What Can We Learn from a Paint Love Artist?: Interview with Rebecca Carmen

I had the opportunity to interview Paint Love artist Rebecca Carmen. We sat at a picnic table outside on a warm Georgia evening, flies buzzing about as we chatted. Rebecca wore adorable, brightly-colored clothing as she enthusiastically shared her passion for art, specifically surface pattern design.

As we chatted, I noticed several themes to be learned about art from her descriptions of her work and her aspirations regarding her work with Paint Love.

You can teach yourself

Rebecca taught herself to use her mediums, including Photoshop and Illustrator, and gave a lot of perspective on tools to incorporate for an independent education. Rebecca said she "needs to learn more every day" and noted several resources that have been valuable in helping her do so. She recommends Skillshare classes and Creativebug classes, but also named Youtube as a great resource for lessons. Rebecca noted that finding an individual who can mentor you and help guide your learning process can also be greatly beneficial. Rebecca also suggests looking through books by old designers for knowledge and inspiration.


It's okay to mess up

When asked why she works with Paint Love and what she hopes to do there, Rebecca explained that she loves teaching art history, but additionally she wants to teach kids the freedom to explore ideas and do what they want on a canvas. She hopes to help them learn that it is okay to make mistakes, in fact that often helps one learn what they do and do not like. She wants to give kids an opportunity to have fun with art, and mess around. Furthermore, Rebecca hopes to expose children to surface pattern design, as she has found that they love the puzzle of making the pattern fit, a process she described as similar to "Sudoku with shapes and colors." 

Inspiration can be found anywhere

When I asked what inspires Rebecca's work, her initial response was: everything. She went on to narrow that down to experiences, people, architecture, nature, photos, and feelings to convey, but listening to the variety of sources of inspiration for her works exemplified that her initial answer was pretty accurate. Rebecca described floor tiles, family members, and flowers that have all influenced her work. She told me how a research project following 12 cultural patterns in high school turned into 12 print designs. Any and every experience can inspire or be made into artwork.

Art is a powerful tool

Rebecca said she "says her mind on and off canvas." Art is an incredible tool to express yourself, a message, or your feelings, as Rebecca demonstrates. But in addition to sharing her bubbly, colorful perspective, Rebecca explained how art can change her outlook. "Life is way too serious," according to Rebecca, so she tries not to design unhappy or 'bad' things. She explained that, while she can do serious, those works usually feel that they are clearly for other people, not for herself. When Rebecca faces hard times, she said that instead of making art that reflects negativity, she creates her own optimism through her art to inspire herself and others. Rebecca illustrates how art can be used to share your feelings, or change them, two of the reasons art is such a powerful tool, and it is used by Paint Love. 


Rebecca will be giving away a colorful 5" x 7" quote print. All you have to do is follow Paint Love and Rebecca on Instagram and answer the question on Paint Love's Instagram giveaway picture in the comments. One winner will be chosen by Monday, July 27th, 2015. Good luck to those who participate!

Check out Rebecca's work

Be sure to browse her new phone cases for sale on her website!

Coming Soon... Look out for Rebecca's poster designs for the upcoming Maker Faire Atlanta, and her booth at the faire!


Want to share art with kids like Rebecca does? Consider becoming a Paint Love artist! Find out more information and sign up here.