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Intuitive painter Issis Macias sets the tone for LunART Festival 2024: REBIRTH

Updated: Mar 10

Local artist, Issis Macias, is turning her outlet into an artistic career. She started painting as a hobby in 2012 when she lived in Los Angeles, California, but has now made it her full time job. 

Photo by Marty Jenich

Macias is collaborating with LunART this year to create the art for the 2024 festival, titled “REBIRTH.” 

When asked about what she was most looking forward to about working with LunART, she explains how she feels connected to this group of creatives.

“I completely resonate with the mission of LunART,” Macias says. “I feel very privileged to have an opportunity like this, as an artist and creative mother, to use my art to elevate the arts in Madison and Dane County, and even worldwide.”

For Macias, the festival theme embodies her pathway into motherhood and evolution as an artist. It was not until 2020 that Macias started to really throw herself into her art. After just having a baby and the lockdown for the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear that there was a lot of stress during this period.

“I’m an intuitive painter, so it saved me,” Macias says. “I use it for healing.”

When she creates her works she does not have something in mind, and there are times when she does not recall creating certain pieces because she was in a deep zone. 

“It’s more about the feeling at the moment,” Macias says. “When I'm creating my artwork, it's definitely an act of surrendering to the canvas.” 

As for her creative process, a lot has to do with a color that is speaking to her. 

“When I go long periods without painting, a color just kind of stirs in my mind,” Macias says. Whether it’s vibrant yellows or cool blues, once she sees the color, she has to put it on a canvas.

When it comes to the artists she looks up to, there are many that she appreciates for various reasons. Just to name a few, Macias explains that she is inspired by artists like Joni Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler and Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

“I'm a huge fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat,” Macias says. “I love his colors, his textures, obviously, he was just a genius in terms of some of the symbolism that he integrated into his artwork. And the scale, the scale is just completely inspiring.”  

She also explains how she feels culturally connected to her art. 

“The vibrancy of my Mexican heritage comes through. The colors that I use, the palettes, come through (in) my artwork,” Macias says.

One of Macias’ biggest goals is to inspire those around her. 

“My aim is to inspire other BIPOC communities to see art as a mode for healing, and that it's never too late to pursue it,” Macias says.

For the LunART festival this year, a piece created by Macias will be available for purchase. We will also be using her abstract masterpiece for our festival poster this year — stay tuned!

 Article by Ava Wojnowski

Ava Wojnowski is an intern with LunART. She is majoring in journalism and Spanish and is excited to bring her passion for writing to LunART. Outside of school, Wojnowski loves to spend time outside and also loves to listen to music. She played the viola from 4th to 12th grade, so music has always been a part of her life.

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