We had the good fortune of connecting with avia rose ramm and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi avia rose, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I use to not put too much thought into balancing all aspects of my life. Pre-pandemic and while I was in school my priorities were painting, my retail job, and partying. When we went into lockdown, I was forced to have a lot of free time and came to the realization I had to integrate more balance into my life. My life was all work and when I wasn’t working I was socializing, just thinking about having no quiet time or moments for myself now sounds exhausting. I learned the hard way I kept myself busy because I did not want to address my feelings or to work on myself. Today, I force myself to have a day off once a week where I don’t paint or think about art, which surprisingly is very hard because I love it. I’ve learned if you don’t give yourself a break your body will make one for you (example: to end the crummy year I ended up getting very sick on NYE because I was at the studio all day everyday…I’m still learning). For me balance is all about listening to your body, if I’m tired I will stop for the day, I go easy on myself, and make sure to make time for my other passions even if it’s as simple as going on a little hike. It’s surprising how much more clear your head gets even just going on a hike and giving your brain some time to breathe.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work is about documenting my journey battling depression and to self-acceptance. I address the raw, gross parts of depression in a blatant manner. While a lot of society is okay with mental illnesses, it is quite disappointing to see that a lot of folks are still very uncomfortable with the idea that people deal with panic attacks and su*cidal thoughts on a daily. I’m so grateful to have support from the art community and to have a little platform at all to comment on this, it was hard to get here. I would have panic attacks before every art show I went to, there would be a lot of crying while I painted because I didn’t think I was good enough, and so on. One of my professors some years ago told me i can’t be successful if I’m anxious, well I am still anxious and I have some amount of success!!!! To me, that is a victory. I have learned to manage it rather than to just push it aside, which I think is a problem Ameican culture has in general: we don’t address our anxieties we push them aside. I hope anyone who reads this who struggles with depression and anxiety knows they can still be successful while on their journey toward self-healing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A perfect week to me involve this list of things in no particular order: Start the morning with a coffee from Santos Coffee House in North Park (the owners are very nice), take a road trip to Elfin Forest in Escondido (it is a place that looks like fairies would live, and half the time an older couple plays the guitar and flute at a bench by the running creek), listen to music by @Besosjazztrio at Bird Park at Upas while watching the sunset over a view of downtown, browse art books at Verbatim Bookstore in North park, watch ducks swim at Lake Murray, take a hike at Penasquitos Canyon and watch the horses walk alongside you on the trail, and poke at the prickly pears on the cacti throughout. If we were not in a pandemic I would take my friend to a show at Teros Gallery (@terosgallery), Weird Hues Gallery (@weirdhues), Swish Projects (@swishprojects), you can talk to the folks there for hours and enjoy local art! After we would go to Whistlestop Bar in Southpark (I always get a Cali Creamin’). I miss art show hopping pre-covid.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would be nothing without the folks in the art community that support and have helped me, they deserve the world!: Teros Gallery, Weird Hues Gallery, Art Produce Gallery, and Bread and Salt Gallery. As well as some amazing artists: Jamie Franx (@jamiefranx), Sam Beadle (@samgbeadle), Mayce Keeler (@supermundanebodies), Xayn Naz (@xayn.naz), Dani Higgins (@casualauteur), Richard Keeley (@r_keely), and Carlos Castro Arias (@carloscastroar), there is a lot more though! Please check out all these spaces/ artists on Instagram!! <3