Exclusive Interview with Estelle Asmodelle -International Artist/Actress/Dancer/Model/Musician
Estelle Asmodelle has been a film actress, dancer, model, musician, and researcher. These days she is an award-winning screenwriter and artist. She has lived in seven different countries, spending a total of nine years abroad. She lived in Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and of course, cities in Australia.
Estelle has written feature articles for Journal for Science and Technology in the UK. And was a staff writer for Cosmos magazine in Australia. Her screenplay ‘Pleasure Girl’ won Best Screenplay at the 2018 Los Angeles Film & Script Festival and the 2020 London Script Awards. The screenplay was an official selection in several international film festivals. Moreover, the screenplay has been nominated in eight other international films festivals in the coming year.
This Australian artist started painting from early childhood and, while at Wollongong University, started creating large abstract canvases. Her solo exhibition was at Wollongong Regional Art Gallery. During her varied career, she continued to paint and exhibit. Estelle exhibited at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum as part of the UNESCO International Friendship Exhibition in 1991. Then she started the Tokyo Eki (train station) Exhibition, displaying and selling her work in Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Tokyo. Estelle was also involved in group shows in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Center For Digital Art LACDA.
Since returning to Australia, she has continued to exhibit in both solo exhibitions in Sydney and country NSW and in group shows. One example is the Redfern Artist Group. From 2010 she became very active with work showing in galleries and exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney instead of overseas in previous years. Estelle’s work has been exhibited in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Melbourne, London, New York, Sydney and regional NSW. She has had numerous solo shows and participated in over 100 group shows. In 2010 Estelle published her first art book, “Transience”, with a second art book planned in late 2021. Estelle is listed in the top 20 Australian artists on the portals, Art Lovers Australia and Bluethumb art.
Estelle has won many awards for her artwork. Here are few recent ones from a very long list. Winner at Art Show International 2021, Winner at Artavita International 2019 and also the 2018 edition. Winner at Pride Art Australia 2017 and the French Art Limited 2020. Finalist at the AAA 107th Exhibition 2020, with an Honorary mention Grey Cube Gallery Colors 2020 and 2020 Abstracts Art Exhibition at J. Mane Gallery.
Estelle continued to write and paint, and her career is going from strength to strength. With publications planned. Her screenplay is poised to win more awards, while her painting is also entered into numerous international art prizes.
Estelle’s website: https://www.abstractartist.info/
Screenplay website: https://www.pleasuregirl.me/
*NY Glam: Tell us a little about yourself and your career beginnings.
Well, I am the daughter of an artist and writer. Although my mother was a brilliant painter and writer but never achieved any recognition during her life. She taught me to paint and share our written stories. As a child, I always won school art prizes but had plans of becoming a scientist. At the same time, painting was a pleasurable activity. I never thought about becoming a professional artist. My writing started relatively late when I started university. Around the same time, I went from painting realistic or impressionist artworks to highly abstract pieces. I discovered the New York School of abstract expressionists. I fell in love with the seemingly randomly applied paint that expressed emotions rather than figurative forms. For me, it was a true awakening how one could see so much in abstract paintings and feel so much. During my university days, I was studying maths and physics and became interested in science fiction. It was for me where science may take in the future, and it was exciting. It was reading sci-fi books that my love of writing started. All my wild ideas could be put down into a fictional realm that may one day become a reality.
After leaving university, I worked in many fields. Still, I would continue to write about my experiences, and I would paint. Some periods went by when I didn’t write or paint, but I would always return to these two loves when the urge welled up inside me. And so, over the years, I have written several books and screenplays. Additionally, I have painted over 3,000 paintings in my lifetime, in varying sizes, from small paperwork to a sizeable 5-meter canvas.
*NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?
In terms of my art, I am working on two large commissions for different collections. One is 3 meters wide, and the other is 5 meters wide. Both are highly abstract and are to be permanently installed in these separate collections. I have started everything for the commissions, but the actual painting will not begin till next week. It takes time to do large commissions properly. I talk a lot with the collectors and try to get a sense of what they want. It could be emotional or more to do with colours and form.
Most days are filled with long painting sessions. I list artworks on my website, and Saatchi, Artfinder, Bluethumb and others. Entering art prizes here in Australia and internationally is something I do regularly. I have a pretty large studio about five minutes from my home.
With my writing, I am working on two things. The first project is to turn my screenplay, “Pleasure Girl,” into a novella. It is unusual to work this way as most people turn books into scripts, but I want to go the other way and see the result. “Pleasure Girl” was selected for six different festivals worldwide and won two awards. So I think it will also make an excellent short novel as well. The second project is another sci-fi screenplay that is just starting to take shape and examines immortality.
*NY Glam: What art do you most identify with?
I love many different Artist’s work, so many in fact. However, the list of artists that identify with is much smaller. It is as follows: Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, Willem de Kooning, Paul Klee, Arshile Gorky, and Frank Stella. These painters captured different styles of abstraction inspire me even though some are not actually abstract painters, while some are. There are specific works by each of these artists that I identify with.
*NY Glam: What themes do you pursue?
