1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this piece, is the original still for sale?
Estria: This series is completely different for me. As an illustrator I sketch out concepts first and pre-plan the composition, colors, etc. With this series I meditated first and asked for guidance. I told my ancestors and akuas that I wanted to paint about the formation of the islands. I took a different approach to every canvas in this series. I didn’t know how I was going to start, just grabbed which ever can lured me. I’d be an hour or two in and not know where the canvas was going or what it was about. Then something would happen, I just don’t know how else to explain it. It was an exercise in faith, that my ancestors were present. Iʻve been developing my skill for 30 years and now I can just be free of that, just try to let this stuff flow through me. This canvas was one in a series of about 35-40 pieces I did inspired by the Kumulipo, a Hawaiian origin chant. Yes, this piece is available along with two other original paintings.
1xRun: When was this piece created and with what materials ?
Estria: This piece was created in late 2013. For this series I used anything that came out of a spray can, including metallics, candies, fluorescents, tints, and floral paints. I suggest this piece be out of the sunlight, like a watercolor dye piece.
1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Estria: I painted it in one day, and the clear coating took four days.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Estria: This piece is about the birth of the islands. On one level there are Pele (volcano guardian), Kane and Kanaloa (guardians of fresh and salt water, inspiration, growth and healing). On another level there is procreation and more kaona (hidden meanings), if you sit with it a while.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Estria: I hope that people feel a connection to the piece, especially if they feel aloha aina (love for the land).
1xRun: Describe this piece in one gut reaction word.
Estria: Hanau (birth).
1xRun: Take us through a bit of your process when you are painting murals now, give us some insight into the process that you and Prime were doing last year for the large collaborative wall?
Estria: Prime and I are brothers on this journey together. We ground and meditate first. We ask what the land and ancestors want in that space. Get receive clues, do research and then paint. Itʻs way more work involved than say a piece of my name, and also way more satisfying.
1xRun: You’re an integral part of the Pow Wow Hawaii family, how did you first get involved with the event and how have you seen the event continue to evolve?
Estria: Prime introduced me to Jasper Wong so that we could share our visions. I immediately tried to hire him to plan our battles, and he shot me down. LOL! I love those folks and support their vision. They have done a lot for Hawaiiʻs art scene, and whatʻs great is they support local artists, including those early in their careers. Inclusive rather than exclusive. The challenge for them has been the explosive growth from like 10 participants to 100 in three years, as well as balancing the desires of the community with those of visiting guest artists.
1xRun: Who are some of the artists you’re really excited to see painting out there?
Estria: Iʻve got many friends coming out to paint, and Intiʻs the man.
1xRun: Anybody you’d personally like to collaborate with if the opportunity presented itself?
Estria: Yeah, like half the roster.
1xRun: You’ve also got a ton of really interesting projects with the Estria Foundation and working with your friend John Prime, tell us a bit about what’s been going on with your other various endeavors?
Estria: Weʻve been planning a series called Mele Murals that will span the Hawaiian Islands with the intention to teach haumana (students) how to connect to the aina (land), kupuna (ancestors) and akua (the divine), and to paint our stories out in the community. We hope to build a network of these young painters so that collaborations can happen across the islands.
1xRun: Do you have any plans for your wall out there or are you just going to improvise it when you get there?
Estria: Not yet, but it will come to us.
1xRun: You’ve been staying crazy busy per usual, bring us up to speed on some of the walls you’ve been doing lately?
Estria: The walls are not about me. Prime and I have begun to use them in service to the land and other people, as a way for us to heal.
1xRun: How did 2013 wrap up for you?
Estria: 2013 was the least Iʻve painted in 10 or 20 years, but laid much foundation for upcoming projects. I also did a lot of personal growth. Like my dad said, “It seems like weʻre always in school.”
1xRun: Aside from Pow Wow 2014, what are your plans for the new year?
Estria: I need to cleanse! I ate a lot of chocolate chip cookies last year!
1xRun: Anything you’d like to add that we didn’t touch on?
Estria: Mahalo nui loa to Jesse, Dan and Pietro, my brothers from the D!1xRun: Where else can people find you?
Estria: – Website – Estria.org – Facebook – Twitter & Instagram: @estria