Inside the Artist's Studio: Beginnings
WHEN DID I KNOW I WANTED TO BE an artist?
For some, becoming an artist is a conscious decision. For me, it happened the moment I could pick up a pencil.
Growing up in a small town in Tennessee, on a 150 acre farm, was not the most ideal environment for learning how to become an artist. There were no art programs at my private high school of 120 students. There were no art camps within an hour's reach.
From a young age, I had to motivate myself. My parents were always supportive of me because I would obsessively draw for hours everyday.
When it came time for me to attend college, I couldn't have been more excited. The art department was a candy store. I couldn't decide which studio major to go after because I loved them so I became an art teacher and learn a wide variety of mediums.
WHEN DID I START SELLING MY WORK?
While in college, there was an art gallery and frame shop nearby called The Art House. I thought it seemed doable and charged ahead, not wanting to be laughed out of my first attempt getting into a gallery.
I quickly realized that I had to continually be producing a small body of work every month to keep up with their rotation schedule. "We ask our artists to drop off ten new paintings every month..." Yeah. An eye-opening experience!
I also learned a powerful lesson: artists need to show up and stay connected. Being present to say a quick hello to my gallery friends on my way to run errands would land me in the middle of an art negotiation that soon would sway my way just because I was standing right there.
I still strongly believe that the quickest way to achieve your goals is to get involved, at any level, and simply show up. And never underestimate the power of good relationships with good people.
HOW DID I GET INTO abstract art?
Fast forward 15 years. I'm now living in San Diego and working towards my MFA online in 2016. One of the program requirements was to find a mentor.
A quick Google search landed only two hits: a silk screen printer and an abstract artist. This was how I found my way, after three attempts to find parking on three different weekends, to Art on 30th.
Walking in, I was star-struck like I was back in college with the building, the art, and the staff. I knew I had to get involved with this community.
I was doing graphic design work during a night class for Art on 30th while keeping my eyes and ears open to what was happening on the other side of the room. I had learned all that I could have for realism and impressionism...but abstract was so mysterious to me.
One day, I decided I would bring in a few tiny canvases and try my hand at it. A few guiding words from Kate and the rest is history! I was hooked in a big way.