I want to you to meet and hear a few words from an incredibly talented artist, Ty Smith. I have known Ty and his beautiful wife Amanda for many years, and it has been so interesting to see how his work has evolved over the years. I honestly don’t know how to properly introduce him because sometimes I feel like a dummy when it comes to talking about art! (Does anyone else ever feel this way?) But what I do know for sure is that his work is something that feels very real to me and that I truly appreciate. So check it out for yourself and THANK YOU Ty for taking time to share a little bit about yourself and how and why you do what you do.
1. At what point do you consider a piece of your work to be complete?
This is difficult. One day I might say I’m done working on this or that, and a month or year later I’ll go back to it and change everything. But sometimes, hopefully more than not, I do have a sense for when I should stop. It’s an intuitive thing that grows stronger over time. It has a lot to do with whether I feel something of real consequence has occurred.
2. Do you have any sort of rituals or habits that you always do when working?
I can’t say I have a ritual per se. I try my best to quiet my thoughts, to be in the studio in every way possible. It can be challenging because it often takes an hour or two to set aside other thoughts in my life. One thing that is a regular habit, along with lots of coffee and beer, is to decide what ideas for the painting feel weak to me. It gives me a place to start.
3. Where do you draw inspiration?
Everywhere, certainly from things that I see around me. But most of my inspiration or motivation comes from feelings, or the act of feeling. Feelings are heavy things. I can’t necessarily verbalize those feelings, but I’ve learned to trust them. I relate it to hearing music, like when you connect to a sound…even though you often can not elaborate on what you think or feel when you hear that music, you recognize immediately that it is real to you.
4. If you weren’t painting, what would you be doing?
I don’t know what I would be doing. Something that had to do with caring for others and feeling deeply personal. Growing up, I was interested in architecture, which I think shows in my work. Sometimes I think being a painter is the last thing someone should do. You spend so much time by yourself and always wonder ‘why am I doing this’. But I’m never able to come up with something that feels as true to me as painting.
5. Do you ever have creative blocks and how do you get through them?
Yes, all the time. But I don’t think of them as blocks. It’s the opposite for me because it’s the blocks that make me feel like I’m working. The truth is that it all feels impossible. But that can be said for almost everything in life. It’s hard and the best you can do is keep caring and give it everything you’ve got!