In the Studio with Sya Warfield
What does a day in your life look like?
A typical day has parts of art production, working through ideas, juggling to complete projects along with looking ahead to what’s next. On average, I spend about 2 hours on computer tasks and roughly 4 hours a day in my studio producing art.
In a nutshell, I sleep, breathe and eat art. I treasure and guard my relationship to my creative practice voraciously.
My relationship to work and the engagement is most important. I’m excited on a daily basis and that’s critical to my momentum.
What would life be like without art?
Without it, things would be much less interesting. Making art connects me to who I am and what I care about.
What is the hardest part of creating your art?
My studio is located in my home so the isolation factor can be challenging. Reaching out and getting feedback or tossing ideas around with other artists keeps me plugged in and grounded at the same time.
What inspires you?
My primary inspiration is curiosity. I really want to know what something will be like if I make it. The most satisfying aspect of being an artist, for me, is to spend most of my time working out ideas.
Creating my life day by day inspires me as do vivid sunsets or sunrises, colors, textures and my fascination with beauty, specifically feminine beauty.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Follow your inner voice. It will guide you as a liberating force.
Who would you most like to collaborate with? Why?
I’m inspired by the interactive exhibits Swoon creates. She taps into creative and conceptual resources to emphasize social problems. Her work has an emotional intimacy that pulls me in. She is in tune with her own ancestral trauma and has a profound awareness of her surroundings. I have a deep respect for that. While in Buffalo, NY during 2020 I saw her exhibit, Seven Contemplations at Albright-Knox Northland. It was an open and meditative environment featuring a number of her large-scale sculptures. I went with my mother. I don’t think my mom had seen anything like it. It opened her eyes in a new way. It was a powerful experience to share with her. I first saw Swoon’s wheatpastes while living in San Francisco around 2006. Her deeply empathetic portraits along with her social projects create communal healing and monumental change. My vision aligns with that as well. It’s important for me to affect the world in a positive way.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
The best answers often come from unexpected places.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
It feels like a spiritual connection larger than myself. My process allows me to reconnect with my spiritual essence, if that makes sense. It’s an important aspect of who I am, how I see things, and how I believe we all are interconnected with things larger than ourselves. When I do that, it’s easier for me to get away from the egocentric way of creating and allow myself to be a part of something much larger.
If you had the chance to live during a different artistic movement other than now, which one would you choose? and why?
There are alot of common threads that exist between my journey and the spirit of pop art. It feels familiar and easy to relate to.
How has personal experience influenced your creativity?
Attending exhibits, performances, and supporting artist friends all influence my creativity. Being an audience member as well as participating as a creative keeps me informed about what is going on. I’m incredibly motivated, somewhat organized, and mostly disciplined which drives me to have a seriousness of purpose which keeps me moving forward. I spend hours researching artists, project spaces, reading about exhibitions as a way to stay informed.
What do you wish to accomplish with your art?
Reaching outside my studio to extend creative energies into my community feels important to my mission. My hope is to inject creative culture into the cracks of society to redefine and revitalize challenging boundaries that exist today. This is why I love street art so much. It’s quite accessible and can send a powerful message.
What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out in your field?
You are the steward of your own potential. Tune into yourself and harness the full power of your mind.
How do you make the leap from an idea in your head to the action you produce?
Good starting points are creating emotional and physical space to understand details of your process along with embracing good habits of self care. When I deal with insecurities about my process I focus on research and asking questions for clarity. This way I keep moving and don’t get stuck. There are so many resources to tap into.