August 27, 2013.
I could see her atop the scaffolding. The wall was just about done, once it was Molly climbed down the scaffolding, looked back at the wall and squinted hard like a movie director would when they are setting up a shot. By this time late in the day the sun was setting and the light was gorgeous. Molly said hello, you could hear the laid back southern hospitality just dance off her lips, "I'm Molly, what's your name?"
What do you write? Are you in a crew?
I go by my name, Molly Rose Freeman. I paint with a lot of friends but I'm not in a crew.
In what city did you start painting in the streets? Do you feel your work has influenced the community in return? If so, how? Is there a relationship between the artist and the community in which they work?
I started painting all over the South: Miami, Asheville, Charleston. People were excited to see things going up in public spaces because we just don't have as much here where I am from. In the bigger cities like Miami and Atlanta sure, but not in the smaller towns. I still paint a lot in the South because it's home, it needs people to pay attention to it. It's where I got the raw material for my work and where I learned to paint. There will always be an exchange there.
Did you go to school or are you self taught?
I went to an arts high school and learned a lot about drawing, design and different ways to see. After that I taught myself, mostly studying patterns in nature or in books and kept practicing until I got comfortable enough to paint big and made the leap to painting walls.
How did you get started in the arts and why?
I went down to Miami for Art Basel in 2010 to help my friend paint a wall he'd gotten in Wynwood. At that point, I was making a lot of small paintings and drawings in my studio and I was bored, or antsy, or something. I just had this feeling like I should go down there and work on a wall, and once I started painting I never wanted to stop. It was the best feeling in the world!
How long have you been working in the streets?
Who or What inspires you the most?
Relationships, color, being human and alive.
What should the general public know about street art? What stereotype about street art/graffiti do you hate the most?
I don't keep up that much with what people are saying about either. I just want to paint and I find that's easier if I don't listen to the buzz. I don't think the public has to know anything about street art, that's kind of the point. It's art that comes to the people, not the other way around.
Are you a full time artist? Do you have a day job? Is it best to be full time artist or not worry about it and make your $$$ elsewhere, that way you can paint what and how you want, which one offers a more creative outlook?
I'm a full-time artist. I worked hard and did a lot for free to get to the point where I can make some kind of a living painting what I believe in. Sometimes there are compromises, but I try to stick to my guns. It's a waste of energy to make art if you have to water it down.
What are you working on now?
I'm working on a couple collaborations with friends in Atlanta, smaller paintings and murals. Next week, I'm going out to San Francisco to paint some walls out there, hopefully collaborate again with my friend Anson Cyr who lives out there.
What do you hope to achieve or accomplish by putting your work in the street?
I want people to feel something. I don't care what, just something genuine.
Check out more of Molly's work. http://www.mollyrosefreeman.com