Creative Quarantine: Artist Liz Flores

Playing with the Past, printed by All-Star Press | Photo Credit: Liz Flores

Liz Flores spoke with Esthetic Lens as part of our Creative Quarantine feature. She discusses shifting her studio practice in the wake of COVID-19, unique opportunities to design packaging, an edition of prints, and a mural project for a significant local sports team.

1. How are you holding up?

I am very overwhelmed. I have really drastic good days and bad days and my mood is all over the place. I’m trying hard to keep moving forward with my work and stay motivated while also being kind to myself when I don’t get everything done. I’ve had some incredible opportunities this year that I feel so grateful for, like my coffee bag design for Dark Matter Coffee and a print release with All-Star Press that sold out.

Commission In Progress | Photo Credit: Liz Flores

Dark Matter Coffee, A Love Supreme, Bag Design | Photo Credit: Dark Matter Coffee

2. Has Covid-19 had an effect on your work? If so, in what way?

Covid-19 affected some mural projects that were in process, especially projects that involved small businesses. For a while I thought I wouldn’t have any mural projects at all this year. Thankfully I have and I just completed a mural for The Chicago Bears which was such an accomplishment for me. 

When the stay at home order was announced, and public art projects were put on pause, I was pushed to shift my focus on my studio practice and started more commission work. Prior to Covid I hadn’t really done much commission work so I had to figure out what my process would be and how I wanted to work with collectors. It’s been a big learning opportunity.

Aside from financials, I have felt a lot of psychological effects from everything happening in our world. I can’t seem to focus on my work as well and that has led me to miss deadlines or just need more time. For a crazy perfectionist who has always prided herself on delivering on time, this has been hard for me to accept. But I am accepting it and trying to give myself a break. 

For The Bears Fans, 4637 N Clifton Ave | Photo Credit: Craig Shimala

3. Is there anything you’ve added to your practice that you’d like to keep after this is over?

I’ve loosened my perfectionist grip slightly and I would love to keep loosening it. When I do, my anxiety seems to loosen, and I can be more present with my paintings and really enjoy the process.

Touchpoints, acrylic on canvas | Photo Credit: Liz Flores

4. Of the artists you follow, who is handling this particularly well?
I’ve loved seeing the work of David Heo, Langston Allston, and Bianca Nemelc.

Empowerment, acrylic on canvas | Photo Credit: Liz Flores

Liz Flores is a Chicago-based painter and muralist whose work experiments with how the human condition—with its interplay between emotion and memory—can be represented abstractly. She engages everyday human experience and the female body by using shape, color, and the human form as a mode of visual storytelling.

Her mural work can be found throughout the Chicagoland Area and New York City. In addition to working with private and commercial clients like Lululemon and Sephora, she has exhibited her artwork in galleries throughout Chicago.

Liz Flores, Self-Portrait | Photo Credit: Liz Flores

I am deeply influenced by the everyday human experience, storytelling, and the female body. Working primarily with acrylic paint on canvas, my work is a representation of the human condition through lines, shapes, and abstract figures. It’s a reaction to life, an emotion, or a memory. Painting has always been my way of self-understanding and for viewers, it’s my hope that my work can spark self-reflection in their own life.

Liz Flores can be found online at her website and on her Instagram.