I’ve asked a very diverse group of artist friends questions about being an artist. I will share their responses over a series of blog posts. The goal is to make connections, inspire and promote art. Whether you are an artist or you have yet to discover your inner artist, my hope is that you will be able to relate to the artists featured.
Be sure to visit the artists’ websites and like/follow their Facebook and Instagram accounts to take a peek at their work. Everyone is active in the community through art exhibits, acting in local theaters, taking on leadership roles in guilds and leagues, teaching, etc.
Question 1. What compels you to create?
- “I am fascinated by unique patterns, textures, shadows and colors.
- I love to capture the images with my cameras and exhibit them in creative ways.
- I do not Photoshop any of them…. leaving their original features.”
Art Medium: Photography
“I have always liked to make things and work with my hands. The creative process of making things inspires and relaxes me. It also simultaneously frustrates and pushes me.”
Art Medium: Pastel, paper, fabric, felt, rickrack
“I wish I could say it is an insatiable need to express the inexpressible. Alas, I do it for my own amusement.”
Art Medium: Photography, electronics
“I like to paint: It relaxes me after a day’s work.”
Art Medium: Transparent watercolor
“I don’t know what compels me to create. I just get immense satisfaction by posing a problem to myself and then finding ways to solve it. For instance, if I see something that captivates me, I imagine ways to transform it into something that will share my reaction to it with others. This impulse shows up in creating tangible objects and in creating an experience for others.
The objects I create are usually watercolor paintings. I love that medium and really enjoy taking my visual response to something in the world around me and translating it on paper to a painting that shares my reaction with viewers. I don’t care if everyone who sees it gets the point, but if some do, that is great. Part of the joy is just the physical act of applying paint to paper but the most important part is taking an idea and presenting it in an engaging manner.
These days, the experiences that I create are lessons for students who are trying to improve their own art production. I am interested in helping people to expand their approaches to their own art-making by increasing their awareness of the elements and principles of design and the contexts for their work. It is a thrill when someone is able to go beyond what they could do before and move in new directions with their art.”
Medium: Watercolors on paper
“I’m compelled to create art because I have a strong desire to express myself and my creativity through my art. I work with a variety of materials that aren’t traditional and I find this very satisfying and challenging. First and foremost I create art for myself. The most satisfying thing for me is to come up with an original idea, bring it to fruition, and present it to the public. If someone looks at my art long enough to form an opinion, whether they like it or not, the art has done its job because the person viewing my art looked long enough to form an opinion. Creating art is pure bliss for me.”
Art Medium: Mixed media / Assemblage
“Hmmm…. I have a few reasons:
- I am drawn to certain subjects and want to create them using collage
- I create my beach collages when I need a break from my design/website/social media work and need to escape
- If I’m organizing an art event people expect me to have new art and I don’t like to disappoint them 🙂 – even if I have limited time left to be creative!”
Art Medium: Collage/mixed media
Diane Marcial Fuchs
“I have been drawing since I was a toddler and there has never been a time when I wasn’t doing something creative. I just have so many ideas that I want to translate onto paper or canvas! I take a lot of photos for references. Sometimes when I see something interesting, I’m already imagining what medium and size I see the completed piece. I will never run out of ideas on what to create next!”
Art Medium: Watercolor, oils, acrylics, pastels, colored pencil, graphite
José Ángel Hernández
“I now realize that an artist had always lived in me and decided to make his debut appearance at the age of 43. I like to call it the midlife crisis that transformed into the midlife journey. I find most fascinating the beginning of the creative process. Mentally composing a painting in my mind. It starts with what message or story do I want to tell, the color palette, and most important to me the 3D element I am going to incorporate in the painting.”
Art Medium: 3D Mixed Media
“There is an ethereal quality to the process of artistic creation. In the creative world, there is no glass ceiling, no limitations, no max of options. We are not confined by the self-imposed barriers of this world. I create to express that very fact, to remind myself and others that when we create, we can go beyond – beyond everything in this world.”
Art Medium: Acrylic paintings, charcoals, mixed media, & printmaking
“Being a professional photographer since 1984, I find joy in the creative process. The one thing that compels me to continue to create art is the “Search.”
When I was a children’s portrait photographer, my process was linear. Most of the time I had a hot minute to get that one image that captured the true essence of that child and told a story…. what you see is what you get.
