TOI TANGATA ARTIST INTERVIEW WITH NERYS BAKER:
How long have you been making art for?
Ever since I can remember!
How/where did you start?
My first major platform of creating art was Graffiti. Sketching and doodling filled my school books, which lead to tagging any surface I owned, which lead to real life bombs using cans and cans of spray paint. To see my name all big and colorful on those walls was a total rush. I then moved to comic book characters. I was never good with a paintbrush so only ever drew or finger painted until one random day when I was 19, I picked up a paintbrush and haven't put it down since.
What are some of the key milestones/highlights on your journey as an artist so far?
Exhibitions, graduating, hearing peoples whakaaro on my art after putting it on display and seeing my work progress from early pieces.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced on your journey as an artist?
Feeling disassociated from my cultures but using art as a way of connecting with them. I still have a long way to go.
Why do you do what you do?
I've never thought of art as a voluntary action, I feel compelled to create. Sometimes I'll be playing around and suddenly there's a finished piece. It's as if I'm a vessel and the art just makes its self. It's a natural part of my everyday life and I can't fathom a world without it.
What messages do you hope to convey through your artworks?
Free your mind and your ass will follow.
What are some of your big goals and aspirations as an artist?
To be internationally recognized from my work. I want to use my skills to inspire and connect with others, whilst leading me to new places.
What are five random facts about you?
1. Growing up, I wanted to be a spy.
2. I love speaking and learning Russian.
3. I raised a colony of sea monkeys but was forced to pour them down the sink when we moved house.
4. I have represented Cymru in both Basketball & Volleyball.
5. In school French lessons I taught myself Italian as an act of rebellion and accidentally won an award for it.
What are your other passions in life and why?
Traveling is a big part of my life as I'm half Welsh, so I often travel to visit whānau and attend school. The music I have grown up to has shaped me as a person, I wouldn't be me without that influence and I have an amazing whānau to thank for that. I love playing sports and making exciting food. Learning about dinosaurs. Being a māmā and wife is such a fulfilling experience, I don't know what I'd do without their aroha on the daily. All these factors inspire me and fuel my creativity, I couldn't be more grateful.