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5 on Friday Artist Interview : Rebecca Silus

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I'm delighted to welcome Rebecca Silus as a guest today, a multi-media artist who beautifully blends painting, photography, video and writing in her creative work. Rebecca is the founder of the amazing Field Office blog, which documents the projects and travels of Rebecca and her photographer husband Anthony Georgis. I was delighted to meet Rebecca and Anthony at a Creative Mornings talk in Berlin last year, and their life, art, and creative collaboration is rare and very inspiring! 

Welcome Rebecca and please tell us about yourself, what you do, and name 5 of your favorite things. 

I am an artist and blogger interested in place and history. My medium used to be strictly paint, but when I began my blog six years ago, I realized that photography, video, and writing are also important parts of what I do—they let me explore things that painting can't.

My five favorite things are:

-Spending time with my dog, which I am lucky enough to get to do every day, all day.

-Mornings in my kitchen.

-Being on the water. We are hoping to get a canoe this summer so we can make that happen more often.

-Gardening. I know of no other activity that offers a combination of physical work, creativity, productivity, and relaxation.

-Traveling with my husband, Anthony. He's just a great, laid back travel companion who has an amazing knack for finding the best places to stay. And whether we are cycling, walking, or driving, he's totally willing to stop at obnoxiously short intervals for me to investigate/photograph anything that catches my eye.

Where do you live, what do you like about it - and what place would you most like to visit one day?

We are based in Minneapolis right now, which has a fantastic community of artists, creatives, makers, and arts institutions. And I love it that so much of life is lived outdoors here, despite the extreme temperatures in both summer and winter. There are multiple lakes within the city plus the Mississippi River and many large parks where you can feel miles from the next soul despite being in the city. There is even a massive waterfall in one of these parks, which is pretty unique.

The list of places to visit is long, but this year we are planning on exploring Rome and Sicily.

How do you manage to keep a good life/work balance and stay healthy and fit?

A lot of people don't realize that living a creative life requires a person to be super organized and disciplined, two things that will probably always be a work in progress for me. It really is true that an artist needs a set routine and that the creative work needs to happen whether you are feeling it or not. My goal right now is to keep early morning and late afternoon hours with a big break in between for lunch, walking the dog, and errands. And I'm trying really, really hard to take the weekends off. 

What is the most exciting adventure you ever had?

Traveling in Albania with my sister. She was living and working there at the time, so she knew a lot of people and spoke the language. Despite being a gorgeous country with incredibly warm and hospitable people, tourism was more or less nonexistent at the time—I think that is starting to change now. It was kind of wild to visit beautiful medieval towns or castle ruins—places that you would normally assume to be overrun with tourists—and be the only two visitors.

What are your favorite upcoming creative projects for 2014? 

Recently I received a grant from the State of Minnesota to complete a series of paintings with an accompanying printed piece, so I will be working on that throughout the rest of the year. In September my work will be included in a group show with seven other landscape painters and I will be speaking on the panel for that. I am also looking at teaching a workshop in Seattle in the fall—but details have yet to be determined! If you are interested in staying in the loop about any of that, please sign up for my newsletter!

Could you share some advice for anyone who'd like to pursue a more creative, artistic path?

My advice for anyone looking to pursue a more creative path is to always be making work and putting it out there. By its nature, the act of consistently making has a momentum that takes on a surprising and wonderful life of its own.

The second most important thing is not just to surround yourself with positive people who will encourage you to make your work and live the life you want to lead, but to surround yourself with people who are doing that themselves. I get so invigorated after talking with someone—whether it's a friend or someone I've just met—who is thinking big, taking chances, trying something new or hard. These conversations are so important to me, especially if I'm feeling defeated or doubtful.

Third, listen to what Brené Brown has to say about being vulnerable and making work. 

http://www.onbeing.org/program/brene-brown-on-vulnerability/4928

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

Thank you Rebecca! Those are all wonderful tips and I appreciate your sharing more about your creative process, your beautiful paintings and photographs, and you know that I'm a fan of Field Office!

Your upcoming projects and workshop in Seattle sound exciting too, so please keep us updated :)

Be sure to check out Rebecca's painting portfolio, her Field Office Blog and multimedia work, and subscribe to her studio newsletter.

You can also connect with Rebecca here:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/fieldoffice

Twitter: www.twitter.com/field_office

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/fieldoffice


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Would you like to explore the amazing city of Berlin in an art + adventure workshop this summer? Find out more here.

For artist interviews, online course + workshop info, plus a free spring print to download, be sure to sign up for my newsletter here