Q + A

the voice of will day

Bringing original art into the home transcends our own personal expression; by extension, we are also capturing the essence of another being who, in part, guides us through our emotional journeys by offering a peek into their own stories. This idea rings true for any homeowner that finds space on their walls for a Will Day original.

Every original piece by this local Boulder artist marries texture, scale and color to create a fascinating composition that encourages viewers to experience a spectrum of vibrations. When brought into the home, the power of Will Day’s art drifts beyond the canvas and flows into everyday life, offering the gift of inspiration and moments of emotional depth where there was once an empty wall. We spoke with Will Day about the process and how he turns his inner journey into sweeping works of art.

What’s your story?  When did you know that art was your calling?

Part of my creative journey began after the devastation of September 11th, 2001. My wife Aimee and I were both working on Wall Street at the time; she was on the 78th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center in NYC. By the grace of God, she wasn’t in the building yet that day, but many people on her floor lost their lives. This agony my wife experienced was so close to home that it shifted things for us and the world. Because of this shift, I began my graduate studies in architecture at Pratt Institute that eventually led me back to painting in 2008.

Obviously 9/11 woke me up, and from the chaos I landed on a path to a new meaning and purpose in life through painting.  I have always been searching for ways to harness and express my creative energy and it took the chaos to unleash my spirit.

Describe your creative process from inspiration to the final piece.

It’s very organic. I come to my studio every day — it’s a large warehouse studio in downtown Boulder — and I sit with an open heart. I look at the walls and at all these raw canvases, which I roll out onto the floor, and I try new things within the parameters of my art. I let go of expectations or preconceived notions, and I just react to the canvases. Sometimes I’ll pray or meditate or listen to music, and then things just start…popping. I start painting emotions, poems and stories with color. I work on a ton of different pieces all at once; that’s part of my freedom of expression.

How do color and scale tell a story within your pieces?

My works are comprised of textures and complex layers that demonstrate my interaction with the canvas at each moment. All of my paintings nod to certain period of my life that bring years of intensity, joy, spirituality, conflict and resolution to the canvas.

I’m ultimately trying to help those who see my work navigate beyond the minutiae of everyday life and see a bigger picture; whether it’s shocking and awe-inspiring. My paintings transcend beyond politics and hardship and transport my audience to emotional spaces that look on to better horizons. My art becomes a guide with boundless destinations.

Every piece you create is a universe all its own. When your clients hang a Will Day original in their homes, how do you hope that the piece will interact with its surroundings?

My ultimate goal when I create a painting for the world is to instill a feeling of freedom and curiosity.

The universe is seeking change. It’s about accepting all these diverse opinions and forms and shapes — whatever you choose to be. That’s just as creative and that’s being courageous. As creative people, we say, “Let’s look beyond and remember we came here to share our creativity to really raise the vibration of the world around us.”

Describe the importance of art in the home.

The importance of art is not limited to the home — it is important to have the freedom to express in all spaces. I understand how art makes an impact in someone’s personal space. For example, color can be an essential way to raise the vibration of hope. Color transcends the human spirit into a place that allows us to lower our guards connect on a deeper level and bring out incredible emotions to express and start a dialog of “what if?”

That being said, my ultimate goal is to create compositions that sing to the world no matter what walls they hang on. Everyone can find something that moves them in my work; to happiness, to anger, to sadness, to joy.

As an artist, it can be hard to turn off “work mode” since your work is so ingrained in your being. How do you know when it’s time to shut off and what do you do to maintain balance?

It is a challenge to balance raw inspiration and motivation to create while also being a father, husband, coach and community leader. I am constantly trying to find balance. Because I put so much physical, emotional and spiritual energy into my paintings, burnout is easy to come by. I have to find stillness to regenerate my energy once again. I have to allow myself to step away and experience life because it is also how I engage then with my art. Stepping away allows me to reframe my thinking, re-address my paintings, and have new conversations with them.

To what (or to whom) do you attribute your success?

I attribute my success to my wife Aimee, my children, my parents and the Boulder/Denver community; all whom continue to support and encourage my creative process.

My family members have given me so much courage. They remind me that we are all in this together to guide and support one another. Financially, spiritually, emotionally… they give me faith, and  the belief that we can do something unique and different. My family is my soundboard for reality, and they help me overcome the challenges that I face in the art world.

What is next for you? What can we look forward to seeing from Will Day in the future?

I continue to strive towards making the world a better place, one painting at a time. I don’t have all the answers. I am open to the unknown, to receiving something; there will always be more. I want to put myself front and center to receive divine miracles and fun stories that will really inspire and help heal people.

You can look forward to seeing more of my exploration through my expression in the upcoming year in a few solo exhibits domestically and internationally. I truly enjoy creating art for the world because I want to pass a narrative of love onto the next generation; to my grandchildren and my great grandchildren.

It’s not a dynasty. It’s a legacy of love. I want them to know we’re not seeking fame and glory. I think we’re seeking authenticity and originality; to express ourselves in ways that are really going to bring about something positive.

To discover more evocative work by Will Day, visit his website at https://www.willdayart.com/.