We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Tremain and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vanessa, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I have always been a person who likes to take risks. When I was little I grew up surrounded by people who loved me but also people who were dying while I was very young. That made me have a deep fear of death but over time the fear faded and became a deep desire to experience life, that led me to take more risks and open myself to new people, places and new versions of myself. Coming to NY a year ago was a major risk for me; I did not have the language, money, a job or family here, like many people who come to this city. I came thinking that putting myself in a situation that would challenge me strongly was the best way to know my potential and find a more genuine version of myself, as if that was something that was outside of me; However, that change of circumstances led me to find art in myself and it has been art that has led me to understand more deeply things about myself and how I interpret the world. It is natural that when you think about taking a risk many questions arise and most of the answers are that things can go wrong, and of course there are many things that can go wrong but there are some things that you can be in control of and that is to have a conscious response to these situations, make them part of your learning process and continue with a little more wisdom. It is part of life to receive blows and I consider that there is no way to escape from that, but if you think about all the moments that you have received those blows you will find that they are the moments that transform you. Taking risks makes me feel more connected to life, it allows me to dream and believe in myself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think the most interesting thing about this path for me has been to understand that what I do is actually a collective construction and is a reflection of all the people I have met, myself and those I try to imagine. How we are connected not only by positive experiences, but also by pain, fear, our own judgments about others and ourselves, how that same mechanism in the end also connects us and makes us more similar than we imagine. My illustrations began to appear at a time when I was trying to draw in the most intuitive way possible; when I met that form of my expression I felt uncomfortable and challenged because I did not understand where all these images came from, that made me seek a greater understanding about my emotions and how they connected with my past and with those I knew and their stories, my own fears, my joy, my love and my pain. When a person sees my drawings they have a place of play where they find their own answers, their own worlds and their own characters. It is a personal space and I think that makes people feel that the drawing belongs to them and that is because I draw from what others give me and for others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I think my favorite place is the lake in Potsdam when I lived in Germany. Go with friends or on your own, bring some food, sleep among the trees by the lake and swim naked. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mother has been a person who has always taught me to dream and believe in myself. My family with its peculiarities helped me to see the world in a different way and to be very empathetic, for that reason I am a very open person to meet new people and understand their realities, that has helped me to have a better understanding of how we connect, , which is exactly the subject of my work today. I have to say that I am a very lucky person and throughout my life there have been many people who believe in me and my work.
The pictures are my property