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Meet The Artist: Deja Nunez

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Deja Nunez, I was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA. I moved to Chicago when I was 19 which was an amazing experience, I received a BA in Art and Design from Columbia College Chicago. I love to eat, but I hate cooking, I’m obsessed with dragqueens, I’m interested in what’s going on in people’s heads. I am a natural redhead, people often say I look 10 years younger than I actually am, but that I should take it as a compliment. I am very sarcastic with a quite twisted sense of humor. I love animals, and I think cats are aliens.

How would you describe your style?

Loose, gestural, crafty, colorful, a lot of portraiture.

What mediums do you work in?

Acrylic, ink, wood, metal.

What is your favorite medium?

Ink.

How long have you been making art?

Since I was a small child.

What got you started?

My mom always had art supplies around, and being the introvert I am, I would stay in and paint/draw all day.

What are your favorites that you have done?

A portrait of Saul Williams and portrait of Bernie Sanders, and the purple Woodengirl.

What are you working on?

More Woodengirls, as well as my dream portraits.

What would be your dream project?

A huge city mural.

Any advice or lessons you’ve learned?

Continue to create, even when you think it sucks, don’t be afraid to fill sketchbooks with bad drawings because that helps you grow, and you will eventually see the improvement.

Who or what inspires you?

Other artists inspire me, regular people achieving what they set out to do, and working hard for what they want are really inspiring.

Who are your favorite artists?

Ralph Steadman, Robert Crumb, Alex pardee, Octoplum…

Any other skills?

I am a welder, woodworker, crafter, pizza expert.

Why do you think art is important?

I think it can help you see into a person’s thoughts, and getting in peoples heads and understanding them is interesting to me. On the other hand I think art can bring people together, it can create a discussion on things that it might be hard to say with words, but people can better understand visually.

Why do you think strengthening the art community is important?

I think strengthening the community is important because it gives people something fun to do, it can bring different people with similar interests together that can help each other learn and grow and have good times.

How has your practice changed over time?

Art started as something I would do to pass time in long car rides and during lectures, and turned into something I would do to change my world and what I would look at on a day to day basis, I would paint all my walls so they wouldn’t be bland and white, I would create things to keep around me to make me happy, and create things to make other people happy. Now I create art for fun, but also to make a living.

What meaning do you like to convey with your work?

I just want to make cool stuff that makes people feel something, anything.

What is the best advice you’ve received?

Nobody ever knows what they’re doing, ever..so just do it till you figure it out.

What are your favorite movies?

Zoolander, Mr. nobody, Across the universe, Juno…

What are your favorite TV shows?

Rick & Morty, It’s always sunny in Philadelphia, Rupaul’s Dragrace, Adventure Time.

What is your favorite band?

Explosions in the sky, blink 182, I’ve been really into Code Orange, and The Frights lately.

What creative rituals do you have?

Sleeping, eating, procrastinating, browsing the internet, and then creating.

If you were a gallon of milk what percentage of fat would you be?

Dr. Pepper.

What is your least favorite hot pocket?

Not pizza.

If you were a pop-tart, who would you take to prom and how?

I would take Zoey Deschanel, I think she’d be into it.

What DO you do?

Sleep, A LOT.

If life weren’t like a box of chocolate, what would it be like and why?

Probably a box of black licorice because it sucks and everyone hates it, even the people who pretend they don’t. Haha.

How can people follow your work?

On instagram @dejadeja

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