Alien Angel ⚡️ Black Suede Speaks With Seattle Artist ISTARA FREEDOM⚡️
Istara Freedom is a Seattle-based fine artist, expressing erotic themes in paint, collage, sculpture, tattoo, dance, music and performance art. Truly gifted, she also lends her talents to growing cannabis plants for medical marijuana patients, as she celebrates nature and - all things Green. Since the early 90's, Istara's work has been featured in fine art galleries and shows throughout California, with further ties to the East Coast. Currently, her art is for sale at the Jadenow gallery in Santa Barbara. Otherwise, her contact information is below.
What I love about you as an artist: Your creations are diverse in medium, size and scope. You celebrate the sexual power of women with a lot of your imagery. You also celebrate nature and explore the supernatural. I find your work to be striking and provocative. You are quite simply, one of the most amazingly gifted human beings I know. May our exchange be mutually equitable in every way!
- Can you talk about your different mediums?
“First of all, I’d like to say thank you so much for that wonderful introduction! Yes, I am a diverse artist indeed, and recently I’ve been thinking of my diversity as more of a positive aspect than I used to. As a fine artist I work in stone (and sometimes metal) sculpture, and collage. I have been a dancer, a member of an experimental theatre company, and for a long time worked as a scenic/set painter for theater and film. More recently I have been playing with songwriting, singing and performance art. Yes, I have been a tattoo artist, however it is the human exchange aspect of tattooing more than the actual tattooing as an art medium that I like. Tattoos are definitely a part of my own self-expression so at some point I picked up at tattoo machine after an apprenticeship in Hawaii where I learned the basics.”
- Wow. Poetry, tattoos and theater set design too. Which came first and how did you end up expanding into the other multitudes of expressions?
“Before any other outlet, I wrote! I love words, and language. Poetry…everything is poetry and it is all a dance. A dance of life, and of love. Because I am a very heady person—one that also has a lot of physical energy. I am a world of opposites unto myself. I attempt to allow the differences inside of myself instead of forcing a choice. Poetry was an easy medium to enter into as a very young person, and could be easily hidden from others as my early environment was quite contrary to self-expression and creative exploration. Poetry inspired me to dance. I took dance classes to free my body and relieve some pressure in my head. I loved to draw the figure and was learning massage therapy, and when I took a sculpture class I found my hands knew how to shape things very naturally. I now write a blog, and have addressed and shared many of my mediums of expression there.”
- What drives or/ inspires or/ motivates the various aspects of your creativity? More simply: What is it that makes you pick up or call upon different art forms?
“When I create, I learn. I release. I grow. I find comfort or solace or I have a reflection of a previously unseen part of myself to get to know. Within the play of contrasts of being a very mental person and a very sensual person, I seek balance. I will work with a medium that is suitable to my mood instead of going insane or becoming demobilized. If there is part of me that wants to express something, if I am not sure what it is, I will play with a form I am drawn to, or that is simply convenient to my circumstances. Sculpting and dancing help to relieve the intense physical energy I can carry, and other mediums are for when I have less physical energy. The creative wellspring is truly boundless!”
- Are you able to talk about your “green thumb” or growing? Does herb play a role in directing your energy to contemplative, creative or productive places?
“I find plants are so healing! Getting my hands into soil, cultivation, and relationship to the plant kingdom is really beneficial. I grow flowers every year. The colors and personality of the flowers are wonderful and give me so much inspiration. Life and light and joy. As I am a proud resident of our progressive Pacific Northwestern state, Washington, I sometimes have a small garden of cannabis as I am a provider for a few persons that have battled or are battling life threatening diseases, and have been given medical prescriptions to use the plant medicine. Also, I will tell you straight up that marijuana probably saved my life, and as I result I have a loving relationship to the plant.
It is so important to remember that plants are beings. They have an essence and presence, and exchange with other beings just like any being! That exchange is a relationship and as such it can be beneficent and healing, neutral or toxic. That said, I communicate with my plants and ask the higher power of the being to be the most healing being or agent that it can for the patients that it serves, and offer to do the best that I can to care for it. And absolutely, one aspect of my personal exchange with the plant is that it assists me in filtering out the peripheral noise and energies that are distracting to my creative attention.”
- Is it safe to point out that some of your work is erotic? If so, talk a bit about whether this is intentional, incidental or fundamental to who you are? Do you consider yourself a sexual person?
“I am aware that some of my work is provocative, and though I have rarely set out to generate ‘erotic’ art, if that is what is received from my art, I would say it is both incidental and fundamental to who I am. There is intentionality in that I am a sex positive person, as a result of my healing journey. Sexual healing is essential to eradicating the suffering of humanity. I personally witnessed so much shame, repression and abuse around what internally felt to be such a natural function. The level of dysfunction and oppression for an energy that is truly our creative force has stunted a creative renaissance for too long. I think I had to be the first person in my family to venture to heal generations of unconscious and unconscionable sexuality.
Sexuality in relationship is an exchange, and just like the exchange of energy that happens with the plant beings, it can be healing or toxic. Loving, conscious sexuality that is free from shame and disease is a great healing force. I also have published a blog on this topic, called ‘the artist on sex the shadow and spirit’. Interestingly enough, the readers commented that they were hoping for a more ‘juicy’ –perhaps erotic– piece of writing. I love the topic. Maybe I will get some responses to this interview that will inspire me, or in the future I will venture there, or we will have another interview. There is an interesting dance that happens around sharing, feeling vulnerable about sharing, and wondering what is too much sharing, haha…I like knowing what people are interested in. I am happy that you are writing and sharing a blog with sex as a topic. Less repression, more expression!”
- I found your post about transgender individuals at https://istarafreedom.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/the-rainbow-and-beyond-why-transgender- persons-are-important-to-human-evolution/ to be extremely insightful. Are able to talk about why you, not only accept, but also celebrate transgender people?
“Sure! Quite simply, transgender people are for me a great sign that the balance between the genders is shifting to one of greater equanimity, humanity is evolving from very rigid and even abusive images and forms of gendered expression to more genuinely personal being, and that is a far more alive, safe and interesting world to be in.”
- If there is anything else you’d like to share or mention about sex or weed, we’re all eyes and ears.
“Yes, please make love or art instead of disease and war. Love yourself. Love others. Be excited about something, and be okay with nothing. Ask questions, and be willing to look at the dark, deep self and unconscious desires, so that you may act conscionably. Look at yourself and others in the light, and see that we are all like plant beings, not so much right or wrong, but growing, and serving, and ask for the highest good of all in every exchange and with every being. Again, less repression, more expression!”
Thank you for giving the world this opportunity to connect with you.
Love and Lifetimes,
~ ♠️Black Suede
Contact Istara: artistara.com
Check out her blog: istarafreedom.wordpress.com
©2015 Black Suede. Featured photo of Istara by Halcyon Sunrise. All other image copyrights are property of Istara Freedom.