Meet the Artists: Marissa Quinn

The Z SUPPLY x Artist Series is a collaborative collection of limited-edition tees featuring original artwork by artists from across the country that give back. With any Z SUPPLY purchase from now until March 31st, you can donate to Inner-City Arts in support of arts education in the heart of Los Angeles.

Get to know one of the five talented female artists, what inspired her, and the story behind her collaboration tee.

Marissa Quinn

Born and raised in Encinitas, Marissa Quinn grew up in connection with the sea and marine cycles. Upon graduating with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Marissa landed a solo exhibition at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, California, launching her into a full-time career as an artist. She currently resides in Hawaii, but she often spends time in her hometown of Encinitas, where she continues to work closely with environmental researchers to educate the public about the interconnectedness of the ocean to the health of the planet.

How has living in Hawaii changed the way you create art?

Living in Hawai’i means living in collaboration with the land, the sea, and the community. Under the guidance and mentorship of several people in the community, I have been learning about the native flora and fauna of Hawai’i Island and how to live in harmony with its endangered species. My home is located in a cloud forest reserve on the side of a volcano, and up here, I get to witness the spirit of the landthe balance of light and dark, fire and rain, mountains and ocean. My work is changing a lot at the moment because of all that I am learning with this lifestyle. I am focusing on highlighting the native plants and animals around me while learning how to paint in new colors with new mediums. I would say that I am in a state of being wide open to however inspiration directs my hands.

What does your love of art stem from?

My love of art stems from my love of creativity. From as far back as I can remember, I have been creating. The journey of being truly inspired by something, then incubating an idea in your head, and then, manifesting that idea into form is truly the best feeling in the world. I also think that art and spirituality are tightly woven for me, so when I paint, I feel the most spiritually connected and grounded.

What inspires your work?

My work is inspired by nature and her many personalities that show up through interactions of ecosystems and the native flora and fauna within those ecosystems. Right now, I am inspired by the interconnectedness between the land and the seahow the life of a plant might influence the life of a fish or a whale. I love adding a bit of humor, whimsy, and surrealism to my work in hopes that people can feel their own connection to nature through my paintings.

What is the meaning behind your tee?

This tee features two native Hawaiian hibiscus flowersa yellow one called the mao hau hele (hibiscus brackenridgei), which is the state flower, and a red one called the kukio ula  (hibiscus kokio ssp.). 

I have also painted a monarch butterfly on the tee in order to highlight the success story of growing monarch populations on Hawai’i Island. There is a monarch conservation site just down the road from my favorite surf spot, so obviously, this inspired me to paint one and tell their story.

What is your connection to Z SUPPLY?

Z SUPPLY is my go-to shop for all my tees and everyday essentials. I just know that each piece I choose will fit well and be well made.

What does giving back mean to you?

Giving back is part of the cycle of livingwe all take, and we all give. A balanced life is one that gives back as much as or more than it takes. It is where happiness and purpose come from as well, and I think to be a happy and whole person means to be generous and quick to give.

Shop the Artist Series.

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