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Carrie Pearce on how to creatively grow as an artist

Watch & Listen to this podcast Episode.

This week on our Arts to Hearts Podcast, our host Charuka Arora invites Carrie Pearce to talk about her artworks. Carrie, who is a passionate painter, discusses how her art has evolved in the past few years, and how she overcame her creative block.

Carrie’s artwork mainly comprises of portraits and paintings of dolls. Her art style is very reminiscent of the 16th century art with its realism and focus on human form. Recently, she has somewhat changed her artistic expression by incorporating materials such as beads, fabric, embroidery etc. in her paintings. Her transition came after COVID, after she went through a massive creative block. However, she managed to find her path again, and since then, has been creating some truly magnificent art pieces.  

Over the past few years, Carrie has undergone struggles of her own as she transitioned through her artistic expressions. However, she has embraced this change with open arms, and welcomes art collectors who also appreciate her evolving style.

Talking about her childhood, Carrie recalls painting and drawing for as long as she can remember. From being inspired by Ann Adams to being fascinated by DaVinci’s art, her styled can be described as ‘imaginary realism’. She sees her art as ‘emotional portraits’ that are inspired by turn of the century photos that we often find at antique stores. Carrie has been featured both internationally and nationally, including Fine Art Connoisseur, and has a website dedicated to reviving realism in fine art.

Tune in to this week’s podcast as Carrie talks about accepting her inner artist’s transition, how she found her way back to her true self, and what does her creative process look like.

TimestampSummary
00:00.00Introduction and complimenting the guest’s appearance
00:18.87Introducing the guest’s artwork and discussing dolls
02:03.99Observing the transition in the guest’s work
03:07.40Guest’s decision to go back to school during COVID
03:47.48Discovering the concept of “bliss” and making a list
05:03.70Exploring childhood interests and hobbies
06:21.70Transitioning from painting to mixed media
08:02.25Personal experience with defining oneself in the art world
09:05.14Feeling held back and learning how to paint
10:22.78Comparing embroidery skills and enjoying the process
10:44.93Introduction and discussion about the enjoyment of art
12:20.31Discussion about pushing creative boundaries and experimenting with materials
13:52.48Talk about the use of textures in artwork and the process of learning
15:23.28Conversation about the desire to be an artist from a young age
16:38.28Discussion about dealing with expectations and stretching oneself creatively
18:16.66Advice on taking baby steps and constantly changing in art
19:18.17Sharing the experience of feeling creatively blocked and going back to school
21:17.45Facing fears of losing relevance and collectors while evolving artwork
22:04.34Finding new collectors and embracing the new direction of artwork
22:28.40Conclusion and determination to continue creating art
22:10.86Cannot stop doing it
23:56.94Communicating changes to fans, followers, collectors, and buyers
26:18.37Love for the process
26:37.10Approach to creating paintings
28:19.32Treasure hunting for materials
29:02.42Sewing pieces onto portraits
29:42.10Working on a Little Red Riding Hood project
31:31.38Trying new materials
31:56.61Sharing where people can find and support her work
31:39.10Introduction
31:56.61Excitement about upcoming craft shows
32:16.19Announcement of being accepted into a show
32:25.72Congratulatory response
32:36.23Mention of busy preparations
32:47.97Social media and website information
33:30.67Thanking each other and expressing gratitude
33:40.41Farewell and closing remarks

**** – (): 00:00.00

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Hello keri welcome to the podcast. How are you very well you know what I want to start this podcast by saying I do love looking at you. But if anyone anyone who’s watching this right now on Youtube.

**** – (): 00:01.52

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Hello! Thank you! This is so much fun I’m good. How are you.

**** – (): 00:18.87

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Can see. There’s another guest on the back and she looks gorgeous and spooky and all of it and since it’s a spooky season. Both tell me more about who she is.

**** – (): 00:30.70

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): That um I forgot she was there. She’s ah, a giant paper doll that I made yeah I Just people just give them to me.

**** – (): 00:34.97

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh my goodness. What is with you and Dolls tell me her you know.

**** – (): 00:44.89

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): That’s how it started people just started giving me dolls because they thought my paintings looked like dolls even though they weren’t supposed to um, you know, just like people just more realistic than dolls. But apparently um, people just thought they looked like dolls so look.

**** – (): 00:51.92

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): What were they supposed to look like.

**** – (): 01:04.34

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): People just started giving me dolls thinking I was into Dolls. So now I’m kind of into Dolls. So I do find them interesting because they um cross all cultures. Um, they’re in in every culture you can imagine so they’re they’re. Ah, symbolic and trusted little companions for people.

