[This weekend marks the 21st annual Art-A-Whirl, a three-day celebration where hundreds of artists working in northeast Minneapolis open up their studios for gallery shows, artist's talks, special sales, demonstrations, and more. In preparation for the huge festival, we'll be taking a moment to meet a handful of the talented artists, businesses, and creative project managers who make Northeast the artsy hub it is.]
Your name: Linnea Maas Doyle
Where we can find your this weekend:
I will be in Studio 221 at the awesome Casket Arts Building with my two studio mates, DJ Paul Knox and aerosol artist Ethan Arnold. I’ll be showing my newest poster work, originals, collaborations, and the hot off the press Robot Adventure coloring book. You’ll also be able to find my art on display at the NEMAA Silent Auction exhibit at the Northup King Building (1500 Jackson St. NE ). I will have a piece as part of a group show at spotArt gallery (1828 Marshall St. NE). In addition, I currently have a solo show at Showroom in Uptown (615 W Lake St.).
Years spent in your current space, and working in MN:
I moved into Studio 221 at Casket Arts in November, after living out of state the past two years. Before that, I lived and worked as an artist in Minneapolis for nearly 10 years, and had a studio at Casket for about four years. I have participated in AAW every year since my very first one at the Grainbelt Bottling House in 2005.
Briefly, tell us about what you do and why:
I am an illustrator and painter. I work with all kinds of traditional drawing media, paint mainly in acrylics, and lately I have been working digitally. I make art because I need to; otherwise, I might explode. I paint and draw from my imagination in order to give form to my inner feelings and connect with people who feel those emotions, too. I like the challenge of trying to express something intangible.
Name three things that are influencing your work right now:
Sharing my studio has been a huge influence since my return to Casket Arts. I have really good music all the time thanks to our resident DJ, which magically lets me shift into my creative mind space where I’m free to let the art flow. Plus, making paintings together with Ethan, and working so closely with another artist definitely gives me a new perspective on my own process.
I’m finding the digital world really engaging at the moment. I started drawing digitally last year, and am completely addicted and excited about the possibilities. I’m very excited about the rise of virtual reality and imagining what’s going to happen in that realm.
I’ve also been traveling quite a lot and had the opportunity to see a ton of Monet paintings in person. His skills were phenomenal — I was completely hypnotized by his colors and brushstrokes. It’s a great thing for me to think about how a painter can give joy across time and space like that. He was just one man sitting in his garden with his favorite plants, and yet I’m totally engaged by his interpretation of what he saw.
Name three things that inspired and/or motivated you as a budding creative type:
As a little tiny creative type, I loved reading beautifully illustrated books and being swept up in those worlds.
The satisfaction of making something from my imagination into something real by putting marks on paper.
Being able to see people understand the marks I made in an intuitive and real way - it was a way to share things I had no words to explain, like a special sort of communication.
What was your last big project?
I just finished drawing the last pages for my first coloring book! I’ve been working on it for nearly a year. It’s called Robot Adventure, and is 52 pages of ready-to-color imaginary robot scenes, from quite simple to crazily detailed images. For this book, I used many of my previous paintings as inspiration, and redrew them to turn them into color book worthy line art. It’s put together by local company Kaleidoscopia Coloring Books.
What do you have going on now or coming up in the near future that should be on our radar?
I mentioned I am working on a collaborative series, which is for a joint exhibit at Ambiente Gallerie (505 First Ave. NE). The show opens late June and will run for two months. Ethan and I are creating together on large-scale canvases, mashing up our imagery and styles in ways that surprise us both — it’s going to be a really fun body of work.
Are you doing anything special for Art-A-Whirl?
I’m having a coloring party in my studio! I find it so absolutely fascinating to see which colors people choose to fill into my robot drawings that I want everyone to come hang out in my studio and color. I am providing free pages from my book for people to get creative with. I have 300 markers for kids of all ages to color with while in my studio, funded by a grant from NEMAA. I can’t wait to share!
How has the Minnesota scene changed since you began working here?
Northeast has really started shifting from a slightly unknown neighborhood into a real destination, thanks to the incredible artists who live and work in the area. It’s interesting to see the influx of commerce, new bars and breweries, and the focus on local.
What is your favorite place to hang in northeast Minneapolis, and why?
Casket Arts, of course! I’m there all the time, and I get a little hermit-like in the studio. When I do get out, I love the variety of shops up Central Avenue, or going to visit other art studios and openings as much as possible.