I am so happy to post the second part of my interview with amazing artist Robyn Gordon. You can read part 1 of my interview right here.I have been pouring over the photos of her art and am in awe of the detail and craftsmanship.
I read in one of your past interviews that it has taken you many many years to start making the art you wanted to make; not for public consumption or what you thought others expected from you etc. How did you reach that place where you created from your soul?
While the children were growing up my husband and I wanted to give them the best ... as we parents do. Though I had a day job, I also created art after the children were in bed to boost our income. It wasn't necessarily to my taste but it sold well and eventually i gave up my day job and became a full time "artist", churning out quick sellers. One can only do that for so long! There came a time, after several life changing events in our family that I just knew that I had to start creating the art that made me happy .
What advice can you give to other artists who are struggling with these same issues.
Just begin! If you wait for the right time to do what you are passionate about life just fritters away. You need to do whatever makes you happy for your sake as well as the people you live with.
How do you balance being influenced by vs. creating art that is uniquely yours?
I have a quote by Hale Woodruff which sums this up for me
"I have tried to study African Art in order to assimilate it into my being, not to copy but to seek the essence of it, it's spirit and quality as art"
When I first started carving as a child the only examples of carving for me to study were the African carvings that sold at the side of the road. I was intrigued by them and over the years have developed a love for all things tribal.
As well, a lot of your carvings are made up of collections. Can you share with us the inspiration/symbolism behind this?
Bottom line? .... I'm just an insatiable magpie. I always have been and even though my house is too small for any more collections I still manage to squeeze in more bits and pieces. Combining my passion for collecting with my art has been an unexpected thrill. Maybe incorporating my gatherings is just an excuse to continue my magpie habits, but these pieces do symbolize my life in South Africa. Whether it's a shard of china, rusty nails or metal arrow heads, they all connect to my experience of this amazing country.
Are there a few fave books you can recommend that inspire you as an artist?
A book I have read several times and dip into often for inspiration is 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin. As the blurb suggested , it has been my portable mentor.
(Gail has also written 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women so it's easy to confuse the two titles)
Robyn's art is featured in the new book by Seth Apter called The Pulse of Mixed Media. Of course I bought the book because Robyn's art is showcased...but there are an amazing variety of artists...chock full of talent + inspiration. They share all their "secrets" (dealing with creative blocks for instance) and are very candid about any number of personal questions that Seth puts forward. It was so helpful for me to answer the questions as I read along..."if your art could talk, what would it say?" what is your secret dream as an artist?" I love this book!!
Dear Robyn, thank you so much for granting me this interview. I am honored and grateful to have the opportunity to feature your gorgeous art on my blog. thank you!