being a part of events like these because I can interact with the community. My art is for individuals who are taking things one day at a time, still figuring out life, and learning how to be happy.
Why is your art important?
My art is especially important today because I believe we need more positivity. In this age of the internet, we are connected like never before. Tasks are more convenient and we have access to an infinite amount of resources and information, but the internet also introduces new problems. We are constantly bombarded with information and much of it is negative or irrelevant. We also know a lot more about people’s daily lives due to social media. As a result our minds are not only focused on what is in front of us but also on what we learn online. We get an information overload. For our sanity, we must learn how to block out what is not important. My hope is that my art encourages people to focus on what matters.
What has your art practice taught you?
More than anything my art practice has taught me confidence and faith. I have learned to be confident in displaying and discussing my artwork. I have also learned to believe in my abilities and goals. My faith is what pushes me to keep trying every day.
How are you different from other artists?
I am different simply because I have a unique story to tell and my own journey to take. No one sees the world as I do and my vision is reflected in my artwork.
What advice do you have for someone beginning a similar path?
Have a strong support team and follow your heart. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. You are going to experience a lot of doubt and will need people who will help you get back on track. My family and my husband really helped me take the leap to becoming a full-time artist when I was feeling too afraid to try. Sometimes you need that push to get started. Also, always stay true to yourself. You may be tempted to create what others want you to create in hopes of making a sell, but follow your heart. Creating simply because you enjoy the process will make you much happier and will breathe life into your art.
Why do you love your favorite tool, medium, or technique?
My favorite medium is pencil—both graphite and colored pencil. I enjoy using pencil because it gives my artwork a human element. It is difficult to hide imperfections with pencil. If you look closely at my art you will see traces of lines that were not erased completely. I do not try to hide these lines because I want to show people a little bit of my process. I want viewers to know that it took a lot effort and many mistakes to create the image.
What's a little-known secret about the business aspect of being an artist?
Making art is only a small part of the business. Other tasks that require time and attention include finances, marketing, seeking events and shows, networking, art presentation, shipping, printing, and customer service.