Rosehill: Creating Through a Full Sensory Experience

Rosehill is a multidisciplinary artist that mainly paints and draws. The 18-year old Hawaii native, born Nainoakapoliokaehukai Rosehill, is currently located in Chicago where he actively makes the beautiful artwork that is showcased below. Rosehill is yet another promising young artist that is creating a name for himself by sharing his work on social media. He tells us that “creating art is a full sensory experience” for him. Check out Rosehill’s work below and be sure to read our interview with him that follows.

Click on any of the above photos to open a gallery of Rosehill’s work.
If you can, how would you describe your style of work?

I would describe my style as being humorous, self-aware, sentimental, and honest. I like to combine Dali’s sensibilities with a youthful twist. I rename art pieces daily depending on how I feel and I never really know what my pieces are about as a whole regarding a narrative too, but I know how they feel to me. I treat art like a therapy session, I kind of just vomit out the detritus of my life into my pieces.  My entire portfolio of work exists as a sort of diary without words. My art is just me trying to piece together the things I can’t say vocally, in a visual way.

Describe your creative process. How do you start a new piece?

Creating art is a full sensory experience for me. I draw inspiration from memories and dreams, which are abstract things, so I try to ground them in reality through the things I hear, taste, smell, touch and see in my general area. I usually make my best art with a ton of black coffee at 2 am in the morning with my favorite albums on repeat. Music is definitely essential. While creating art I can usually pick up on lines during songs that feel significant and relatable to the piece. I usually attach my own emotions and history to the music, which helps build complexity in my relationship to my art, in my opinion. I try to incorporate different stories that begin influencing each other in order create images that mean something powerful together; more than what they mean on their own. Once I create the right mood, I let everything I’ve pent up fall out at once until I can’t milk those emotions any more. I don’t sketch things out most of the time, I try to be honest and unfiltered.

What is it that inspires your work?

There are certain themes that I like to revisit: religion, self-hate, sexuality, loss, Anxiety, death, and my obsession over friendship and stuff are some of them – the usual disenfranchised teenage angst themes [laughs]. I have a dream journal that I write in now and then when I wake up to write some thoughts down and other interesting things. I am definitely inspired by other people and their stories, along with my story and how they come together and create a narrative. I’m inspired to create art by my anxiety towards of losing people I love, the anxiety of never finding love, the anxiety of being unwanted, death of pets, friends, and family, and my mortality.  Also Blonde by Frank Ocean, Kevin Abstract, and Tyler the Creator. I’m of that generation and demographic of creative kids that are super inspired by those three so that’s basically a given. The fear of my mortality sums up my inspirations pretty nicely though. I don’t want to find myself dying and regret the choices I’ve made in my life. For some reason I’ve chosen to make art, and I need to respect that. Life is too short to not trust your intuition.

What does art mean to you?

What art means to me is sort of complex. I have trouble really concocting a succinct answer where I can say “This is what art is to me.” But I use it as my personal therapy and meditation session. So I would say that art is necessary for me, my mental and physical health depends on it. Drawing and painting is just putting images things together to resemble something different. But songs, paintings, and books can make me cry or make me feel happy or in love. So there must be something stronger at work when we make art. I also don’t like to speak out loud on my emotions and I’m not a very vocal person, so art allows to me vent and unburden myself.

What goals do you have for yourself over the next few years?

I just want to create a body of work that is to the best of my ability. To make art that is significant to other people, significant to myself, and hopefully use that to sustain myself financially. I think the most important thing about art to me is to trust your intuition on what you believe is best for you, and do it to the best of your ability. I want to make friends who feel the same about art as me, because I’ve never had that experience of sharing this thing that is essential to me at a level that resonates deeply with others. My experience of sharing art with my peers has always been seeing the pretty colors and the pretty pictures. I just want to find my crowd, and make the art that we love.

Follow Rosehill on Twitter and Instagram.

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