Artist Spotlight

Best of 2018: Seven Interviews That’ll Spark Your Creativity

Best of 2018: Seven Interviews That’ll Spark Your Creativity
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Few things have the power to inspire quite like art—except, perhaps, the artists themselves. This year we chatted with some of our favorite painters and photographers about their own sources of inspiration, their daily routines, and what they do when artist’s block sets in (“Get outside!”). Read on and get ready for a more creative 2019.

Artist Dawn Wolfe at home in California.

Artist Dawn Wolfe at home in California.

Dawn Wolfe

We’ve long been fans of Dawn Wolfe’s intricate cut-paper collages, with their whimsical flora and fauna motifs and lively color palettes. But for her latest series, she turned her focus to large-scale photography. “Living on the coast in California surrounded by so much beauty, I wanted to find a way to bring it inside,” says Dawn of her stunning black-and-white works, which offer an up-close look at found nests, driftwood, and other natural specimens. “In these shots you see more of the detail than you do with your naked eye.”

On curing artist’s block: “Get outside! Actually, I never have artist’s block. I have the opposite—too many ideas to actually act on.”

Read more about Dawn’s process →

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Through the Night by Drew Doggett.

Through the Night by Drew Doggett.

Photographer Drew Doggett.

Photographer Drew Doggett.

Drew Doggett

Globe-trotting photographer Drew Doggett shot his latest series, “In the Realm of Legends,” against the otherworldly backdrop of Iceland. “There is an underlying element of fantasy that runs through this entire series,” says Drew. “Beyond the images—which often reference collective ideas of fantasy or utopia—I landed on the title ‘In the Realm of Legends’ because being in Iceland did truly feel like I was incredibly far away from home—perhaps in a different world altogether.”

On seeking out subject matter: “Prior to ever picking up my camera I always ask myself, ‘Will this be relevant in 20, 50, or even 100 years from now?…  Often my priorities of what to shoot next come down to whether or not the subject may be lost, forgotten, or altered in the near future.”

Read more about Drew’s adventures in Iceland →

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A detail from Night Lights by Caroline Wright.

A detail from Night Lights by Caroline Wright.

Artist Caroline Wright in her studio.

Artist Caroline Wright in her studio.

Caroline Wright

As a lifelong cellist and former yoga teacher, Caroline Wright often incorporates elements of music and movement into her expressive abstract paintings. “Before I start painting each day, I move my body to get into a more fluid state, out of my head,” she says. “If I feel myself begin to stiffen up into fear and judgment, I step away from the canvas and get back into my body. My inner critic is a very dominant presence, and I have to trick myself to kick her out of the room long enough to enjoy myself and get to work.”

On pushing through frustration: “Sometimes I hate everything I’m making—then I might go for a swim or a hike to refresh. I’ll take down everything I can’t stand and start painting small ink sketches of trees in the yard. I make it very simple, so that I can enjoy the act of painting and seeing again.”

Read more about Caroline’s creative routines →

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A detail of Hellebores and Limes by Emma Williams.

A detail of Hellebores and Limes by Emma Williams.

Emma Williams

Irish-born, London-based artist Emma Williams finds inspiration in the rugged seascapes of Cornwall, England. Her paintings channel Matisse in their expressive compositions and color palettes, and her use of layered pattern hints at her early career in textile design. “Wherever I turn there is inspiration,” Emma says. “Color combinations are everywhere, from a basket full of washing to a box of buttons. I am continuously revitalized by pattern and color.”

On curing artist’s block: “Swimming is my meditation. It’s a great way to increase positivity and get clarity with problematic paintings. Also walking my fox terrier, Teddy. Any exercise that you can do whilst daydreaming, really.”

Read more about Emma’s inspirations →

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Bathers II by Hayley Mitchell.

Bathers II by Hayley Mitchell.

Hayley Mitchell

“Since childhood I’ve dreamt of being an artist,” says Hayley Mitchell, whose vibrant portraits have garnered legions of followers among the design community thanks to the power of Instagram. “I’m naturally a shy person, so sharing my work was a scary prospect. I began to share my work on social media, and it really grew from there—social media was the platform that launched my career.”

On finding inspiration: “Travel, museums, history, interior design books, nature… The list could go on forever. It is always inspiring to see what others have given to the world and what the world has given us.”

Read more about Hayley’s work →

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Waves More by Judith Gigliotti.

Waves More by Judith Gigliotti.

Judith Gigliotti

Though she started out as a potter, Judith Gigliotti found her true creative love in the art of photography. She and her Italian husband spend summers on the Amalfi Coast, and her photographs capture the beauty of the region in sparkling color and detail. “It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world,” Judith says. “The colors of the water, the throngs of people on the beaches, the bright umbrellas, the life! It just brings me joy.”

On seeking out subject matter: “I’m always looking for the next place—one that is different or special. I simply explore the coasts and see what I find. I am always surprised!”

Read more about Judith’s process →

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Supplies at the ready in the studio of Mary H. Case.

Supplies at the ready in the studio of Mary H. Case.

Artist Mary H. Case.

Artist Mary H. Case.

Mary H. Case

We’re smitten with the delicate drawings and atmospheric paintings of Mary H. Case, whose works reference the wetland landscapes of her childhood home in Mississippi and the expansive countryside of her current home outside Houston. “Each place has its own nuances that I pull from and interpret to form my own vision,” Mary says. “My wish is that the viewer can discover their own truths about nature through my works.”

On finding inspiration: “I go to nature, the original design source. Art museums also inspire—I love to see where other artists have gone with their visions. It encourages me to stick to mine, trust my instincts, and follow through with an idea.”

Read more about Mary’s work →

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The Inlet by Mary H. Case

The Inlet by Mary H. Case

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