Aleta Boyce Art
The Need to Create
by Ted Scheffler
“After a few years of decompression I realized that I needed to create again,” says Aleta Boyce, founder of Aleta Boyce Art. Until about 10 years ago, she’d been teaching fine art, ceramics and computer graphics at the secondary and college levels, as well as working in commercial art and computer graphics.
And boy, does Aleta create! She creates eye-popping sculptures, lights and mobiles using archival papers, inks, ceramics, and (some) LED lights, non-toxic resins, metal, wood and found objects. “Most are inspired by sketches and paintings I’ve done over the past 30+ years. Each has a story behind it that I have decided to explore,” says Boyce.
With a training in drawing and painting, “I always wanted to explore working directly with light in layers with paper, fabric and plastic,” she says. “In the past 3-4 years LED lights became affordable, and I started combining them with paper and other materials to create translucent sculptures. LED’s opened up an entire new area of work for me.”
When asked how the concept of Aleta Boyce Art as a business occurred, Boyce says, “It’s been a slow growth towards this line of work. The main technique used in the light sculptures was taught to me by New Orleans artist Viorel Hodre. I saw his work and immediately knew that learning his technique was my next step. LEDs took it in a new direction, but the basic techniques of caning or brazed metal frames with paper or silk are from Viorel. The mobiles are an offshoot of the light sculptures – usually inspired by line drawings and watercolors from my sketchbooks.” She funded her business mostly from part-time work in theatre - making sets, props and puppets - as well as in freelance graphic design and marketing.
When asked to describe her niche in the art marketplace, Boyce says that it’s “A moving target. Seriously, I think it’s people with a sense of humor who enjoy color and design. Many people identify with the characters or images, and I enjoy hearing how they connect with my art.”
A Family Affair
When discussing the importance of a support system and help with getting Aleta Boyce Art off the ground, Boyce says, “My family has always been supportive, and I’m very lucky to have a husband who is very good at most things mechanical. He’s great for bouncing ideas around, as well as help with brazing, moving large pieces, etc. He keeps me smiling.”
Looking towards the future, Aleta says “My next project is a set of two large commissioned sculptures based on the Fibonacci sequence. I’m also working with computer projections in an installation. The Illuminate Festival in Salt Lake City is one of my particular interests, as well as theater. I see my work becoming more interactive in the next five years, especially with motion detectors and sound.”
Find a Great Mentor
When asked to lend advice to someone thinking about creating a business similar to hers, Aleta recommends that you “Find a great mentor. Push yourself to always get better in every aspect of your work. People can tell if you are good at what you do, and if you are struggling, they will see that, too. After you’ve done your 10,000 hours of practice at your passion - art, music, whatever - you’re still going to have to learn how to share your work with others. There are so many places online to help you with the business side of art these days. Find people who are willing to teach you methods that will fit your personality and your work.”