**** – (): 01:27.14

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Amazing. But tell me something were you like as a child were you always like amazed by Dolls and it’s also not dolls I think your work has this like and I think that was the first I just told you know the first reason why I was so attracted to your work in the beginning was. You know I felt like we shared a lot of common materials. But also your work had a very different look and I loved I think what I really love about your work was how um, open and free and experimental. You’ve been and I’ve seen you’re joining the sense of I’ve seen your work and I’ve seen that you know, um.

**** – (): 02:03.99

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I’ve seen like I feel like when I was looking at your Instagram and your work so far I felt like I’d seen that you you had these paintings and dolls and faces and suddenly there was this burst of so many elements and hairs and dresses and fabrics and all of it coming in making another world. So. I I don’t know if that observation is I’m right? or not of there are in between stages. But how and what has caused this transition and what brought you here.

**** – (): 02:34.43

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): I I actually think that’s a really good question and I think it has a interesting story. Um, these are ideas that I had had for probably 30 years so

**** – (): 02:38.55

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Sure. Wow.

**** – (): 02:45.15

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 02:47.96

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): I was making things you know thirty years ago that were similar to this like say it made a pillow or just like a gift for my my brother. Um that had painting on it and I sewed things on it and I had had these ideas for many years and during covid.

**** – (): 02:52.60

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, okay.

**** – (): 03:07.40

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 03:07.57

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): I went back to school so which so I went back online to Savannah college of art and design. Um, yeah I went back and got my master’s so that’s where I had gotten my undergrad and so then I went back during covid.

**** – (): 03:14.98

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): So you were learning arts. Okay.

**** – (): 03:27.48

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): And um, and worked at my masters and that was really hard much harder than I imagined. Um, so during 1 of my assignments I had to um, one of the teachers asked me to you know, read a book or listen to something. Um, so he suggested. Joseph Campbell I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of him. Um I listened to his book. Um, the hero’s way I believe that’s the yeah and so my takeaway from that was follow your bliss. So I was like bliss.

**** – (): 03:47.48

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 03:53.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): The Heroes pay.

**** – (): 04:06.38

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): What is bliss I mean we can have bliss So um, like that hadn’t even crossed my mind so I literally really that struck me and I thought what is my bliss. What what does that look like um so I made a list of things I Love to do.

**** – (): 04:07.96

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 04:18.94

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, look here.

**** – (): 04:26.50

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): And I made a list of things I dislike doing and particularly in my work and so I kind of reached a point where um I was no longer I hated my process. The painting process was just um.

**** – (): 04:27.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 04:44.20

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): It was like pulling teeth after a while it just I lost my love for it when covid hit I lost my sense of humor I just lost my passion and so through this process of thinking about what my bliss was I went back to these old ideas that I’d had thirty years ago and I literally wrote things down like I love doing puzzles like jigsaw puzzles I love sorting things. Um, when I was a kid my grandmother would give me a big old tin can full of buttons and she would just.

**** – (): 05:03.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, okay, okay.

**** – (): 05:16.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, okay.

**** – (): 05:19.21

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Ah, sort them out by color by size. Um, so I literally started writing down the things I enjoy doing like those things.

**** – (): 05:26.84

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But at that point can you also tell us about what kind of work were you doing were you I’m guessing you were painting. You were not adding as many elements on your work as you are today.

**** – (): 05:39.34

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Right? I was just painting but I was painting these objects like toys and things into my paintings. My my paintings had those things in them I sure I paint whatever. Um.

**** – (): 05:44.75

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, okay, you were bending Monkeys I’ve seen.

**** – (): 05:56.74

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Again, Yeah portraits Yes, father father then then what happened.

**** – (): 05:56.77

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): I Just love the Portrait So I kept the Portrait. So I I still love painting the Portrait. So I kept that yeah yeah, and then I just sort of added up. Um, so then what happened is um. I Just started why not just put these things in my painting. Why do I have to paint these things you know there are no rules. Um, yeah, yeah, so it was definitely out of my comfort zone. But um I just found.

**** – (): 06:21.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, but you’ve been painting for 30 years

**** – (): 06:33.54

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): The possibilities are endless I I didn’t feel restricted anymore by the paint. Yeah.

**** – (): 06:35.73

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, you know what in my own personal experience I felt this um and I have a very similar story as yours in the sense of just not as long as that in the sense i. I grew up in India and I spend a lot of time you know, ah with embroideries and materials and we are extremely culturally you know rich in the set 10 you know in the sense of textiles and I have always loved fabrics I have embroideries. Have been my first love craft is something that comes natural to me and I always wanted to be a fashion designer because I spend a lot of time with my mom and we would go to thrift stores and bring materials and I thought okay the most viable thing for me to do as a creative would be to be a fashion designer and when I went down that path. I bought these like and I ran a business and I had these huge you know embroidery boxes and like materials that I would collect but I wasn’t even like the fashion typical you know, typical fashion girl and I realized it didn’t you know it just didn’t fit in and I wanted to be an artist but when I so. I set out to be an artist when I entered into the arts I was very full of ideas I always felt like it was limitless I felt like oh you know I could do this and I could do that you know like a child because I had no notions and no preset notions.

