Painter and creative producer Isla Moon is one of my favorite folks around town. We met on a photoshoot a few years ago, and I’m thrilled to finally be able to feature her and her enigmatic and colorful art. I tend to gravitate towards colorful, simple, and abstract art and Moon’s work checks all of my favorite boxes. Of course art, is hard to fathom when it’s in the form of 1’s and 0’s here on the web, but it’s safe to say that her artwork shimmers and gleams with spirit and impasto. Her work certainly reflects her aura and her approach to life, especially in intensity and texture. Here’s her more in depth bio —
“A Louisiana native, Moon has deep southern roots. Her art is inspired by the spiritual world she through which she sees all reality. Her various travels throughout europe, the UK and the hawaiian Islands have a huge hand in the stories she tells with paint. an oil painter by trade, she soon discovered the organic elegance of watercolor while working in her studio in ireland. She now tends to marry the two mediums into timeless works that hold bold presence while still providing a delicate and sensitive air about them. her subtle symbolism and story telling pieces are created with unique perspective and bottomless possibilities.”
I recently spent some time shooting around the Lower Garden District and finished up with some Q&A. Below you’ll see more images from our shoot and the Q&A. Enjoy.
1.) How has New Orleans inspired your work? — New Orleans is such a colorful city, from the people, to the houses. Everyone does exactly what makes them happy, wears exactly what makes them happy. You are welcome to be your authentic unique self here, and that exactly what helps you to fit in as a part of this whole city. New Orleans has inspired me to become an artist, to be the artist that I am because so many amazing people here do just that. They be. And by being, they are art itself. The freedom of expression in this city has certainly raised me.
2.) How did you get started as an artist, and how has your work evolved over time? — I have been ‘coloring’ since I was a child. Art has been the most constant, if not the only constant, joy in my life. I’ve always needed it and I consider myself so blessed to be able to express myself in the ways that I do. I have taken art classes my entire life and actually earned my college degree in Painting and Drawing. I believe that everything I create is a self-portrait in some way. I have made large scale oil portraits, mythological figures, always wanting to tell a story to the viewer. Recently, after going through a deep personal struggle, my work began to emerge as abstract. Over the past few years my work has evolved into abstract places and are drawn from a more intuitive place within me, I’ve let go of the technical training that I feel confined my right brain a bit when creating. I used to spend months on a painting, making everything perfect and re-working it. Now I feel that I trust myself so much more, i’ve really grown to love my work, which is new for me. They used to be pieces of my diary just open for the world to see, now with the abstract, you have to work a little harder to figure out what is going on up here (in my head).
3.) Tell us about your latest work shown in the photos. — My latest series is called ‘Soulscape’. I am truly in love with this series, it came through me completely unexpected. I went to find some soul healing in Hawaii for awhile and when I returned, this is what came of the truths i found there. I’ve combined my love for color, my knowledge of the emotional body, color therapy, and intuition to create these works. Colors help us to feel different emotions, they stir up memories, and vibrate at different frequencies that can bring healing to the individual. A ‘Soulscape’ is a painting of someone’s soul, imagine if I could take a walk around inside your soul, what colors would be there and where and why. I like to talk to someone, figure out who they are and what they are going through and together create a perfect blend of color for their home to bring the specific types of healing that they may need, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
4.) What’s you favorite New Orleans dish? — My favorite New Orleans dish my grandmother Verna Landrieu’s crawfish étouffée and stuffed artichokes and of course and chocolate freeze from Camilla Grill.
5.) What are you listening to at the moment? — At the moment, my sister Valley Rich is producing an album, it is not released yet but it is my favorite thing to listen to. Very underground still. Other than that, recently I have been loving Nahko and Medicine for the People, Rhye, and Sigur Ros.