Tina Dillman, Organic Managing

Tina Dillman has the studio across the hall from me down at the Hive. She is one of those people that has a bottomless resevoir of energy for both the maufacture of her own work and the construction of the society of friends and collegues she gathers around her. There is a always a quiet, calculated and graceful way to her disposition that shines through in her work. I think she will bring this ethic to the way she runs Oakland Art Murmur as its new Executive Director. This brief interview is about Tina the artist. She will premier her work in a solo exhibit this Friday night at Mama Buzz, scroll down for info. -obi

Obi: When and where did you become an artist?

Tina: as a child i was into everything from dance to music. i was even a girl scout. my parents have always been supportive but being their eldest child and the first to go to college i was in the mind set of doing better than what little opportunities were presented to them, so I was mainly studying the social sciences and always excelled within the subjects of english and history.
it wasn’t until college when i was a double majoring in environmental engineering and design that i began thinking about art as a career/profession.  i had to take a basic drawing class as a prerequisite course and the instructor, jay shafer, who runs the tumbleweed tiny house co. in the north bay now, introduced acrylic paint as a medium and you could say the rest is history. i dropped out of engineering and became an art student full time. i had finally found the place that i felt most comfortable.

Obi: Describe the source of your imagery. The show is called “organic”, is that a scientific reference or a stylistic mode.

Tina: both. i am very much inspired by the scientific drawings by ernst haeckel and the science perspective on life. but it is also a style. i use the environment in which i have been exposed to past and present as references for my abstract drawings. i am drawing from life in creating my own language and world of figures and icons. in terms of historic references the work by Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko were originally inspiring for me as an early student of art. jean dubuffet seems to always pop up but i’ve also always really been attracted to the work by kazimir malevich and robert ryman. then there’s minimal abstraction artists like, Donald Judd and Frank Stella and conceptual artists like Hans Haacke and Joseph Beuys, whose work i find myself coming back to.

 Obi: I know you have been running WE artspace for a couple of years and now you are moving on as the Executive Director of Art Murmur. How did that all come about and how are you managing art making and, well, managing?

Tina: yeah, good question. i’m also the office manager for rock paper scissors and i wait tables a couple nights a week. i’m also married and we have a dog, Charlie.
i do a lot. probably too much. but it’s all about time management. using your time wisely. and i make sure that i always have enough time for myself. it’s challenging but no one is going to do the work for you, so you just have to make time, (there are 24 hours in a day), stay focused.

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