Tell us about yourself & your art background
I was raised out on a farm in the boonies of Virginia until the age of 18. Growing up surrounded by nature, livestock and a crowd of 10 friends I get call family molded me to see the world a little differently. My mother has always said that, unlike my other siblings, since the age of two, all I needed was some paper and a pencil to sit still for hours simply drawing. I suppose that’s when it all started. Now at age twenty I’ve been living my dream as a freelance artist for almost two years!
What is your creative process like?
Bear with me since this is my first time thinking about what my creative process even is!
I suppose it starts by simply living. At all times, I’m taking in tons of information and soaking in the beauty of life all around me.
Eventually, these little ideas and pieces, like a puzzle, come together and create something completely new and unique. It’s like a lightbulb goes off in my head.
Then comes the fun part, action! When I start creating and bringing the new idea to life. This is my favorite part. In this stage of the process you shouldn’t be surprised to find me up at 2am with music blasting, painting the night away, accompanied by a cup of cold coffee (or 3) in my studio.
The next stage is very important and often forgotten - taking a step back. It’s always good to take a break from a project, even if I’m simply working on a different one. I won’t think about that piece or look at it for a while. This helps me come back with a fresh perspective to see things I maybe didn’t notice before.
Once I feel pretty happy with how the piece has come together I will turn to others for input. I’ll ask for feedback and critiquing from people that know me and my work especially well, have good taste, and high standards for art.
From that constructive feedback, I will make any final adjustments, and voila, it’s complete!
Any other mediums you love to work in/experiment with?
Yes! Watercolor is definitely my top medium, but I also love working with acrylics and graphite pencils and sometimes mixing the two together!
What artists inspire your work?
All of them. Seriously. From little kid’s scribbles, to Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night paintings, and everything in-between. I actually look at photograpy more than artwork itself. The most common artist’s and photogrphers I pull inspiration from are: the hundreds consuming my Instagram feed. Even if I’m in need of a new face to doodle, I’m bound to find a selfie or two, just waiting to be drawn!
How has your work changed over the years?
For a while I was in the try-everything-out mode to see what I enjoyed most. I was all over the place with oils, digital design, photography, watercolor, acrylics, charcoal, and graphite. I think every artist should go through that season, and it’s good. Of course, I felt very scattered, like I wasn’t really accomplishing anything as a whole. Just a little here and a little there.
Over the past two years I decided to focus on watercolors - Improving my Couple Portraits, House Portraits, and Holding Home portraits. Since then I have seen a huge improvement in this area and it’s been extremely rewarding.
What are you working on right now?
I’m branching out into acrylics and wood-working more. I’ve started building my own circle frames and canvases to paint on. My goal is to create something different and personal from the usual “square” world of art.
I’m also in the process of designing a few tattoo commissions. It’s pretty crazy to think that people want my art on their bodies forever. It’s a huge compliment and honor.
Ever find yourself in a creative rut? How do you pull yourself out?
Music is my go-to when I’m in need of motivation. Honesty, without music it’s hard to get anything done! Also - http://designspiration.net and Pinterest. Both of these are overflowing with creativity and stunning work from thousands of beautiful minds.
What are some challenges & benefits of being a full time artist?
Aside from a couple classes and helpful advice, as a self-taught artist I have learned a ton about self-discipline, dedication, and the art of learning without teachers and deadlines to prompt me. In the same way, being my own boss has been a similar learning experience. A huge benefit is the flexibility I have to travel. Since most of my art is being shipped to other states or countires anyway, my location doesn’t effect my work.
Any advice for young artists?
I hope you never find yourself at a point where you’re completely satisfied with your art, because that will be the sad day you stop growing.