Meet Our Featured Artist for October
Regina Valluzzi is the talented artist behind Nerdly Painter! Valluzzi was trained and worked as a research scientist for over a decade before switching to art 5 years ago. She has a BS in Materials Science from MIT , along with a BS in music, most of a Masters in Chemistry from Polytechnic University (Brooklyn) and a PhD in Polymer Science and Engineering from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She was a Research Professor at Tufts for a number of years before leaving to start a nanotech materials company and then switching to Art. Her history as a Materials Science innovator informs her approach to art and design. Some of her subjects and ideas are taken from scientific illustration and data interpretation and are given an artistic twist. Other works feature more traditional subject matter, but are approached as systematic research experiments to see how media can be used and incorporated. In her paintings, Valluzzi uses the unique properties of acrylic paint and media to create dazzling scenes. Transparent patterned layers of acrylic modulate sparkling metal and dimensional patterns of glimmering mica, while tiny glass spheres focus and reflect light. With such an impressive and exciting background we had to know more!
Where do you get your inspiration when designing?
I usually let my mind wander. A lot of my inspiration comes from an engineering approach – I want to combine certain art-making processes and techniques with a certain look and subject. Melding the process to the outcome becomes a bit of a puzzle, and solving that puzzle inspires me. I also think a LOT about Statistical Thermodynamics and similar ideas, but I try not to talk about that so much.
What made you decide to become an artist?
I’ve always had a foot in both worlds. During my last year at MIT I made a conscious decision to try to be a scientist. It stuck for a while, but wasn’t permanent.
Of your designs what would you say your favorites are and why?
I tend to gravitate towards graphic patterns that also incorporate complex blends of color. Orbits of Joy is one of my favorites. I like the movement and the muted yet ebullient colors. It speaks to the nature of “joy” as a journey, in contrast to transient happiness.
What would you say is the most important thing to keep in mind when creating your own design?
I think that different people create different things because they have different tastes. Not everyone wants to make the same thing. I do think it’s good to be mindful of the medium and all of its capabilities. Digital printing has enormous capabilities for a designer to use. Each of us has to select the ideas we prefer to work with.
What are your favorite tools/ software to use when creating your designs?
I use pen and ink, or I work from paintings and drawings. I have a decent scanner and a good digital camera. A software package (FREE!) called GIMP lets me create seamless tiles from anything. There is a seamless tile add-in which creates soft blended tiles. It’s also possible to create sharp seamless tiles, with a little work and some layers manipulation.
What is your favorite part about being an artist?
I like being in control of my own destiny and I like seeing how my work has evolved. Plus there’s a lot of free cheese involved.
If you could meet anyone today be it living or dead who would you meet and why?
Irving Langmuir. Langmuir was a scientist who worked with liquid surfaces. He was a quiet pioneer, but he did some pretty daredevil things in small planes to study cloud seeding. He also acknowledged and helped Catherine Blodgett establish a reputation and career based on her work in the same field – at a time when women were generally not accepted as scientists.
Who would you say is your favorite artist of all time?
Here are just a few of Nerdly Painters incredible designs! Go to Regina’s artist profile page at My Fabric Designs to see her complete collection! To celebrate Nerdly Painter as our artist of the month we are offering 25% off all orders from now until October 31st, simply use code nerdly at checkout.