Interview between Uumati and teacher.

Where are you from?

I am from Inuvik, N.W.T, which is 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. It is a small town, with fewer than 5000 people. I moved around a lot, but lived there until I was about 7. Then I moved to Vancouver, then Victoria. I have now been in Victoria for 7 years. I have grown up in Indigenous communities, and I feel they are a part of my foundation.

Why do you make art?

I make art because I feel like it is the best thing I can do. It is the best of my abilities. I draw specific subject matter and have a style that I stick to. If you look at my art, it is a lot of women and has details to create interest that go into the picture. For example, in my most recent piece there is a person with a lavish fur coat and details such as bondage, satin sheets, etc.

Can you describe your process? What is it like for you to make something?

I recreate everything. It is rarely my idea, instead it is usually fragments of others ideas. I bring these ideas together and try to make something decent. In my work I aim for a balanced composition, interesting colour palette and an element of mystery.

What are some other things that inspire you?

Right now I really like Gustav Klimt and art nouveau, But I am not restricted by just one artist or style of art, In am inspired by painters, makeup artists, photographers etc.. I am also drawn to naturally occurring things such as interactions between people, nature, our experiences, beautiful details.

Is there anything that you would like people looking at your art to know about you or what they are looking at?

I don’t want to overshare, but I want people to know that I only draw things that I can relate to. The reason I do that is that I want to represent myself in my own work because I never see myself represented in anything else. It has to do with a feeling of not fitting in or feeling invisible and wanting to create a safe space for myself and others like me.