This Friday the 13th, I am starting a new weekly feature. Every Friday I am introducing a new, young, lady artist/illustrator of immense talent. The world of visual arts is still a difficult place for women to get the recognition they deserve, so keep an eye on our Friday gals!
With no further ado . . . Florence Gidez!
Florence answered a few questions for BUST
What is you favorite place in NYC to find inspiration?This past year I worked on a community garden maintenance crew, and I was very inspired by the gardens. I saw a pineapple growing in the Bronx, figs in Brooklyn and cherries in Queens, red okra in INwood . . . The parks are also amazing. You can actually go hiking in Staten Island, or get lost in the forest in Queens.
I was also really inspired by the industrial decay of Brooklyn when I moved to New York. It sort of made me feel at home because I'm from New England where we have lots of decaying mill towns, decaying agricultural buildings and tools and lots of backyard dead car and farm machinery displays.
What is the best/worst advice you ever got from your mom?
In high school I was always tragically in love with boys who didn't like me and/or already had girlfriends. My mom wisely counseled me about the girlfriend problem saying: 'things change, people die.' Luckily that didn't actually happen to any of them. She'll be embarrassed when she reads this but I think it's funny.
What is your favorite petting zoo animal?
I really really wish that an otter was a petting zoo animal. Or if I was in the magic school bus I would go swim with them.
What is your ideal breakfast?
Breakfast is my favorite meal! Thick cut bacon, really hearty toast, and coffee, coffee, coffee!
What are your favorite materials to work with?
I have been using sculpey since I was 5 or 6 and I still love it though I wish my design school education had given me some guidance on alternate sculptural materials. I also made my first linoleum prints when I was 9 and I remember going crazy! I still love making prints, I guess they are the ideal art form for creative kids with divorced parents.
What artists/musicians/writers influence your work?
I want to copy everything from Henry Darger...the colors, the plants, landscapes, little girl characters, the scale changes. It is so fun to look at. Also when I first saw Ron Mueck's sculptures it really made me want to make things, though I'm not sure I'd say he informs the stuff I make. The Dark Chrystal might be my favorite ever 'work of art.'
Whose opinion influences you the most?
Both my parents...though I have learned that they are not always right.
What would you be if you weren't an artist?
A farmer or a shepherd. Which I might still be to the chagrin of my dad who is a farmer.
If you could only draw one thing thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Places where little people could live.
To learn more about Flo, see more of her work or buy awesome hand-printed merchandise, visit her website .