Rebbeca Maria is an artist from New Jersey and with her hip-hop inspired paintings and amazing talent her work has become noticed by the likes of Pharrell, Virgil Abloh, Dame Dash and many more. She became an internet sensation after her ‘Paid In Full’ painting went viral and suddenly after, her work was all-over Tumblr and Instagram. Her hip-hop inspired and classic movie theme paintings will bring your favorite movie and video scenes to life. She tells us her struggles and how she became more motivated from criticism of her paintings in the past. She is also eyeing another opportunity next summer to have her art on display for supporters to come view. Not once but twice. So stay tuned as more details will emerge.
We sat down with the amazing artist to speak about her life, her creative process, her devotion to art, criticism, social media and much more.
Get into the interview below.
Tell Everyone Who You Are.
I’m Rebecca and I’m in love with art.
Where Are Your From?
I’m from New Jersey.
What Inspired You To Start Doing Art?
For a while now I’ve struggled with depression, but it got to a really bad point and I just wanted a change so I just went to an art store one day and bought paint and just started painting. That’s how it really started and I just haven’t stopped since.
Where Did Your Love From hip-hop Come From?
When I was a young, my dad would always play biggie and 2pac. I remember telling him to change it or turn it off. He never did. I think that eventually grew my appreciation and love for hip-hop.
What Made You Want To Incorporate hip-hop in Your Art with video visuals?
I just feel like we live in a crazy world today, so I like to mentally stay in the past. Classic movies, music videos I would watch growing up or what I grew up listening to. I don’t know, I just try to show people where my head is at.
Why Did You Decide To Do Your Paintings With No Eyes?
I was trying to come up with a certain style but it just came out this way. I wasn’t aiming for it to turn out this way at all. But once I kept doing it, it stuck with me. I get so focused on perfecting my lines and details, my mind just kind of goes blank when I’m doing that. But this year I’m trying different techniques.
Describe Your Creative Process?
I can’t go a day without painting or creating something. It’s who I am. Even if I have a day off, it’s not really a day off. I study the greats, sketch, watch documentaries on my favorite artists, practice sculpting. That’s how I haven’t hit a “artist block” in awhile. Just have to keep pushing through it and create and stay inspired.
Which Art Pieces From Yourself Are You Most Proud Of?
I’ve painted so much in the last 4 years, a couple of hundred paintings. I’m proud of all of them, as a whole and individually. And when I’m doing one I get so connected to them but as soon as I’m done I’m like okay next one. But if I had to choose one it would be ‘The Simpson’ painting. I was able to paint and show how I really feel.
Have You Received Criticism of Your Work That Has Strongly Helped You?
I’ve received negative criticism since I first started painting and put my work out there and it’s really helped shape my work. I actually really thrive of off negativity. I don’t think I would improve much as an artist if someone kept telling me my paintings were great. When I hear negative criticism I don’t let it get to me ever, I kind of use it as a tool to improve if anything. At the end of the day, I don’t paint for anyone, I paint for me.
Are Their Any Brands That You Would Like To Work With in The Near Future That You Haven’t Worked With Already?
Yeah definitely, Off-White. Virgil is a creative genius.
Who Are Your Biggest Art Influences?
I’ve always had a love for Pablo Picasso. Lately, Jean Michel Basquiat has become my favorite artist. Andy Warhol too. And I really could just watch George Condo draw all day. I always fall in love with the artist first and then their artwork. I find Picasso, Basquiat, Warhol, and Condo the most fascinating to me right now.
Has Their Been Any Artist That Reached Out To You About Your Work?
You know what’s funny, I don’t really focus on that, I’m weird (laughs). When it happens, it happens. I get so happy at any moment my artwork is appreciated by anyone, but there’s been some.
How Much Time Specifically Do You Devote To Your Art?
I paint from morning to night everyday, with maybe a few hours to run to the art supply store or to visit a museum, or an exhibit here and there. I don’t have much of a social life.
How Much Has Social Media Helped You Get Your Work Out There?
I use Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr to get my artwork out there. It’s helped a lot. Sometimes I wonder where my art would be if I didn’t have these platforms.
5 Years From Now Where Do You See Yourself in Art?
I don’t think of it really. It sounds weird saying that out loud but I honestly just live day to day. Just painting everyday to keep me sane really (laughs). Of course I have goals I’d like to reach. But I just don’t rush anything. I do know I want to somehow give back. I already do now as much as I can. But I want to do more. So I’m currently thinking of ways I can incorporate my art or love of art into also giving back.
Are You Working On Having Your Work Being Displayed Again at a New York Exhibit Soon?
After my exhibition in August 2016, my plan was to have another one a year later. I’ve got to meet so many amazing people. And I just really wanted that experience as soon as possible again. So I rushed to get paintings done for an exhibit and I learned rushing the process and paintings was not good. So right now, I’m taking my time. But I really hope to have one or two next summer.
What Would You Tell Somebody That Does Art And Struggles With Depression?
You’re not alone. Don’t give up. Keep going. Keep creating. Everyday.
Last Words To End This Interview For Your Supporters.
I’m so grateful to have people who support my art. I have so much love and appreciation for my supporters. Thank you so much. Truly.