Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

ATHGames

5 Artists share how their childhood shaped their Art journey

We asked 5 artists how their childhood inspired them to be the artist they are today and we were so amazed to listen to them sharing their stories with us. For some, it was their Mother who inspired them in every way, for some it was forbidden to create Art at all in their childhood, yet they found their path and some said that exploring their creativity came very early when they used to spend time in their room creating. I think an Artist will always find a way to create whatever they want, wherever they want.

Let’s read the interesting stories our Artists have to share from their childhood.

1. Ruta Jansone

I’d say my childhood played a significant role in shaping me into the artist I am today. It all began with my incredible mom, who ignited my passion for art from a young age. She was always involved in creative activities, and her artistic talent amazed me, especially her realistic still-life pencil drawings. I used to showcase her artwork to everyone at school because I was so proud of her talent. Witnessing my mom’s creativity firsthand had a profound impact on me and sparked my own artistic journey. I found immense joy in expressing myself through various art forms and continued to explore and develop my skills over the years. It was a natural inclination that grew stronger with time. During my teenage years, I faced challenging times, and art became my refuge. I immersed myself in the art practice as a form of escape, continuing to experiment with a variety of mediums. The collection I’m currently working on beautifully embodies that period in my life. It strives to capture the challenging journey of self-discovery that we all navigate through. Each artwork will serve as a visual narrative, drawing inspiration from a specific chapter in my personal journey, starting from those gloomy teenage years. While my focus lies in acrylic paintings at the moment, I maintain the same playful approach to my art practice as before, experimenting with different techniques and textures. This adds an element of surprise and depth to my artistic expression.

Read her full interview on our website.

2. Stephanie Kirkland

I never really hiked as a child, but I did grow up in a rural area where I spent much of my time outside, so I’ve always had a love for nature (everything from climbing trees to lying in the grass to camping to swimming in lakes and marveling at sunsets). Being out in nature has always made me feel calm and free to be myself, even as a young child. So I think my art is a natural extension of that. My paintings are inspired by the colors and textures and feelings of being outside, and capturing that calm and freedom that I feel in nature. In some ways, my art feels like the freedom I felt in childhood when running around my neighborhood at dusk. I still see so many of those colors and textures, from the sky-inspired pinks to the deep dusk blues to the deep green grass.

Read her full interview on our website.

3. E E Kono

For much of my childhood, both of my parents were attending graduate school. We spent our winters in small-town middle America, and our summers in a robust global community. Graduate housing was filled with young families. We had a large gang of kids that were allowed to pretty much run wild. Language, culture, and race were never a barrier. I think the experience focused my attention at an early age on how diverse people interpret the world. It taught me that the meaning of symbols and stories can change depending on an individual’s perspective, and one is no more valid than another.

Read her full interview on our website.

4. Nancy Andruk Olson

My mother is an artist and was the art teacher at my school growing up. The program at the school was excellent. I was able to try a lot of materials and do a lot of projects that many kids only do when they go to art school. This is by far the biggest childhood influence that I had on my artistic life today. We were constantly doing art projects at home. My mother would also take us to different places to paint outside.  Another thing that we would regularly do was go to the Norton Simon Museum which was close to our home in Pasadena California. They have a very large and significant impressionistic collection. Looking at the original works from an early age really got those ideas into my mind and thought process. Having those experiences really wove creativity onto my daily life. It was a part of my lifestyle.  Having the opportunity to experiment and spend time creating everyday allowed my artistic talents to grow and has made it easier as an adult to continue creating as a part of my life. Now that I have children I try to do that for them. I provide projects and materials for them so that they are able to make things everyday. Now that they are getting older and have their own ideas of things they want to create, I try to provide them with the opportunities to do that. It definitely is easier the earlier that you start. It creates patterns in your brain that just continue to develop throughout your life.

Read her full interview.

5. Melody Cassen

From an early age, I was always drawing. Luckily for me, my parents saw this and allowed me to pursue a multitude of art forms, including painting, drawing, weaving, ceramics, and even cooking, always experimenting with what worked best for my ideas. On vacations, my parents would take me to theatre and art museums during our travels. This exposed me at an early age to what was possible and a world larger than my own I wanted to be a part of. I remember being transfixed by a production of The Nutcracker and Walt Disney’s film ”Fantasia”, which allowed me to see beyond what was real.

Both my parents were science teachers who were able to travel during the summer when school was in recess, so more often than not I found myself on a trip somewhere. Travelling exposed me, at an early age, to new ways of looking at things and a greater appreciation of diversity. I started creating personal works based on multicultural themes, symbolism and nature. Geisha hairstyles, Indian saris, kimono fabric designs, good luck talismans, Victorian flower messages, a beautiful western sky, and the Divine Feminine are some of the things that have inspired me.

Read her full interview on our website.

How do you think your childhood inspired your Art journey? Share your stories in the comments below.

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