Meet the Artist: Ali Rose Dachis

Photo: Courtesy of Ali Rose Dachis

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. 

I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I wanted to be an artist as long as I can remember, when I was 9, I joined an after school program that involved acting in a play, designing and creating the sets, and choosing costumes. I signed up, giddy to paint the sets, and frankly, to spend more time with my best friend who had already signed up. During this time, I ended up being totally wooed by the theater and performing, and I was told I had to focus on one thing, so I dove hard and fast into acting. But I never stopped painting, even if it was a simple gift for a friend, or birthday card.  As I continued performing, and studying acting earning my B.F.A through the U of Minnesota/Guthrie Actor Training Program, I fell deeply in love with creating, in all its forms. It was this that drew me so close to the theater, and this that continues to draw me closer to the arts, theater, painting, you name it, that means the most to me. As an adult, I have had the unique privilege to have space for both theatrical and visual exploration. I love creating humans, stories, and connection. It’s why I keep returning to portraiture, and the human body. What a gift to have many modes of expression!

What inspired you to become an artist?

My mother. She always encouraged my creativity on every level. I grew up with a glue stick in hand, covered in paint, and glitter. It’s this playfulness and need for expression that continues to inspire me. 

What is your specialty? 

I specialize in watercolor and acrylic ink.

How and where do you work? 

I have a studio in Brooklyn, but am currently working out of my Mom’s studio in Minneapolis during my Covid stay. 

What is the most indispensable item in your studio? 

My big paper! I am really loving Arches, and Stonehenge right now. 

Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?

Inspiration comes and goes so frequently; I try to trust the waves. I usually find that images come to me during meditations, or meaningful conversations with friends. I love working with women, and the female body and body image. I find it in itself very inspiring. I am currently exploring grief and play, and what it looks like to express those things fully through images of faces and hands.

Do you do bespoke work?

Yes, often. I really enjoy collaborating or having an outside source of inspiration to work with. 

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a series of “Smooshed faces.” Capturing a moment of grief, happiness, anger, frustration, etc,. and using  hands to mould or “Smoosh” each face into full expression. 

What is your favourite item in your current collection?

It’s hard to say, because I always find things to critique in my work, even after things are “done”. But, I come back to a series I did called “Blue” and a particular piece called “Falling” that I feel proud of because it felt like a true representation of myself at a point in time when I felt lost, it cost me emotionally to create it, and it holds a special place for me. I still feel like I learn something when I see it. 

How do you know when a piece is finished? 

I hate to answer such a good question with as elusive an answer as this, but more often than not; it’s a feeling. Sometimes it’s technical- it needs more depth, or a deeper contrast, but ultimately it comes down to the feeling when the piece has reached the end.

What was the first artwork you ever sold?

When I was in high school, I did an abstract painting for practice, fun really, and my best friend bought it from me for 25 cents.

Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?

I loved working on the blue series because I used Acrylic ink and water, and together they are dynamic and very fun to play with. 

What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?

I want to get closer to the truth, I want to share my work more widely, and learn as much as I can.

Where can we find your work?

Instagram: @mayimarts


Photos: Courtesy of Ali Rose Dachis

Post Author: admin