ArtCenter: What inspires your art?
S. P. Harper (BA 79 Illustration, Advertising) ecocentric artist: Painting gemstones on reclaimed materials is my inspiration. My grandfather was a diamantaire, a diamond cutter, before becoming a conductor for Pacific Electric Red Cars.
AC: Why is important to use reclaimed materials in your work?
S.P.H: What begins as refuse is repurposed, transforming base materials into noble objects. Diverse media such as discarded tablecloth, wallpaper, curtain, graphic posters, upholstery fabric, painting, canvas, commercial art, building and metal scrap are painting surfaces. By reforming and re-employing, the work fits into the Ecocentric Art Movement to reduce, reuse and upcycle.
AC: How would you describe your style?
S.P.H: I synthesize historical and contemporary styles by mixing the classical tradition of still-life painting with modernism.
AC: What’s the one tool you can’t do without?
S.P.H: Acrylic paint.
Follow your passion – do what you love and you will be successful and fulfilled.S.P. Harper
AC: What are you working on right now?
S.P.H: Odgan brilliant-cut diamond quartet; acrylic on tablecloth, prom dress and bed sheet, 77 x 109 inches.
AC: What’s the most unique piece you’ve created?
S.P.H: Amaterasu cushion-cut diamond; acrylic on bandana, 59 x 59 inches, 2018.
AC: What’s the first site you look at when you open your computer in the morning?
S.P.H: Instagram for my daily post.
AC: What book is on your bedside table?
S.P.H: Gem: The Definitive Visual Guide.
Submit the Alumni Q&A questionnaire to share your story. We want to hear about your accomplishments, what you're working on and your advice for future ArtCenter students.
AC: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
S.P.H: One-frame-per-hour extreme time-lapse photography work pace.
AC: How do you define success?
S.P.H: Having the luxury to create by reforming and re-employing discarded materials to reduce, reuse and upcycle.
AC: How would your closest friend describe you?
S.P.H: Positive. The glass is always half full. It’s impossible to make a fatal mistake on a painting; I can always fix it. The process of reviving materials inspires, expands and exercises my brain.
AC: What’s your best piece of advice for an ArtCenter student who’s interested in following your career path?
S.P.H: Follow your passion – do what you love and you will be successful and fulfilled.