interview by: @sydneyia
art and imagery by: @quantumcasual
celene a., aka quantum casual, finds catharsis in creation. throughout our conversation, she comes off as quirky - jovial even - as we dive into her inspirations, artistic approach, and thoughts on life and death. her illustrations link comedy and tragedy seamlessly, acknowledging the coexistence of light and dark. her warm personality serves as a beacon shining through the topics of our conversation. of all the adjectives we could use to describe quantum casual and her carefully drawn pieces, talented is the most appropriate.
i love finding ways to engage people. and i think art is the easiest way to do that for me. that mass connection is really important to me because i think that in the grander scheme of things, we're all way more intertwined than what we might feel.
alright, tell me your story!
i’m from douglas, arizona originally, but i'm in tucson now. my immediate family constantly exposed me to art, it was just something that was a part of my life. i’ve been making stuff since i was young. all kids doodle and draw with their crayons and whatnot, but in middle school i first consciously started applying myself to make art. i took art as an elective and although i got average grades, it was a great experience because i was able to express myself and learn how to use creative tools to interpret what was going on in my mind and translate that to canvas. that's when i really first started thinking, “okay, this is what i wanna do.”
there was a coffee shop in my hometown called galianos and they were pretty passionate about the arts and gave me the opportunity to showcase my work there when i was young. that really helped shape my understanding of what it’s like to share and express what i create in a way that made sense and in a way that was easy to translate to people. it helped me open up my art, instead of it just being something that was kept in my mind or in my journals.
i would say that my growth is inspired by both inspiration from my family and my sense of community at large.
where did your name, quantum casual come from?
the name quantum casual comes from the catharsis i experience when i create. i wanted something that would describe my relationship with art. i like to explore the place where uncertainty and happenstance meet. i have a feeling i want to convey on canvas but i’m not always sure what that looks like when i start. but then it just sort of makes sense as i go along, especially when i approach it with a relaxed and “casual” state of mind. i can compare that feeling to the glimpses of spirituality i get when i learn more about the universe (quantum mechanics is cool.) when i make art, i feel like i’ve released or gained something.
how did you cultivate your style?
that's a good question. i don't know that i've ever really put it down to one moment or type. someone that i met on primitives, design_de_luca, described it as, “minimal surrealist.” i never thought of it that way, but i feel like that perfectly describes it. i also love pop art, and that helps shape my style too. i like being able to use a well crafted skill to make something look somewhat relatable to the real world.
what is your favorite subject to illustrate?
it depends. looking back, and i'm not conscious of it, but women and femininity are usually themes i come back to. it's because i resonate with that. in my art i typically portray a mirror of what's going on inside of me.
i also would say death. not to sound cliche but it's nice to have a catharsis of adding comedy to tragedy. the weird and traumatic essence of death and what someone may experience because of it is something i like to explore in my work.
what does your creative process look like?
so it starts with time. i would say i've got a lot of things going on and art is the way that i interpret my experiences and whatnot. so first i have to have the time to just sit down and doodle. sometimes it'll just come to me as a thought. for example, i think it would be really cool to draw the skeleton of a fish. or if i see a film or read a book that will incite an idea, and i'll just sit down and start drawing.
i'm the type of artist who needs to complete a piece right then and there. i have a hard time prolonging something. so i have to have the time to just sit by myself and dedicate my time to that one thing. also, just find different things that are going to inspire me. i always try to make sure i keep up with my reading, make sure i keep up with what's the latest film coming out or current events, and just get inspired by that.
do you source inspiration from anything on a grander scale, or would you say that it is more current events and what is timely?
all things that are relevant in this current space and time, whatever's going on right now.
what's your favorite part of making your art?
there's so many. i love finding ways to engage people. and i think art is the easiest way to do that for me. that mass connection is really important to me because i think that in the grander scheme of things, we're all way more intertwined than what we might feel.
just the fact that i can help connect people by showing them something i made and then have discussions about it with each other or with me is just awesome. it's just another way to to bring people together.
is there something that you hope that people feel or see in your art in particular when you're making it?
i would hope it makes them want to do something themselves. for example, like i made a post the other day featuring a horror film collage that i did. i would hope that it would incite viewers to want to watch their favorite horror film again.
or if i post something that's a bit more thought provoking. maybe it'll help incite conversation for them later that day with a friend. i just hope my work gives people a piece of something to use to engage with the immediate environment or the people surrounding them.
what would you say to someone who's nervous to share work that they make?
i would tell them to really think about the fact that we all die at some point. why not just do it like it doesn't make sense to have so much energy and focus and attention in procrastinating because of your anxiety. instead, why can't we alchemize that and put it into something that makes us feel good? and i think that as long as people chase what feels good, it's always going to result in something great at the end of it!
have you had any experience in the web3 space prior and how do you like primitives so far as a space for that?
i was interested when it first became mass knowledge, ie facebook becoming meta and whatnot, but i never really felt versed enough to feel confident in pursuing something within the space.
what i love about primitives is that it's easy to use. i feel like the concept that you are just there to share work and to make connections with other people is made very clear. and then along the way, obviously there's perks in being able to advertise yourself as an artist and to help build connections that may make you go further. whereas like with other platforms i tried, i have no idea what the hell i'm doing on there and like i have to pay an arm and a leg sometimes to put stuff out. so it didn't make sense to me before and i feel like primitives has actually helped me better understand how to navigate through that and how it's really just a tool.
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