Featured Artist Chanell Angeli draws from her heritage to create powerful collages that straddle the line between the physical and spiritual world.
A mixed-media artist of Caribbean descent, her work draws on the relationship between poetry and visual art to create three-dimensional pieces that channel the universe and touch the soul.
"My heritage comes through strongly in my work, as I often work with tropical floral and images of people who remind me of my childhood," she explains.
Uniquely, Chanell does not plan or sketch out her pieces beforehand.
"At first, it's all a puzzle in my mind and to convey the feeling and emotion is the ultimate goal," Angeli elaborates. "Whether I am pulling from the labyrinth of words in my mental cloud—or the jungle of flora and images in my studio—the selection is key. This is where and when I believe a spirit and I co-create."
Artwork Archive got the chance to chat with Chanell Angeli about her creative process, career, and some of her recent achievements. You can see more of her work on Discovery and learn more about her work below.
Chanell Angeli, 'Luna', 64 x 48 x 1.5 in, 2022
Has your work changed over time—do you find yourself understanding your art career through different periods of expression?
My work has evolved greatly over time through practice and discipline. I've also worked with different mediums such as photography and sculpting.
I’m still just in love with learning all the ways I can tell the story. I believe this constantly pushes myself, and by extension, my work over the line of comfortability.
Your work has strong themes of what you have called the 'Divine Feminine' and that reference the African diaspora using a collage of images—what is the story you are hoping to tell through your work?
The narrative around a majority of my work is that the veil between the physical world and the spiritual world is thin. We see it through forms of inspiration, but we mostly see it in women who are walking portals between worlds, bringing life earth-side.
This is divine. This is magic—and magic is only uncolonized science.
I wish to rebirth all knowledge from a time before colonization stole this away from all of us. My work is that wish in physical form.
Chanell Angeli, 'Carried II', 48 x 42 x 1 in, 2021
You have experienced a lot of recent success. First of all, congratulations! Second, what has it been like to display your work at Spectrum Miami and win prestigious awards such as MvVO ART/ad show?
Showing at Spectrum was an amazing experience, especially since I’m from Miami; it felt like a homecoming.
Even thinking of it now, I’m so proud of myself. I’ve come a long way and yet I’m still that little Jamaican girl who just wants to express herself.
MvVo was a game changer for my confidence. It’s no secret that to be a full-time artist is still very unconventional. While validation by way of awards was never needed, it definitely told all the little voices of doubt in my head to quiet down!
Do you have a favorite or most satisfying part of your process?
The most satisfying part of my process is when the work actualizes in the exact way I imagined it. Whew! The relief!
There are so many times when this is not the case—and it can get expensive! So yes, seeing a dream come to fruition on canvas just as real as I dreamt it is satisfying!
What has your artistic education consisted of (formal or not)? If you did receive a formal education like an MFA, did you find it necessary for your artistic growth, or did you find that elsewhere?
I’ve taken courses in sculpting and painting—all informal. I never saw it as necessary to go back to school.
I truly believe for any artist, ultimately, the work should speak for itself.
What routines—art-making and administrative—are essential to success in your art career?
This is an area Artwork Archive has helped with tremendously! I’m not great at budgeting or organization and, honestly, I lean solely on Artwork Archive and its tools to do this for me.
In my head, Artwork Archive is my virtual assistant best friend who works with me in the studio and just wants to see me win. I love that for me. I need that for me! I’ve yet to come across a better system for artists!
Why did you decide to use Artwork Archive to inventory/manage your artwork?
My system of inventory management prior to Artwork Archive was in-studio journaling.
If you can, just imagine me flipping through pages about my lunch meetings, sales, and the materials I needed to purchase just to find where I sold a painting two months ago!
While "romantic," this method was not sustainable for my growth. Artwork Archive came into my life like, “let’s get it together sis!” And sis did!
Chanell Angeli, in her studio. Photo courtesy of the artist
How do you use Artwork Archive on a day-to-day basis?
I check the Calls for Entry tab often. That’s actually how I found out about the MvVo show!
What advice would you give an emerging artist during this time?
Experiment! Be free! Be true. Meditate! Create through the blocks!
Your future self is already thanking you for it.
Chanell Angeli uses Artwork Archive to track her artwork, apply to artist opportunities, and present her artwork professionally.
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