I want this blog to be a place of inspiration, creative thoughts, AND artists. I don't want to be the only one blabbing away so I've decided to start an artist interview series featuring some of my favorite artists currently making waves in the art scene!
I think we can ALL agree Instagram is full of some pretty awesome artists. One of my absolute favorites is the creative, bombshell beauty, Carly (@paintingsbycar) She's kind, colorful, full of so much pazazz and magic, and she fills Instagram (and my house) with some of the best artwork. I don't know how I found Carly on IG but I'm glad I did. She just looks like the kind of person you want to be friends with.
CUE THE ARTIST INTERVIEW WITH CARLY:
For the readers who don’t know who you are, can you tell us a little about yourself?
HEY! My name is Carly - a girl from AZ who loves Jesus, all things pink, cats, the beach, New Girl, and laughing with friends & family. My fav food is mac n cheese and my fav drink is an iced white mocha.
I am currently a student at Biola University in California; majoring in Christian Ministry and minoring in Biblical studies. Although being a fulltime student while pursuing my art business can be tough, it is all worth it because art is my happy place. I paint when I am sad, happy, excited, quiet, and every other emotion in between. I am just obsessed with how colors can brighten your mood, bring your heart joy, and speak to everyone in a unique way.
How did you get started in painting? Have you always been an abstract acrylic artist?
So my entire childhood I was obsessed with drawing. I took drawing classes, was always drawing in my free time, and loved it!! I actually think it is funny that I landed on abstract painting because I did not try abstract until recently. I remember trying some craft paints on canvas in 7th grade and for the years that followed I would paint here and there, maybe once every few months. I enjoyed it but was never overly passionate about it because I would just copy things I saw on pinterest.
Fast forward to a year and a half ago when I discovered artists on Instagram who were BOSS BABES. I had never seen so much art that was so fun, vibrant, and girly. I was so inspired to look into painting even more and spend money on nicer paints. I created my Instagram account (really with no desire to actually grow and promote myself to actual strangers) and just kept painting. After a few months I felt my style begin to develop into abstract and I gained more confidence to work more on my Instagram! So basically, here we are now taking steps of growth, confidence, and still learning so much about myself as an abstract painter every time I pick up a brush!
I talk a lot about style being more about how you paint, then what you paint. What are some of your thoughts on developing a personal style? Have you ever felt pressured to create 100% never before seen work?
I honestly don’t think about my style that much. I think that if you overanalyze it that’s when you’ll run into trouble and feel confused. The more you paint, the more your style will just naturally develop! You will start to realize strokes, techniques, and color combinations that you love when they keep reappearing. I also don’t let myself to feel tied down to creating paintings that all look super similar. I love dreaming up completely different types of compositions for each painting. That is why I have yet to do a “series” where every painting looks very cohesive.
With that being said though, I have totally felt the pressure of looking 100% unique and different and new. That is something everyone faces. I think that as a passionate artist, you must remove yourself from everyone’s opinion of you or your work and just continue to paint in ways that make your soul sing. When you step away from your art you should have all the heart eyes!!! Don’t let the pressure get to you when you’re probably the only one imagining it.
I've heard you mention that you're exploring new styles on IG lately. Has this been scary for you? What prompted the change?
It's kind of scary but also just exhilarating to be trying new things! The scary part is I'm just worried it won't be perceived as "mine". But I'm pushing through that and just focusing on my excitement. I think the change is prompted by a change in seasons, literally and figuratively! I'm looking forward to new things in life and I think that comes through in how I paint. I also will give credit to the inspiration I'm getting from other artists on Insta! I love how much color blocking I'm seeing lately!!
What are some of the main things that inspire and influence your art and creative process?
I’m going to be honest and just admit that famous artists and art throughout history does not inspire me. I have always hated school art classes and what they “force me to learn”. I love that other people find deep inspiration from the artists who have gone before, but I feel the most inspired by my peer artists RIGHT NOW.
This is why I feel so blessed to be on Instagram where I have been exposed to so many current artists that I can talk to, admire, and just follow along with their journey. I am inspired by bright and unique color combinations that are bold, girly, and eye catching. I am also deeply inspired by music. Music changes my mood and makes me dream with all my creative energy. My creative process is very random, at random times, random places, and with random pieces of inspiration. I can’t explain it further than that hahaha!
Is there a big obstacle or struggle you’ve overcome that you’d like to share your thoughts on?
I have struggled with taking commissions. At the beginning I did not feel like I could say no to anybody. However, the commissions I was taking on were not making me happy and felt like the worst kind of chore. As time has gone on, I have gained more wisdom on how to say yes or no to commissioned projects without feeling awkward or guilty. Just remember that you should protect the joy that you get from creating and protect the type of work that you want out there in the world with your name on it.
What's one of your favorite highlights in your artist career?
The highlight of my career so far was when I realized how many strangers I didn’t know started finding me and wanting to buy my work. It was the craziest thing selling to just friends and family to all of a sudden meeting strangers at Starbucks and learning how to ship them out of state. Second to that would be when I booked a 48x48 abstract commission and my client gave me total creative freedom. That was such a compliment to be trusted with such a large and expensive piece.
Where can my creative minions learn more about you and your work?
Over on IG! @paintingsbycar