Nina Theda Black

San Francisco, California, United States

Cut and Paste Collage

Artist's biography
I occasionally read bios of other artists and wish that I, too, were self-assured and good at self-promotion. Instead I'm quite awkward and anxious. I generally shy away from social situations and I always prefer to remain in the background, rather than anywhere near the center of attention.

I come from a family of artists, but I always saw myself as the exception - which was a theory validated, when I was 3 years old, by a teacher who mocked the way I was holding my paintbrush and announced to everyone within earshot, 'Well, you're certainly no artist, are you?' I believed her words for over 40 years, and never picked up another art supply until two years ago when I began creating collages on old album covers, using primarily photographs and tissue paper, but occasionally incorporating paints, flowers, sequins and a variety of recycled objects.

The response was immediate, positive, and frankly fairly overwhelming. And while the sole purpose of making art has always been strictly for fun, I have recently been given the unbelievably fortunate opportunity to show some of my work at a selection of local galleries, which has done wonders for my general well-being and has given me a sense of belief in myself, which has allowed me the freedom to explore and experiment - regardless of the outcome - and in doing so, I've found my voice.

Kurt Vonnegut once said, 'To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.' And so I do it.

I am inspired mostly by music, history and old photographs. My most meaningful and powerful pieces have come from those special times when I've stopped thinking about what I'm doing, and have just let things happen. These particular pieces have literally made themselves, and it honestly feels as though I was just there to render, or create, what was channeled to me - from who knows where.

My style could be considered old-school, as I prefer to work with my hands. Cutting, gluing and reconstructing... transforming images into something new—something all my own. Digital replications and computer enhancements hold no real appeal to me. I do what I do because I want to enter that zone, that extraordinary, otherworldly place, where what is imagined, and what actually is, come together in what can only be described as... truth.