We had the good fortune of connecting with Barbi Dorfan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Barbi, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and raised in South Africa. My children were born there too. It was a wonderful upbringing in a wonderful country . Sadly corruption and crime set in. Being victims in one-too-many incidents of crime gave us the impetus to move to the USA.
I loved and continue to love the vibrant, casual, disorganized, cultural mesh that South Africa was when I was growing up. It certainly impacts my work as an artist – my work tends to be somewhat eclectic and funky.
Having come away from South Africa relatively unscathed, I feel an appreciation and gratefulness for the freedom and safety we feel here, living here in San Diego now, and the opportunities I can give to my children.
However, I piece of my heart will always be in Africa.
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.
I “played” with other forms of art as a hobby and stumbled upon mosaic art during my journey. It is the one medium that has stuck and I have been able to take it far beyond the hobbyist phase. I have attended a couple of classes to learn more about some techniques and to get some inspiration, but mostly I am self taught and my skills and knowledge have evolved with experience.
Although I am able to produce any kind of mosaic pattern a client might desire (from realistic pictures to abstract), I have developed a unique whimsical, funky, playful style that is indicative of my personal taste. It has somewhat of an African art flavor because I love the vibrancy of much African artwork.
What I have learned along the way is to experiment and try out new things – that is how my style has developed.
As with many artists, I am not very good at marketing myself. I make art exclusively on a commission basis – I don’t like to create “stock” and sell off the shelf. I would just like more people to know about me and my work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in San Diego, which is, in my opinion, one of the best cities to show off. I would spend much time showing off our outdoor – both the coast and the inland canyons and hike.
We would eat at a variety of places, from taco food trucks to our finer restaurants.
We would walk the street of some of our eclectic areas and look at the furniture and decor shops and little art galleries.
I love the beachy feel of Solana Beach, Encinitas, Coronado.
I love visiting farmers markets, and simply hanging on the beach or in my backyard.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Heidi Gantwerk – for supporting my work (and for introducing me to you) My husband Joel Dorfan who is my technical advisor, photographer and cheerleader.