We had the good fortune of connecting with Aves Willman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Aves, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’ve gone through so many separate journeys on the way to my creative career, the first path was pure and simple joy. I’m lucky to do what I do, and I love it. On a more complex level, it took me a while to understand what art and beauty mean to humanity and why they are important to us.
Art is culture, and community. Art is the belief that your own story has weight and meaning in the world, art is the expression of hidden truth. So, while I’m still very much here for the happiness it brings me personally, I’ve found a much deeper connection to what I do.
I pursue my career because It is the best way I know to help people understand themselves, their world, and the fact that everyone deserves beauty.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Dark surrealism and the subconscious are always the themes most prevalent in my work, even or especially when I’m using bright pops of color or a saccharine concept. I’m fascinated by the meeting and blending of differences. Masculine and feminine, dark and light, known and unknown. I’ve brought this approach to my work as a non-binary creator and that does tend to mean that my work, while being accessible to all, is also uncomfortable to view. I don’t make things that let you rest or check out, every single work of art has at least an edge of something sinister or unknown. Horror and fear are particular fascinations of mine because they are always honest and always inescapable. If you want to know yourself you cannot do it without staring into your darkest mental corners.
Looking right into the dark isn’t easy but it is rewarding. I have the same philosophy about making art and building my career; it isn’t easy but as long as you’re where you intend to be and ready to mentally meet the challenges posed to you your tale will always continue.
The most challenging aspects of my career are and will almost certainly always be making sure I’m getting the material and business end of things right. Luckily I’ve learned this is more than surmountable with a) the bottomless well of knowledge and tutorials available on the internet and b) the help of colleagues and friends when needed. Never tell yourself you do not need or deserve help, this will sink you fast. Rest, remember why you love what you do, and get ready for the next leap of faith!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you’re in my corner of the world, I definitely have some recommendations for anyone looking to experience Colorado Springs. The Skirted Heifer and Drifters are grand if you want a really excellent local burger, and I’d go to the Burrowing Owl if you’re looking for a more vegan selection. Loyal Coffee and Rico’s are lovely for a coffee, and swell places to spend time working or catching up.
Looking for local culture and night life? Definitely stop by Coati Uprise for a cocktail or a meal at the Ephemera restaurant, located upstairs in the venue. Or, of course there’s always the Black Sheep if you want to catch a show.
Those here for sightseeing should stop by Garden of the Gods or Cheyenne Mountain National park, and lastly, you really should see the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, it’s a cut above the rest ( and very high up, be hydrated and prepped for walking!).

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
No story happens in isolation! So many people have and will help me continue on my path, and I could sing endless praise of all of them. Creative careers in particular don’t happen on the shoulders of only one person; My family and my friends have never wavered in their enthusiasm and support for what I do, and I’d be remiss not to mention a few of them quite specifically.
Miette Hope, Bea Nason, Luna Aquavella and Dare Hickman (a musician, a poet, a cosplayer, and a streamer respectively) have all been amazing collaborators and endless sources of awe and inspiration.
Erica Williams is also an incredible practitioner of art sorcery who guided me to the realization that I could and should make my mark in this world, as we all deserve to.

x

Website: www.aofaves.com

Instagram: @a_of_aves

Twitter: @aofaves

Other: TikTok is : @a_of_aves

Image Credits
Bea Nason

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.