Hello Dear Madison Stout. Thank you for giving us the chance to Interview with you. Our first question is how the “Covid-19” affects your art?

The Pandemic has affected my art for the better honestly. I was forced to stay home and paint more, which allowed me to explore myself artistically. It also forced me to renovate my social media presence in promoting my art, since I could not vendor at local art shows. Prior to the pandemic, I had so much anxiety posting my art on social media. But once I did, I gained a rapid following for such a short time, which was pretty surreal. 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what drove you to choose art as a career?

I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. I am 21 years old and am currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. I did not start pursuing art until I was in high school.

My artistic journey began during my adolescence. I started trying to copy logos and album artwork of a bunch of bands I liked. Surprisingly I was really good at them. I never thought I was good at anything, so I treasured it. As I started taking art in high school, I tried doing drawings of buildings and houses only in pen. Despite having little experience, it seemed that I was able to pay attention to detail very well. My art teacher definitely pushed me and encouraged me to join a lot of art competitions. I think she saw something in me that I did not appreciate at the time. That push was what I needed because I felt motivated to continue pursuing art and explore painting. Initially I wanted to make cover artwork, but over time I just fell in love with making art without worrying if it is good enough to be an album cover. I knew I just wanted to do it forever.
How do you make sure you have time to create? Do you have a set time or build it into your calendar?
Because I am a full time student and a research assistant, it can be really hard to finish a painting during the semester. But I do my best to work around it because I love it too much. Sometimes I try to keep a schedule going but each semester can be pretty unpredictable. I mainly try to devote weekends to doing nothing but paint as well as being flexible with mediums.

How do you choose the subject of your painting?
There's a number of ways and it honestly depends on the painting and the subject. The fact that I study psychology has a tremendous role in the subjects I want to look at. Sometimes I try to identify a stressor or emotion that I am experiencing or a situation that I am extremely passionate about. I make little notes on my phone and then I eventually create a visual picture in my head resembling those issues. Then I try to create that visual image. But of course, the process for each painting I have done is very different because the story behind them is different. Some paintings I have had the subject in mind but it took years to execute. I try to make sure that painting fits and that I am continuously motivated to work on it.

We saw a lot of “Dark Art” touch in your artworks. We want to talk about the Dark theme  in your artworks. Can you tell us more about why you choose this theme for your main theme?

Where do I begin…

Overtime, I felt a deep connection and a sense of freedom with dark art. It creates so much range to elicit a powerful message while deviating from the norms. This form of art speaks to me as someone who spent their whole life feeling invalidated by the rest of society. At the age of 6, I was diagnosed with autism.  I was conditioned to believe that I was inferior in my own perspectives and emotions. I spent my life internalizing everything, which led me to traumatic situations. One of the only things that made me excited was listening to extreme metal which often included a lot of dark themes in the music and artwork. This has played a significant role in the work I create.

My experience in life as a neurodivergent female, as well as my struggles with mental illness has played a significant role in the darkness exhibited in my art. Much of my work explores the constant alienation and the maladaptive skills that many neurodivergent people have developed in order to survive in a world that fails to recognize our humanity. I struggle to communicate these experiences and beliefs well, so my paintings do the work for me. It is dark because that is how I view many aspects of my own existence and the world around me. But ironically, creating such dark images has made me a happier, less anxious and more reflective person. I am simply comfortable with my own style and executing it the way I do.

What is your creative process like and how does art-making impact other parts of your life?
Making art has had a positive impact on my life. Growing up with autism, I struggled doing a lot of basic things, which impacted my self-esteem. I was always afraid of trying new things, so I thought I would never be good at anything. Sometimes when I go to art exhibits and museums, I get so lost in every little detail of a particular painting that stands out to me. When I look at some of my stronger paintings, I get those same feelings I do when I look at a painting in a museum. My art has allowed me to accept myself and my differences because I do have the potential to create incredible things. I have also become more resilient to various life stressors regarding academics or my personal life because I know I can probably create a painting out of the root cause of those extremely distressing situations. One of the things I struggled with for most of my life is masking and setting boundaries for myself. My art has also helped me in identifying those patterns more clearly. It is a crucial aspect of my overall health. It makes me a better person in my opinion.
You are the one of our Artists to we’ve worked in our latest Book : “Dark Artists Book”. Can you talk to our audience about this experience?

This was my first time having my art in a published book. I have always wanted to see my art in a book and it finally happened. I was so excited about the opportunity. But the thing with me is that I am a massive perfectionist. Because this was my first time being in a book, I was nervous about how it was going to play out. I could not decide which theme of paintings I wanted to include, if I should add the ones with extreme nudity and gore or not. I know I had to write a short bio which I think was pretty hard for me to do. Describing my art was really difficult so I asked my friend Tyler how she would describe my art. Her response was well articulated so I used it for the bio.

Overall, I would describe it as a really surreal experience and a dream come true. I was honored to be asked to be in this.

What are some of your favorite sources of inspiration?
Artistically, my sources of inspiration have been Goya, El Greco, Remedios Varo, Siqueros, Frida Kahlo, Artemisia Gentileschi, Lucian Freud, Ivan Albright, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Bryan Charnley. These artists have either inspired me in both the themes that I create in my work and/or the use of color and texture that was executed in their work. There’s probably a few I’m forgetting to mention. But those are my top 10.
Music has always been an incredible source of inspiration as well. The kinds of music I have gravitated towards for much of my life is probably what inspired my artwork. I have also been inspired by German Expressionist films during the silent era, which is why my Halloween tradition is doing paintings and drawings commemorating my favorite silent horror films.
Can you talk about any other current or upcoming projects?

I have a lot of really cool projects coming up. I have about 6 pieces in the works. Some of them are going to be digital as I am trying to practice with that medium. One of them in particular I am most excited about is called ‘The Romanticized Age’ which explores how young women are both infantilized and sexualized in society. I have needed to discuss that in my work as this has made my youth experience existentially difficult to cope with. It will be one of the creepier ones but I cannot wait to see how it unfolds.
Thank you for your time!