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Yael Rivers 1

Yael Rivers holding one of her creations.

Yael Rivers is a merchandising associate at the Sioux City Home Depot with a passion for creating artwork.

She is a concert junkie and loves road trips to live shows and performances during her free time on the weekends.

You can find and purchase her art by searching Facebook for "Yael’s Art Page."

Weekender: When did you start creating art?

Rivers: “I first got interested in it when I was about 7 or 8 years old. My older brother showed me anime and I wanted to sketch the art from those shows. Sailor Moon was one I would always sketch, but my art isn’t anything like that now.”

Weekender: Who are some of your artistic influences?

Rivers: “Sameer Gadhia, the lead singer of the band Young the Giant. He performs music, so it’s not visual art, but music is one of my biggest inspirations while creating art.”

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Yael Rivers holds a piece of her artwork.

Weekender: That takes us directly to the next question: What inspires you to create art?

Rivers: “Besides the music it depends on the kind of day I’m having. I have a mood disorder so that influences it a lot. If I’m having a good day at work, I’ll be thinking about painting when I get home. If I’m sad I won’t want to paint at all. I know art helps some people cope when they are sad, but not me. I feel that when I’m euphoric is when I want to paint.”

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Yael Rivers holds a piece depicting herself, her mother and her sister.

Weekender: What is your go-to media?

Rivers: “Probably acrylic and oil. I do sketches with markers sometimes, but painting on a regular canvas is my favorite.”

Weekender: What are some of your favorite subjects to create?

Rivers: “I do profiles sometimes, but my art ends up being trippy…not very realistic. I’ll see it realistically in my head, but when I get around to making it, it looks like something a crazy person would make.”

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Yael Rivers shows off a painting.

Weekender: How do your emotions affect what you create?

Rivers: “Greatly. One thing I use a lot is swirls. I like to do those when I’m happy. I’ll use more organic motions when I’m painting in general. I don’t really like using straight or jagged lines unless I’m angry…I don’t have a lot of artwork like that.”

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Yael Rivers showing a piece she created around Halloween.

Weekender: What kind of headspace do you have to be in to do your work?

Rivers: “I have to be really focused. I usually have music blaring and I’ll be going through mania so I’ll be really elevated. I try not to look at my phone. I basically have to be alone. I sometimes try to paint when my boyfriend is home, but that doesn’t usually work out…even if we are in different rooms.”

Weekender: Why do you create art? What does it do for you?

Rivers: “It gives me a creative release. It’s definitely more of a coping thing, even if I don’t do it as much when I’m sad.”

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Yael Rivers holds one of her paintings.

Weekender: When you sell your work, is it hard to let go of your original pieces?

Rivers: “Yeah, I sell my work. I’ve tried doing prints and everything, but I don’t think people like them as much, and I don’t like them as much either. I personally think art is something for other people to see. By hanging on to my own paintings I’m not doing much good. I’d like to get more of my work listed on my page. I’ve let go of some originals, and I just have the photos of them, so I hang on to them that way.”

Weekender: What is your creative process?

Rivers: “I don’t really have much of one. I’ll have an idea in my head of how I want something to look before I sit down and paint. At that point I just sit there and do everything as I go along, not really thinking about it. I might start an outline or a background, but then everything I add after that I think about what color or shape will go well in the piece. I paint a lot more shapes than anything.”

Weekender: Do you have to force it, or does it come naturally?

Rivers: “It comes naturally. If I feel like I have to force art, I won’t do it at all because I can’t enjoy it or think about what I want to do. That’s not what it’s about for me.”

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Weekender Writer

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