Fresh interview - Maine artist Lari Washburn will delight your senses and your soul with her beautiful mixed media artwork and peaceful words. Enjoy.
Lari's blog: www.lariwashburn.blogspot.com
Why did you decide to become an artist and could you imagine doing anything else? If so, what?
I don’t really remember deciding to be an artist. My mother was an artist so I grew up with that life…seeing creativity as a way to live. Pretty much everything in our home was made by one of my parents, or it was an antique! I do remember standing in a museum, in front of a painting and deciding to go to school and get a BFA. But I think I was motivated to do this because I saw the joy and power of creating. I can’t imagine doing anything else now.
Do you still believe “do what you love and the money will come“?
I think the saying should be “Do what you love, and be deeply devoted to the practice it will take everyday and maybe the money will follow, but for sure the happiness of being true to yourself will follow.” That’s what I want…to be true to myself.
How has blogging and the Internet influenced your work as an artist?
I see all the possibilities out there, and how endless they are, and that inspires me. I see all the ways people make their lives work, and that excites me. I see things everyday that I would never have thought of or been exposed to, and that is fun. I think everything I take in is food that will ultimately be used by me somehow. I rarely know how this will happen consciously, but I see it later in my work. And I try to take in the best nourishment possible…things that are positive.
Please name 3 of your favorite blogs and tell us why these blogs are special.
Natsumi Nishizumi I enjoy this blog for its simplicity and peaceful quality. I think this artist has a spectacular eye and sense of design, combined with an appreciation of nature that always renews me.
Pia Jane Bijkerk I think the way this artist styles everything is always so fascinating. I like all the texture she adds in her photos and graphics, and how she always focuses on magical and moody-feeling settings. I aspire to add more of this to my blog.
Stitch and Tickle I love Sophie’s blog because she is so curious and inventive about life and her work. She always has something unique and funny and refreshing to write about. She always makes me see things in new ways. And her work is stunning, and I always like to see how it is progressing.
What is your greatest fear and what do you do to overcome it?
I don’t enjoy it when access to my intuitive self is clouded or blocked by too much wishing to be like somebody else! This is a big and sad danger that I try to nip in the bud right away when I see it coming. A good dose of going into the studio and making myself do things that are “bad” and “ugly” and “trite” is my cure.
Who would you like to trade places with for one day? Why?
Oh, maybe Cy Twombly, just to see how it feels to be so in touch with that incredible flow. I love the truth and exploration in his work so much.
What are your secrets for managing your time wisely?
Having a list of things I will accomplish each day and being really diligent about working until they are done. And taking a short nap every day if I can!!
If you could live anywhere in the world – all expenses paid – for one year, where would that be? Why?
I think it would be India. There is such a rich culture there, and so many completely new things to experience. I have heard that it is a very difficult place to visit because the full force of the human condition is presented to you everywhere, but I think if I could be courageous enough to expose myself to that it would expand me. Also, think of the color!
How do you maintain a healthy balance between your professional and private life?
I have work times and not work times. My spiritual practice advises living each day so that 4 things are in balance: right livelihood, service to others, being supportive to those who are emotionally dependent upon me, and time for myself. I try to follow this.
What are your top 5 goals that you’d like to accomplish within the next 5 years?
Be a kinder human being.
Continue to develop my drawing and painting skills.
Continue to develop my textile design skills.
Find gallery representation.
Become a really good photographer.
What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his or her creative dreams into reality?
Write down what you want, picture it in detail, and make some kind of plan to achieve it. Surround yourself with like-minded people. Do at least one thing every day to accomplish what you have said you want to do. Keep swimming no matter what.
Thank you for sharing Lari. Your words and your artwork are both inspirational and poetic.