Interview with Artist Shelley Lowell
@schulmanArt interviews @Shell143 edited by Miriam Schulman
|Artist Shelley Lowell at work in her studio, visit her website
How did you get your start as an artist?
I graduated Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY with a BFA in Advertising Design & Visual Communications. I have maintained 2 parallel, professional artistic careers: one as a visual artist creating sculptures and paintings, the other as a graphic designer/art director/illustrator. My training as a visual communicator has influenced my fine art as my work has always had a thread of communicating ideas or messages.
Aside from this, I write and perform poetry. Many of my current poems are inspired by my paintings. I paint commissioned pet paintings as well. This feeds my love for animals and uses my gift to capture an animal’s likeness and personality.
My current favorite medium is oil with a wax medium on canvas. I love the texture it creates. This suits my need to layer to create soft, translucent effects.
How do you get inspired?
Images come to me. I make thumbnail drawings. Then scan them into the computer, and rework them until I am satisfied with the composition. Then I transfer the drawing to the canvas to paint it. I work out the colors in the process of painting it. Sometimes I see the colors in my mind’s eye as well as the image. When the painting is complete, I ask it what’s its story is. The words that come through me are the basics for the poem.
|Visit Lowell on Facebook!
Describe a typical day for you..
Since I am still working as a professional designer, I start the day by commuting to work. This is an 80-minute drive, so I have plenty of time to let my mind wander and use the drive time for the creative process to work its magic. After a full day of creating either ads, or publications, I return home, feed my animals and myself and head for the studio. Here I work for about 2-3 hours. When I retire from my design career, which will be relatively soon, I will be spending about 5 hours a day painting. This will be a great joy for me.
What is your studio space like?
As long as I have painted, my studio has been in my home. I love to be able to just walk over to my work, examine it, see what needs to be done and get caught in the process. I pick up a brush and start working on the painting some more. The lower level of my house is my studio. It has 2 separate entrances from the back of the house and windows on 2 sides. The house is in a country setting, surrounded by woods. It is private and peaceful. I also use an upstairs bedroom to be near my dog that is too small to do the stairs.
What advice would you give other aspiring artists?
The advice I’d give others is the same advice I have followed through my artistic career. Do what feeds your heart. Don’t be swayed by other people’s opinions. Try whatever creative process you feel like, you will never know where your creative experimentation will lead. Do not limit yourself. Do what you love and celebrate your creativity, it is a gift.
Who were artistic motivators in your life?
My father was very influential and supportive of my creativity when I was growing up. He was a professional photographer and an artist. He taught me how to see things and made me aware of light and dark.
The biggest influence later on in my artistic career was a gallery director who noticed my work and encouraged me.
Did your father influence your creativity? Tell me about it….