Imagery courtesy of Sarah Palmer Art
My personal mission is to bring joy, inspiration, and excitement to my viewers. I really love learning about people and want to connect with my audience through drawing and painting. Enabling the viewer to see beyond the image and experience a moment of curiosity or truth in his or her own lives is an incredible moment for me. If I make my audience the least bit curious or bring a smile to someone’s face then I am satisfied.
What was the defining moment in your past that set you on the career path you ended up following?
From the time that I could hold a paintbrush I have had a passion for drawing and painting. I began at an early age, sketching from life everything- landscapes, people, animals, birds, and anything in sight. My grandmother was an artist and recognized the passion that I felt toward art. While in the fifth grade I represented my school winning a citywide art contest followed by placing fourth in the state. This event along with the encouragement of amazing teachers validated my passion and really cemented my dream of studying art.
What makes you unique in your industry?
I have found that there is no roadmap to becoming an artist like there is for many careers. Early on I realized that the learning never stops. Before attending graduate school at the Savannah School of Art and Design I spent a summer in Italy at the Florence Academy of Art, studying with world-renowned artists. I now find myself enrolling in further workshops, and seeking out new instruction. Hiro Ono, considered one of the best sushi chefs in the world, says it best, “I do the same thing over and over, improving bit by bit-you must dedicate your life to mastering your skill.” Continually experimenting with new techniques and materials, I always strive to learn more. I feel as though artists sometimes get too complacent and fall into a pattern or formula where they produce the same paintings year after year. For me there is always more to learn and never enough time.
What is one way you hope to impact your community in the future, either personally or professionally?
I want to let others know that there are no boundaries or limits with achieving your dreams. In giving back to the community who have supported and encouraged me from the beginning, I have been active in donating my time and artworks to nonprofit organizations in Austin, San Antonio, and Atlanta. Raising money for the Arts as well as supporting children’s art endeavors are two avenues that are important to me.
If you could sit down with any woman in the world–either from history or who is currently living–who would that be and what would you discuss with her?
From a very young age I have been inspired by the works of Mary Cassatt. She was one of a relatively small number of American women to become professional artists in the nineteenth century when most women, particularly wealthy ones, did not pursue a career. Cassatt had an incredible work ethic, continuing art classes in Europe after she had graduated from the Art Academy in Pennsylvania. Not only do I admire her work, but appreciate her passion for learning. If she were still living today, I would love to hear about her time in Italy at the Parma Academy and her special friendship with Degas.