Jane Almirall is a funny, creative mama, and an odd duck.
She creates beautiful, eerie art but is also quite business savvy.
(Her Sun sits right next to Saturn and her moon is in Capricorn)
1. Name, Astrology sign, and location please.
My name is Jane Almirall, I'm a Gemini and I live in Mission, Kansas (very close to Kansas City, Missouri)
2. What are you currently working on?
At the moment my studio is completely filled with inventory for a shop that I am opening this summer with my friend (and business partner) Carrie Parker. It's called, Oracle - Fine Curiosities - and we will be selling framed insects, taxidermy, bones, skulls, memento mori pieces and other beautiful oddities. She and I have been collecting pieces for months now and I'm really excited about it! I swear, everything about the experience of opening this store has been like magic or something - we are in a wonderful space in the Crossroads area - 115 W. 18th Street, to be exact - and we are nestled among some incredible local businesses too. It's such a great neighborhood and community of people, I love it.
(We are currently working on a website, but in the interim we have a Facebook page that we update frequently with details about the shop, check it out: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oracle-Fine-Curiosities/356548717784791?fref=ts)
3. Who are your favorite artists?
My favorite dead artists are Martin Johnson Heade, Feicien Rops, John Singer Sargent and Masaccio. My favorite living artists whom I've never met are Camille Rose Garcia, Walton Ford, Monica Cook, Marcel Dzama, Sally Mann, Amy Cutler and a new favorite (I only recently saw his work and I love it) is Richard Colman. I really like representational imagery - particularly figurative - especially if it's dark and funny.
4. What's the best advice you ever received about your career choice?
The first, best piece of advice I received came from Linda Lighton (sculptor) when she suggested that I apply for Artist INC, which is an intensive training seminar that focuses on the business aspects of a career in the arts. This was almost two years ago, I applied and got in and the program was incredible. I met some fantastic people, pretty much everything I've learned from that experience has been so helpful...things that don't always get addressed in art school. So yeah, if you are in the arts, take a business class or look for programs within your community that can offer guidance and support in that way.
Along the same topic, I did have a funny experience about 10 years ago, when I was fresh out of grad school and was participating in an artist residency program. Kiki Smith, whose work I admired, was a guest speaker and we were all so excited to meet her. During her talk, someone asked her what career advice she could spare and she told us, point blank:
'Lower your expectations.'
At the time, I was equal parts pissed and crushed, but I have to admit that I think about what she said all the time - even though I don't agree with it.
5. Favorite place(s) in your city?
My favorite places are mostly food-oriented! I love EV, The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, Grinders, Vietnam Cafe, Room 39, The Filling Station, Oklahoma Joe's...there are so many great places in Kansas City and a bunch more have opened up that I haven't even tried yet. I also love trail running at Shawnee Mission Park and Wyandotte County Park, both places have super pretty trails...I love the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and on Sunday afternoons there is a Yoga in the Park series on the Nelson lawn hosted by some incredible local yoga teachers, it's so fun!
6. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? And while we're at it, what about a different era?
This is a tough one...I need to travel more before I can settle on one place, but so far - this being hypothetical dream life stuff and if I could have my way and money was no object, I'd have a place in Portland, New Orleans, Austin, Florence, Barcelona and Elba. As for living in a different era - and for purely superficial, costuming reasons, I would pick the Belle Époque.
7. What do you usually mindlessly doodle? (do you have a picture of this?)
I tend to doodle feathers and eyeballs mostly...I love pattern too...but mostly eyeballs. :)
8. First website you peruse of the day?
I have a handful of them that I like to check while I'm drinking my coffee, but the one I tend to go to first is called Intothegloss.com -.it's a straight-up beauty blog, but a creatively curated one. Some of my other favorite sites post once a week: Hilahcooking.com - it's an awesome site for food/recipes that features How To videos and it's worth mentioning that Hilah is a wizard of food, being hilarious and a stone cold fox; I love Strawberryfieldswhatever.com for music and really great writing, Laura Jane Faulds' posts in particular are my favorite; and my sister's movie reviews on Walkmanjunkie.com are wonderful.
(Oh...and I love the compilation FAIL videos that turn up on YouTube.)
9. What's the worst movie you've ever seen, but secretly love?
Oh man...this is such a great question because I'm genetically pre-disposed to like some crap. I was going to say anything in Jean Claude Van Damme's oeuvre, but really, the argument could be made for any movie which features street battle dancing. I love them and will seek them out intentionally. The very worst - and the one which I love the most - is called Center Stage. Are you familiar with it? Anyways, I saw it in the theater when it came out (twice) and watch it on purpose at least once a year...plus I'll stop and watch it anytime it happens to be on. Here is a link to the final dance number, SPOILER, there is a motorcycle in it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoBTuIsB3ls
Center Stage is a treasure, I cherish it.
10. Any pets? Any kids?
I have two kids, my daughter Josephine and my son Owen. They are six and four and they are extremely busy and wake up waaaaay too early. We don't have any pets, but the kids have named some of the critters in our yard: Stinky The Pet (a beetle), Sausage (a chipmunk), Tickbite, Biscuit Joe and Princess Celestia (three bunnies, all of them vegetable-thieving jerkfaces).
Thank you Jane!
You can find more of Jane here