We stumbled upon artist Sienna Luna's Instagram account (@s.luna.art) purely by happenstance, but given her illustrative prowess, we're glad we did. Luna's a Santa Fe native but spent the last chunk of years living in Phoenix, Arizona, and picking up an associate's degree in fine art from the community college there. Luna's take on portraiture and wildlife recalls an Alphonse Mucha-esque aesthetic, though there's an emotive playfulness at work. She's without gallery representation for now, but let's see if we can't change that.
What brought you back to Santa Fe?
I really love it here. I just realized this was a special place and I wanted to set down roots here. I wanted to grow somewhere. The art scene in already so established in Santa Fe, but I think there's going to be an influx of new people who are going to make their own scene.
Are you one of those lifelong artists?
I've been creative my whole life, but I just like to learn in general. I just happen to be really good at drawing. I went to school for design originally, and I
started to focus more on my fine art career when people started reaching out to me; anytime I made something, people would buy it. I think if you have
some kind of talent or intelligence or propensity for it, you should go for it. I start with a sketch of some sort, usually digital, and I'll transfer it to a board or piece of paper. From there I start to outline everything with colored pencil, seal it with acrylic medium; start putting in washes of color with gouache and acrylic together. I like this process because it layers. … It makes it glow. I started working with gouache in the last year via my experience with [Santa Fe artist] Michael Bergt. I'm such a huge fan of his work. That's how I took the dive into gouache.
Are you, as an artist, concerned at all with selling art in a culture less into permanence—like Uber, Airbnb, etc.—a culture that seems less interested in longterm ownership of things?
I don't know. You're eventually gonna hit a wall and be completely overwhelmed with the change in the world, and I'm lucky that I got a very well-rounded
education. I'm confident in my ability to learn. I see a big need in being able to take care of myself. Art is a lot of different things and I'm OK bending what that means to me. I have the balance of people who find me to make work for them. In addition to creating my own fine art, I'm interested in the textile business—creating patterns to be printed on functional items, like a shirt or wallpaper. I want to be making really beautiful things with the eye of an artist.