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Coffee & Art: Interview with Brooklyn-Based Painter Devon Reina

Devon Reina is an artist & designer whose cross-disciplinary background has inspired his creative process. After graduating with a degree in Product Design at Parsons, Devon has applied this design knowledge to artwork in which he explores his curiosity and fascination with objects, materiality, and processes.

Introduce yourself! Who are you, what floats your boat?

I’m a 24-year-old multidisciplinary artist and designer based in Brooklyn NY. My work ranges from conceptual object design to abstract painting.

What inspires you and drives your creativity?

More often than not, I find my work to be honest attempts at unraveling my daydreams. In my paintings, I’m not trying to create an image of anything, but by putting paint onto a surface an image appears. The fact that I can unintentionally create images and objects that can cue thought is one thing that truly inspires me to keep making.

What's your morning routine look like? What helps you get into the creative zone?

I wake up, make the coffee, and sit down at my kitchen table to do some drawing or writing. Lately, I like to exercise my brain and warm up to the day by filling two pages in my notebook with 80 or so small objects. I tell myself to not think about what I’m drawing and just see what comes out of it.

What artist living or dead would you like to get a coffee with?

Y'know, I’m gonna go with Leonardo Da Vinci only because I’d like to think that I’d be introducing such a genius to his first cup of coffee. I’d get him a hot, plain old cup of American diner joe. I could only hope that such a man as himself would enjoy the simple luxuries I value in my life.

What's the hardest part about being an artist?

I’ve found the hardest part of being an artist is constantly defining and redefining success. Success comes in many ways and forms and is different for everyone, but it’s near impossible to achieve it if you don't define it.

Why do you love what you do?

I love what I do because I can wake up every morning and know that my job is to make things. Of course there are days where those things can be quite specific and tedious, but I cherish the days that I can play freely with materials and turn what’s easily considered nothing into something.

What's next for you?

I enjoy working on several different projects at a time so I see myself continuing this series of abstract paintings while working on more design-related projects. By going back and forth between design and art, I find each practice informs the other and keeps my process in check - this way, I never feel bound by either discipline.

Where can we find more of your work?

You can find more of my work on my website at www.devonreina.com. You can also see more of my process and current projects on my Insta @dev_reina.

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