Themes are a common form of inspiration, not figuratively but intuitively, to produce specific ideas and emotions. I love looking at nature for inspiration, and this would be my main inspiration, such as the birth of stars as an example. I have painted many abstracts about the universe, from stars to gravity, anomalous events and eruptions. The next theme I love is mythology. There is a rich history of different mythologies that are so inspiring. Some themes that helped me explore new abstract ideas are ‘Epic of Gilgamesh,’ ‘Asphodel Meadow (Greek underworld),’ to ‘Annwn (Welsh Otherworld)’. Moreover, the most essential thing in my work is my emotions, so these themes have to have a highly emotional context. Sometimes, I just work on memories and personal experiences and the feelings they produce.
*NY Glam: What’s your favourite artwork?
Most likely, “Blue Poles,” by Jackson Pollack. It resides in the National Gallery in Canberra, Australia. I have stood in front of it many times, sometimes with tears in my eyes. It is so moving. It reflects how I feel about art.
*NY Glam: Tells us about some of your recent exhibitions. What memorable responses have you had to your work?
With Covid, I haven’t had physical exhibitions, but there have been many online ones. Some have been at the J. Mane Gallery and Grey Cube Gallery in the US, while Canada has Envision Arts. There have been a few others in the past year, but these are the best ones.
*NY Glam: Tell us about one of your projects which you are very proud of?
I am very proud of my screenplay, “Pleasure Girl.” It was my first feature-length screenplay. It has been an official selection in six international film festivals. It has won the best sci-fi screenplay at two festivals so far. It is also nominated in eight more to be held in the next 12 months.
*NY Glam: What does “being creative” mean to you?
Being creative to me is an intuitive process. It is an unconscious method of just doing without thinking consciously too much. If I can approach writing or painting in this manner, the work just flows without any thought mechanism about what to do next. The more innate the process is, then the better the result. Often it feels like a kind of mediation.
*NY Glam: What are you trying to communicate with your art?
All I try to communicate in my art is emotions. For me, this is what art is about. I want to create specific feelings in people who view art, feelings of tranquillity, love, acceptance, reflection, and many more. So colours are essential as we as humans all resonate with different colours. For example, I did a painting about climate change and used deep reds and black to create a sense of urgency. In contrast, I use pastel colours to make people feel safe, peaceful, and relaxed with paintings about finding inner strength.
*NY Glam: What role does the Artist have in Society?
That is such a wide-open question, really as an artist may have many roles. However, if I were to generalize, I would say above all else, an artist has a responsibility to be a voice of reason and someone who has virtue. I will give you are a personal example. I refused my clients requests to create Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) at this current time, as the process uses an enormous amount of energy to create and manage NFTs. This is because the existing NFT platforms are using Etherium. When more energy-efficient currencies support NFTs, I will reconsider. But this is how an artist does not place money over the planet, as corporate organizations do. We, as artists, should set an example.
*NY Glam: What are your thoughts on being an artist in today’s world?
Being an artist in today’s world is difficult for many reasons. The main issue is that more than at any other time, there is enormous competition. Many people want to be artists as they see it as an easy and fun way to make a living. When in actual fact it is really more work than a regular job. So what happens is the market is saturated with many part-time artists trying to break into the markets.
In contrast, full-time artists have to work harder to reach new audiences. The internet has made distributing and displaying work much more accessible, allowing anyone to get involved. Another example is publishing. More than at any other time has there been so many books available with publish-on-demand and self-publishing. It saturates the market. While the quality of books is not higher, it is just the higher volume of written material. Finding a good book is more challenging because they get lost in the enormous array out there.
*NY Glam: How has painting influenced your life?
To be honest, painting has transformed my life in so many ways. It has allowed me to think freely about the possibilities in an optimistic manner. It has also given me a comfortable full-time living. The way people react to my work has shown me that many beautiful people share a positive vision of how things can be.
*NY Glam: What art movement or Artist would you say influences your work most?
The New York art school has the most significant influence on my work. Although I have favourite artists from different schools that individually influence my painting as all. I also find some influence from the impressionists, but my interpretation is a very subtle one.
*NY Glam: As a screenwriter, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
For a long time, I tried inventing characters, but I learnt one essential thing. A character must come from experience. It is really impossible to develop a character who is unlike any person you have ever met. Drawing from personal experience makes the character authentic. The better you know the person you are borrowing from to create your character, the more lifelike that character will appear in the story. People can sense if a character rings true. However, you can then morph this character into a different person to become a fictional character, but the essence has to be authentic.
*NY Glam: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I have written a few novels and want one, particularly one, “Anaesthetic Dream”, published with a mainstream publisher. I currently have three of the largest publishers looking at my work. Well, it is in the slush pile, as they call it. The outcome is unclear, but I will keep trying, even if it means going for a smaller publisher. I do not want to self-publish. It then just becomes a marketing job. I would instead focus on the creative process and not advertising and marketing, so having a publisher is essential.
*NY Glam: Abstract Art or Writing?
Writing compliments my painting. Conversely, my painting compliments and inspires my writing. It is a symbiotic relationship, and so they have to survive together.
*NY Glam: What can we expect from you this year?
Well, I hope a few things will come to fruition this year and some I have already mentioned, but in summary, these are as follows. I would like to publish my novel, “Anaesthetic Dream,” with a mainstream publisher this year or early next year. I would also like my screenplay, “Pleasure Girl,” to win a couple more awards and hopefully attract a producer so the script can be optioned. The subsequent ambition is to win a few more art prizes to push my artistic reputation higher. It’s not about making more sales. I am pretty happy with my sales at the moment. Instead, it is about gaining more recognition as an artist.