When cancer entered my world, it changed the way I think, the way I see, the way I feel. As a result, the true story teller came out in me as I began to search for a deeper meaning in my artwork using symbolism and a divine light to evoke emotion.
Now when I sit in front of my computer, I let the image guide me. Using the tools in Photoshop and my heart to guide me I long to reimagine and create art that evokes a conversation of what others did not see.”
Art Medium: Photography
“Wow, you start with the hard ones. I have asked myself this so many times. So far I have narrowed it down to these three:
- Desire to experiment and learn.
- The inability of my mind to let go of something unusual/special/beautiful until I act on it. The action can be a study, photograph, drawing, a technique, a composite, etc. Many of these end up inside a composite.”
Art Medium: Photography, digital composite, beginning watercolor
Anna Mikhaela Reyes
“For me, art primarily serves a therapeutic purpose as I am able to create imagery that tells my story, embodies my deepest feelings, and communicates how I experience my life and the world around me. As an off-brand label, I hope that the honesty in my work regarding themes such as mental health and trauma drives audiences to reflect that same openness and not feel that those subjects are taboo or shameful, but a genuine representation of the human experience.”
Art Medium: Charcoal, pastel, colored pencil
“What am I doing?
There’s something inside of you, that speaks to you sometimes you have to create without a roadmap – just a gut feeling in your heart. You were born to be an artist – without art you don’t breathe. 20 questions and many answers, and none of them are incorrect. Do you have a special vision that no one else has to tell your story?
Why am I doing this?
The reason you’re creating is because something inside of you that has another perspective of reality. Your creativity defines this imaginary line of fantasy. You do it because you’re in love with the art – you’re restless and have bottled-up anxiety if you don’t create.
Have I lost my mind?
Your art will speak to you and tell you what to do next. You will go back-and-forth. What looks right what looks wrong? What would work? What will not work? We will go back-and-forth with different ideas to create something special that nobody’s ever seen before. Sometimes you think you’re crazy for the things that you come up with that don’t even make sense to yourself but when people see it, they mix it to them. It’s wonderful to have something inside you speak to you and see the inner beauty in colors and texture and different images.”
Art Medium: Acrylic painting
- “Ideas demand my attention and want me to play.
- Possible influx of money.
- Someone has an ugly wall they need me to fix.
- Someone trusts me with an idea or trusts me to capture the image of a beloved animal.”
Art Medium: Watercolor on paper, acrylic on canvas and walls
“I create so my mind can be engaged and working. It is hard just to sit and watch TV.”
Art Medium: Quilting, scrapbooking
Diane Beem Wright
“I’ve been asking myself that same question. My mind is full of ideas, but getting myself to sit down and create is a challenge. Being a member of the Visual Art League helps because, for their shows, I’m given a “theme” and a deadline! But even then, it seems like other things in my life come first.”
Art Medium: Watercolor, color pencil, acrylics, assemblage/mixed media
I wasn’t planning on participating in my own interview but after reading everyone’s answers I thought I’d join the fun.
Why I create:
- Output / productivity: I like to have something to show for myself. Sure, there are days I may watch a tv marathon of Downton Abby or Escape to the Chateau. But those are the days I’ve exhausted myself completely and must recharge for the next round of creativity.
- Collector of stuff: I am not a hoarder and I’m not in denial. But I do collect things – vintage hats, interesting chairs, vintage photos of strangers, unique branches, dried flowers…. But I use my collections. Some items end up in assemblage art pieces or I use the items as props in photographs, or in the case of hats, I wear them.
- Peaceful / Escape: The best moment is when my assemblage art seems to make itself. My hands take over the process and my mind takes a back seat in terms of doubting or overthinking. When the piece is finished, I don’t know how it happened.
- Art Leagues: Art leagues have catapulted my interest in creating. They are a gateway to other likeminded people. They also give me the opportunity and motivation to make art for a specific theme and deadline. I love the challenge of coming up with something new and unique to share in a public exhibit.
Art Medium: Assemblage art, photography, machine embroidery
I have more questions to unveil in the coming weeks. Thank you to all the artists for participating and thank you everyone for reading! Show the artists some love by visiting their websites and social media pages. Or attend a show where they exhibit!
If you’d like to be included in this interview series, track me down and you’re in! It’s that easy.