CA: Let’s start with the beginning. Why the name ArtByRinna as your moniker?
RXO: So ArtbyRinna is just a spin off of the name I used to sign my work with, which is Rinnaxo. Rinna is just a nickname my aunt gave to me when I was a baby and for some reason I just decided to use it as my artist name. It’s actually pretty funny when other people who don’t know my real name call me rinna or rinnaxo, 1. Because no one other than my aunt really called me that and 2. Rinnaxo is my IG name so it’s hilarious when they refer to me as that.
CA: Could you explain what got you into doing art and when you realized you truly loved doing artwork?
RXO: Well both of parents are really artistic, my mom is amazing at coloring and my dad used to draw back in his day and he’s also a great carpenter. But I’ve really been into art since I was in elementary school, I went to a magnet school which had a big focus on the arts programs. Art class was always my favorite, I even was chosen a couple times to have my stuff hung in the Worcester Arts Museum, and I guess in a way that was some major foreshadowing for my life. During high school I kind of neglected my artistry but during my first semester of college I picked it back up and have been taking it more seriously ever since.
CA: I glanced back at your earlier pieces on your instagram, what influenced the strong curvaceous characters you used in those works?
RXO: Ha! The “big booty girls” as some like to refer to them as. I think the inspiration for them came from when I was younger, I was very big into drawing fashion sketches when I was little and for some reason would only draw women. I was always intrigued by the female body because the shape is so fluid, unlike men who are more “boxy.” As I got older though I began to use the curvy women when I was drawing or painting out an emotion. I would use them to symbolize myself and my strength and whatever I was going through or how I felt at the time.
CA: Your custom artwork on Timbalands is so New York. What made you decide to start making additions to Timbs and making sales on this talent?
RXO: I started doing Timbs when one of my boyfriend’s friend asked me to do a pair of his. The thought of painting on leather was is so dope to me so I went out and bought fabric paint and went to town on his boots. The first pair I did is still my absolute favorite, it was a variety of logos, pop art and a few personal things he wanted me to add. I got really good feedback on that pair and went on to painting things like Nike dunks, more Timberland boots, bags and Converse.
CA: In some of your works, I see the clothing on the characters to be up there visually. Have you ever thought of using your vision to make clothing?
RXO: I have actually, *Rinna Fun Fact: I have a whole folder full of sketches I’ve been doing for years. Along with a whole business plan for the clothing line. It’s always been my biggest dream to make my own clothes, unfortunately it’s been on the back burner for a little bit while I focus on other things. I don’t ever think I will give up on that dream though, I still do fashion sketches to this day. Clothing lines are just a lot of work and in order for mine to be successful I need to continue to brand myself and get my name out there before I really put that plan in motion.
CA: What is The Heist Studios and what is it like running it?
RXO: The Heist Studios is a video production company I started with my boyfriend, Gregory, and our good friend, Curwyn, who is an amazing Videographer. We’ve done music videos, videos for Gofundmes, parties and events and we even make our own mini shorts. Running The Heist is a lot of work but at the same time it’s so much fun. We get to do cool things like shoot on boat parties for a company in New York that hosts events. One of my favorite projects we’re working on is a Gofundme video we are making for a local non-profit that teaches young kids how to do the Lion dance that is really popular in the Asian cultures. It’s so awesome watching how hard these kids work and being able to capture it on film is amazing.
CA: It is not surprising you are also a MUA (Makeup Artist). Which do you enjoy doing more? Painting on canvas or painting on faces?
RXO: Honestly, it’s so hard to choose between the two but I’d have to say I love painting on the canvas a little bit more, simply because I get to be more creative with my brush. With doing makeup it’s almost like tracing a face and adding colors and different tints to it, whereas panting on a canvas I am completely free to create whatever I want. I do love my makeup though… lol there are some days I will just do my makeup for no reason and then just go wash it off, simply because I enjoy the makeup process.
CA: What are your three goals for this year in regards to your art?
RXO: Three of my goals for this year are to curate a few shows (I have three that I plan on curating so far including a 9 day PopUp Gallery/ Shop during the week of our PowWow Mural Festival.) I would also LOVE to do another mural this year as well, but my main goal this year is to go back to school, I want to major in graphic design and minor in marketing. I work for jetBlue at the moment and the goal is to join their marketing team. =]