Interview with Artist Siolo Thompson featured in ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ Show

Interview with Artist Siolo Thompson,

featured in A Song of Ice and Fire Show

By: Terra Clarke Olsen

Ltd. Art Gallery is currently exhibiting an art show inspired by George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and I had the pleasure of interviewing Seattle artist Siolo Thompson for a Seattle Weekly article:

T: How long have you been painting?

ST: I have not been painting for very long, to be honest, I think I’m approaching the five year anniversary of the first painting I ever made (which involved a pretty inept rendition of a glorious Russian squirrel). I work hard at it though, I paint everyday even if it’s only an small academic study or color experiment. Painting is definitely one of those things that people think of as ‘talent based’ but that I have found to be primarly work based.
Artist Siolo Thompson

Artist Siolo Thompson

T: How did you become connected with the Ltd. Gallery?

ST: Walking by Ltd. one day I went in to look at a show they had hanging, I was so taken with the work and general nerdy vibe of the place that I approached the owner James Monosmith, then and there and asked him to consider me for upcoming shows. Generally one should not accost gallery owners in that manner, they prefer the less awkward internet based submission (so they can reject you with diplomacy) but James was very gracious about it. By the time I had walked home he had taken a look at my portfolio and invited me to show at Ltd. This past October they hosted my first ever solo show.

T: How did you become involved with the “Winter is Coming” show?

ST: Pretty sure I just bullied my way on to the roster. I’m a big fan of the books and when I heard that Ltd. was doing a Song of Ice and Fire art extravaganza, well, I knew I need to be in that show even if I had to sneak my piece in.

T: Are you a G.R.R. Martin fan?

ST: Yes, and it’s funny because he is the first ‘fantasy’ author I’ve ever read. I’m a pretty hardcore science fiction fan and in the past have mocked my friends for their Sword and Dragon books. For a couple of years my friend Brooke had been trying to get me to read the series and I wasn’t having any of it. One day I was at Goodwill and absentmindedly bummed my shopping cart into a bookshelf. The first Game of Thrones book fell off the shelf into my cart. I picked up the ratty paperback and noticed a bookmark between the pages. The bookmark was a folded airline ticket stub, the ticket (and book) had belonged to a doctor I used to work with. Not kidding. I don’t argue with the magics so I bought the book and then spent the next week huddled on the couch ignoring my life while I got caught up on all the happenings of Westeros.

T: What did you do to prepare for this show?

ST: Well, the painting I am showing is my fifth attempt. I had some grand ideas, did several versions of different characters, got a good start on a few different paintings, comfort ate my way through a couple of failed attempts etc. Now it’s down to the wire and I’ve finally committed to the piece I’m showing. This was a hard show to prepare for, so many great characters and scenes, I know a few other artists also struggled with concepts and ideas. I’m really eager to see how everything turned out.

"Melissandre, Priestess of Light" by Siolo Thompson

“Melissandre, Priestess of Light” by Siolo Thompson

T: How do you incorporate your geeky passions into your art in general?

ST: My love of sci-fi, comic books and graphic novels really got me started in the visual arts. The first year I was making art I was almost entirely dedicated to drawing robots. Over time my robots became more human and as I acquired more figurative painting skills I used my favorite scifi and comic book characters as models. Painting, in it’s way, is a very nerdy profession. There is so much esoteric knowledge, weird historical stuff, and technical know how that brings out the geek in me.

You can learn more about Siolo Thompson on her website, and make sure to see her painting in person at Ltd. Gallery.