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An interview with local artisan Aniko Doman

Zip Code Magazine article - Local Artisan Aniko Doman

“I am a muralist, fine artist and independent graphic designer who maintains an active interest in visual communication and giving meaning to the message, no matter what medium I’m working in. Using paintbrushes, palette knives and the computer, I create both studio art and commercial murals at other people’s homes and businesses, along with public murals in collaboration with community volunteers. The themes I explore in my work are the temporary, surreal nature of memory, consciousness, and the connection of humans to each other and nature.”

THERE’S A SPECIAL SATISFACTION THAT COMES from a job well done. For an artist, this means evoking an emotional response; to create a visual awakening that touches the soul, provokes inner thought and blankets consciousness with an expressive arousal that lingers. Muralist, painter and teacher Aniko Doman accomplishes this goal in very diverse ways. From a personal standpoint, large murals, and the challenges they present, fulfill her thirst for creation, allowing for interpretation from a varied crowd of onlookers and passersby. Her commercial work delights those wanting to create a specific look, while, probably most inspiring, her ability to teach art in a group setting allows the novice the joy of producing their own special masterpiece. This is what art is about. We spoke with Aniko about her career, her varied styles and why sharing her passion and skills with others makes her a better artist.

You are a career artist. How did you get started?

I started drawing, painting and designing at age 10 and have not stopped since. My career started at age 15 designing stage scenery and puppets for a professional children’s theater in Hungary. After moving to the United States, I earned an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Art and, later in life, a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art. My interest spans many genres of the visual arts and design, including graphic design and illustration, painting and drawing, public art, architecture, industrial and theater design, and photography.

What drives your passion and desire to paint and create?

I am fascinated by composition in anything and everything visual. I paint and design because of this fascination and joy of visualizing and creating synergy between the parts—the shapes, the lines, the colors, the quantities and qualities of materials and the feelings I work with. The more ‘beings’ and substance I can pull into my art, the more complex and passionate the synergy I can create. The approach I take in creating art is collecting its elements, then changing their individual action, place, time and relationship to the other elements. When my work is going well, I am filled with a desire to step back, look at the composition from a relative distance and find a collective posture. Perhaps it is this very process why painting large scale is my calling and a very rewarding experience for me.

What types of large scale painting do you do and how do they differ creatively?

I paint murals and decorative art on both exterior and interior surfaces, as well as portable murals on canvas and polyester fabric. I service both residential and commercial clients and have led community and group art projects for over 10 years, designing and producing several public school murals in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City in collaboration with United Way. I gravitate toward the modern, graphic art and abstract styles, but equally enjoy painting and creating decorative and faux finishes, scenic, wildlife and children’s art, among many others. My public mural composition is similar, but more sensitive to and considerate of its public audience. Decisions are rooted in my understanding that accessibility to the art creates a large viewing population which is often more diverse than that which frequents museums and galleries. Considering the added elements I cannot control gives the creative process a heightened challenge and an added thrill. The building surface, environment, the heterogeneous audience all become additional pieces in the story I am telling.

Very different from your commercial work, you teach art in a casual setting. How has that influenced your own work?

I very much enjoy instructing acrylic painting classes at Pinot’s Palette, as I love working with people of all ages. I believe that creating art is essential to learning, growing and our overall mental well being. Over the years I’ve also learned that participating in producing art in a group setting is a very rewarding experience for the participants, regardless of their age and skill sets. For me, though, instruction has helped me be a bit more patient with

myself. It also propels me to keep learning new things, trying different techniques and products, and last but not least, trying to see art as others might see it. I also like hearing what others think, feel and ‘get’ out of a particular piece of art, what they like and dislike about it, and the meaning it holds to them.

Any final words on your art?

My work and style is an abstract graphic take on life. I have found a connection between composition design and painting. I know a piece is done and ‘whole’ when it starts working—when it stands unapologetically to delight, enlighten and entertain. ◆

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