Today on Examining The Creative Mind we are incredibly lucky to have the talented Carrie Schmitt talking about her art and her life. I am in love with her beautiful paintings. They energize me with their vibrant colors and instantly put me in a happy mood. I hope you enjoy her interview today as much as I have. Links to her website and Etsy store are at the bottom of the page so don’t forget to check them out.
Can you tells us a little about who you are and the kind of work that you
I am an artist who lives on a moss-covered mountain on the outskirts of Seattle WA. I began painting in 2009 when I developed a life-threatening allergy to heat and could not leave my home for several months one sweltering summer in Cincinnati. Today I have licensing deals with home décor and stationary companies, such as Hallmark, and paint as often as possible despite a busy life with kids and freelance writing jobs.
Where do you do your work? Can you describe your workspace?
My studio is a room in our home with lovely windows. Making it my dream studio is a work in progress. I have a wish list for what I want and am slowly acquiring things. I love that I only have to walk down the stairs in the morning to get to work, and I love being near my family so that I am always available when they need me.
My kids are often in the studio with me studying, playing, doing crafts or just talking. We have some great talks in there. It is nice because I am not going anywhere as I paint so it creates an ideal time for conversations.
My favorite item so far is a vintage garden cart that holds my paints so that I can easily transport them around the studio to the different areas I paint. Because I paint florals, I couldn’t resist the garden theme.
I was given a table that had heavy drab curtains and wanted to replace them but didn’t have the patience to sew new ones. I tore colorful mismatched fabric scraps into strips and tied them to the rod—it complements my painting style quite well.
Do you have a favorite artist? What attracts you to their work?
I love too many artists to name—so many take my breath away. I do have a Pinterest Board of art that I love if you would like to join me there. I think each artist I see influences me on a subconscious level, leaving imprints on me in ways I don’t realize that come out in my artwork.
How would you describe your work in 3-4 words?
Colorful, joyful, vibrant.
As an artist, is there anything specific that you hope to accomplish?
I want to always be learning and growing as an artist. I hope to have enough success that I can support myself through my art, which would allow me the time I crave to dedicate myself to this every day.
As an artist, how do you define success?
Success to me is getting my art out in the world and sharing it with others. Also knowing that I am always learning and growing. I figure if I keep creating and putting myself out there, hopefully other forms of success will come as a byproduct to living my authentic life.
What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you practice?
I’m a mom of 3 busy children, so my only ritual involves flexibility and acceptance of my time constraints. I’d love to say I light a candle, meditate and do sun salutations before I paint, but that is just not going to happen at this stage in my life. I run into my art room every chance I get and paint while I am quizzing my daughter for a test, trying to find my son’s baseball hat and running back and forth from the kitchen trying not to burn dinner.
What are you hoping to communicate through your art?
I believe in beauty. I think it has a transformative effect on our psyche, our thoughts and actions. Plato said, “Children need to be surrounded by beautiful things.” I think adults do as well. My paintings are my peaceful and non-intrusive attempt to make the world a brighter place. To bring delight and light-heartedness to a space. My hope is that my art makes someone pause and smile.
I just don’t understand our culture’s obsession with violence and negativity in all sorts of media. I think this is my own little subtle response to this. We need more people creating beauty every day.
How do you come up with ideas?
I often find inspiration from floral bouquets and the farmer’s market flower stands that Seattle is famous for. Home décor magazine covers, such as Country Living and Better Homes & Gardens, are another favorite source of color inspiration. A lot of time is spent designing those covers, so somebody has already done the work for you as far as color scheme. Sometimes when I paint, I look at the magazines shapes, colors and patterns and paint very quickly and loosely to see what happens. This is almost a painting exercise for me to see what happens. It is a great starting place to begin painting.
What do you think is your biggest strength?
I’d say my biggest strength is perseverance. There are so many times when I have doubted myself or felt frustrated for a myriad of reasons, but I don’t give up. I think this is the key to most success in anything you do.
You can see more of Carrie Schmitt’s work on her website Carrie Schmitt Art + Design or purchase some of her work in her Etsy Shop. Her work is so beautiful. I can imagine her work makes you feel as if you have brought your garden inside with you. I can’t imagine a better way to bring some cheer and happiness into a home! Don’t forget to visit her on Pinterest and like her on Facebook too!