Gneural /Debbie Clapper

Boulder, CO

“The main intention behind my work has always been to challenge the viewer to go beyond surface level, delving deep into the piece, allowing the art to reflect their own life experiences. The abstract geometric nature of my work (all created freehand - no rulers used, ever) transcends social and physical bounds to create visuals that bring people together.”


A Q&A with Debbie Clapper of Gneural

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Rocky River, OH. I moved to Colorado in 1998 to go to the Art Institute of Colorado (my sister had convinced me to come here for college). Funny thing… within a year of my moving out here my sister ended up moving to Jersey (doh!), but I stayed and fell in love with Colorado. It is home to me.

At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a creative path?

I knew I would do something creative from a very young age. My parents always encouraged me in my artistic endeavors, so when I got to high school, they didn’t poo-poo my desire to want to make a living as a creative. My high school counselor turned me on to graphic design, and I embarked on getting my college degree in that. Now, as of this year, I have made a full pivot to pursue my career as an artist full time. It has always been a part of what I do, but I made the decision come 2019 to full on go for my passion and make it work.

Are you self taught? Did you learn from a mentor?

I’m self taught for the most part. My art training doesn’t go much beyond high school art classes. And though I went to the Art Institute of Colorado, they primarily focused on commercial design, so I only had one life drawing class while I was there. I will say that I like that I don’t have formal art training. I feel as though it’s allowed me to be very free with what I enjoy doing art-wise, and to not come into my work with preconceived notions on how things have to be done.

Do you have a favorite piece you’ve made?

I do! I have a little black and white painting I made between 2001-02 (I can’t quite remember the exact date). It’s titled “gneural” and I have always loved it. It is one that I will never sell or give away.

It's the weekend. What do you see yourself doing?

Drink some coffee. Do a little reading. Go on a hike, mountain bike ride or long walk. Work on a drawing. Enjoy a nice cheese plate. Happy hour with some friends. Have a nice meal. Possibly squeeze in a little Netflix. Hit the hay.

What are three words you would use to best describe your work?

Abstract Geometric Illusions