Q&A: Local creative explores alchemy and more in latest work
Sista Luna has been a staple on the alternative arts scene in Steamboat Springs for a handful of years, but she can’t remember exactly how many.
“The valley curse is very real,” she said.
Growing up in an artistic family — her siblings are all visual or performance artists — art was always there and easy to explore.
She attended Colorado College, studying visual arts and experimenting with a variety of mediums, but her focus was always drawing and oil painting. When she moved up to Steamboat, she co-founded the nonprofit Young Bloods Collective that aims to bring young creatives in the community together for collaboration, discussion and inspiration.
When the pandemic hit, Luna reassessed her situation, made some changes and recreated much of her older artwork.
Explore Steamboat caught up with the artist this weekend.
Explore Steamboat: What are you working on right now?
Sista Luna: My most recent work has been drawing. In October, I participated in a daily drawing challenge on social media. There was a prompt list with a different word for every day of the month. I had always watched from afar, but I finally decided to do it, so I drew every day in October, and it was a wonderful experience. It was nice to have outside structure and a daily practice. From the 31 drawings, I chose my favorite eight, and now I’m selling prints of them on my website.
ES: On your website, you mention the concept of alchemy. Can you explain that more?
SL: I’ve always worked with ideas around change and the fact that there is something magical about one thing coming to an end and transforming it into a new thing. Recently, my mom made me come pick up all my art from college that she had been storing at her house, and I went to school for art, so we made a lot of art. Going through my old pieces was emotional. Artwork doesn’t lie — it marks where you were in your life, your headspace and feelings when you made it. Looking back through it, I felt a lot of compassion for the me at that time. I started turning those pieces into new pieces, sort of exercising autonomy: I made this, and that was part of my journey, and now, I’m making something else.
ES: Tell us a little bit about Young Bloods Collective.
SL: I co-founded Young Bloods Collective in 2017. It came out of a desire to connect creatives to each other in Routt County. You can grow more creatively when you’re around other creative people. Sometimes, you can find each other naturally, but oftentimes, you have to create those spaces for yourself; they aren’t ready-made for you. It’s also focused on how creativity and art can be expressed in so many different ways — in a yoga class you taught or a garden you planted. I love that larger, more inclusive perspective of the way that creativity can enrich your life.
ES: What inspires you about your surroundings?
SL: We definitely live in a beautiful space. Before I moved here, I was living in Denver, and part of what has kept me here in Steamboat is the general pace of life. That’s been really helpful for me to focus more clearly on my artwork.
ES: For a small town, we have a vibrant art scene. What has your personal experience been like in the creative sphere in Steamboat?
SL: I think it’s great that Steamboat has an art community that people care about. They show up for things like First Friday Artwalk. A big city has a lot going for it, but in a small town, you really do know your neighbors, and people show up for each other and support each other. If you’re a creative, you can find your people here. Art feels way more accessible here than in other places that I’ve lived.
To view and purchase Sista Luna’s latest artwork, visit her website at SistaLunaMakes.com.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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