In the Studio with Eric Sanders

In the Studio with Eric Sanders

When was the first time that you remember realizing that you are a creative person?

When I was six years old, I started painting. I had a real passion for it, and I continued to paint until I completed college. In college, however, I decided my career path would be business. After graduating, I got a job managing a manufacturing business that I eventually was able to acquire. Although the business was successful, it was so time-consuming that my art-making got pushed to the side, and eventually put indefinitely on hold. 30 years later, I decided to sell my business so I could spend more time with my family and build my dream home. While working on the design aspects of my house, I started to remember how much I loved being creative and that I missed painting. Coincidentally, my girlfriend, Anna, decided to give me a set of paints and brushes as a birthday gift. The rediscovered desire to make art soon developed into an essential part of my life again.

What does a day in your art practice look like?

A typical day in the studio means finding the time to paint in between taking care of my two boys. I tend to work on several projects at once. I am also taking a couple of online art classes, a painting course to learn more painting techniques, and a printmaking course to incorporate printmaking techniques into my paintings. Between working on assignments, I try to work on pieces I’ve already started and sometimes adding in the new things I’ve learned in my classes. If I am not painting, I’m drawing digital images on my iPad and or looking for new inspiration to make artwork about.

What do you wish to accomplish with your art?

I find a lot of personal joy in painting and making artwork in general. Initially, I was only going to paint for myself as a hobby, but my other passion is helping others with my foundation and philanthropic projects. So, while I am creating artwork because it makes me happy, I also hope to sell my work to fund my philanthropy projects.

How has your art evolved over the years?

I am figuring out my own voice the more I paint and pick up new skill sets. I am starting to realize more every day what I need to do to become a better artist and am working hard to make those things happen,

Do you ever find yourself limited by the materials that you have available?

Not really, I’m fortunate. This is my second career, and I was able to make enough money from my first career, which allows me more freedom than most new artists. I often get inspired to try new ways of making and new materials to use; for instance, I’m trying to learn more about 3d printing and how I can utilize it in my practice. I also just bought a press for my printmaking class. I’m luckier than most when it comes to having the ability to try new and exciting ways to make art.

What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

Not having my skills developed to where I would like them to be. The images I set out to paint don’t always turn out the way I hoped they would, but I am working hard so I can be better at visually translating my ideas.

Do you have a specific audience in mind for your work?

I am excited about attracting all types of viewers to my work, but especially people who appreciate art history.

What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out in your field?

Don’t give up. Where’s there’s a will there’s a way.

What’s next for you in the future?

I am working on doing a group show with some friends that will take place in the gallery at my studio and online. I will post updates about the show on my social media accounts, https://www.instagram.com/studiosanders/ , https://www.facebook.com/StudioSanders, and https://www.linkedin.com/in/studiosanders/ Thank you for your interest in my work and practice!

Author

Kristine Schomaker is a new media and performance artist, painter and art historian living and working at the Brewery artist complex in Los Angeles. For over 14 years she has been working with various interdisciplinary art forms including online virtual worlds to explore identity and the hybridization of digital media with the physical world. Whether virtual or physical, the object-based work Kristine creates combines elements of color-based gestural abstraction, animation, pattern and design, neo-Baroque and Populence. Using installation, text, photography, mixed media, video and performance for her ongoing conceptual project My Life as an Avatar, she visualizes a narrative/dialogue with her virtual persona, Gracie Kendal. Kristine then documents her experiences on her blog. In 2012, exploring ideas of community, Kristine turned a local gallery into a modern day creation of Gertrude Stein’s salon of the 1920’s with a live mixed-reality dinner party merging the physical world with the online virtual world. Over the summer she also performed The Bald and the Beautiful in which she had her head shaved as a statement to challenge society’s standards of beauty. Currently, Kristine is working as an Artist-in-Residence through the Linden Endowment for the Arts creating an immersive virtual environment which she is planning to bring into the physical world via sculpture/public art work.

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