**** – (): 08:02.25

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And suddenly then the whole gamer fitting in started when I want I knew oh this is crafts. This is art. This is commercial. This is fine art this is personal. This is this this is mixed media this is painting and in that process I started defining myself so much. Oh. Because I wanted to be validated so much that I for a very long time for a couple of years in that sense for someone who like I had this huge boxes with me always but I never picked them up and then one day similarly to you you covid hate and i. I was just drawing in my sketchbook and I pulled out one box and I just did it and that brings me to my question 30 years if you had this if you know you had this affinity towards these materials. Do you think um, you have held yourself back all these years because of. You know the notions that are set out and did breaking that how did that made you feel.

**** – (): 09:05.14

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): I would say yes that in some ways. Yes, perhaps I was being held back by myself. But however I also feel like it takes that long to learn how to paint so I feel like I learned how to paint.

**** – (): 09:18.66

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, absolutely.

**** – (): 09:24.69

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): And then I was ready to move on to something else. Yeah so I don’t know that it was so much being held back as it was more just ah um, and an ambition to get my paint practice to a certain place. But.

**** – (): 09:25.31

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): More.

**** – (): 09:35.89

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, and I think a lot of artists do think like that way and I think even I I thought that way for a long time I felt like okay I had to be like for my for some reason not for someone else, but for my own self that I wanted to reach a point where I could paint.

**** – (): 09:41.80

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Once you reach that.

**** – (): 09:55.33

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): At a certain way in a certain way at a certain level and then give myself ah the permission to explore. But what’s even strange is this felt the the embroidery part has always felt easier to me does that feel to you like. That comes so naturally naturally to me that sometimes I feel like is this even enough am I doing even enough like you know oh really.

**** – (): 10:22.78

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Yeah I it’s harder for me? Yeah, um I I look at my embroidery and then I think oh this is so amateur you know because like I compare it to other like. I try so hard to be straight and and you know I don’t have tons of practice I I learned how to do embroidery when I was a child with my grandmother. Yeah, so so I don’t know that much I have to read books and look up how to make the stitches and um.

**** – (): 10:44.93

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 10:55.57

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): So I’m pretty amateur at that. But I love doing it and it’s something I can do in the car when we’re driving to the shows. So I love it kills time. Um, and it’s so enjoyable.

**** – (): 10:59.60

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah. But tell me something I Really want to ask you this and I won’t I request you to open your heart about this.. How do you feel putting yourself like you know I think there’s there’s some kind of magic when you know. I see I hold myself still back when it comes to like experimenting with materials in the sense of am I being like I can hear myself am I being too much is this too much is this. You know, but I see like I Really love that piece of yours that has like the the doll and the hair coming out and then these like you know. There’s so many things and I love because I am a person who loves texture but when I saw that piece and I was like Wow I need to find that courage to go all in and I personally seen my own practice I have this little little like I’ll make small movements and I’ll I’ll go out and. More experimental and more but I saw when I saw that work of yours I felt like oh Wow, How does it feel like how do you push yourself like how do you hold your yourself all your innovations back and be like okay I’m going to experiment and see what comes out.

**** – (): 12:20.31

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Ah I would say that I definitely wasn’t holding back and I I did think this is nuts I mean this is too weird. This is too crazy.

**** – (): 12:26.49

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 12:33.89

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, you.

**** – (): 12:36.36

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): But I at that point I didn’t really care I just I I wanted to see that happen and like it brought me such joy to make that and and and to do it I was like I don’t care if anyone ever sees this it ah people might like it. They might not and you know that’s.

**** – (): 12:47.95

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 12:55.58

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): That’s one great thing about art is and for my thirty years experience I have people that really hate my work and I have people that really love my work and that’s fine. Um, you just I don’t know you just you have to know that you are the only one who can bring your.

**** – (): 13:04.92

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, yeah.

**** – (): 13:14.59

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Particular thing into this world. So and each one of us is unique and and individual. You know if 2 of us made artwork that looked the same one of us would be really unnecessary.

**** – (): 13:15.99

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 13:28.40

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah I Love that. Okay, how about your familiarity with textures I feel like the kind of work that you’re making um it’s It’s also does it come naturally for you to respond to different materials because there’s so much like. Play in those pieces Now. Ah what or was this something that you’ve built intentionally and learned over the time.

**** – (): 13:52.48

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): I just started doing this. You know like maybe three years ago and I would say it’s very difficult because there’s so many things at play you know with paint you’re just kind of working with composition and and color and um.

**** – (): 13:54.55

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 14:08.59

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): You know your basics but when you add shimmery objects or glittery objects or reflection transparency um fabric embroidery like just putting all those things together has taken time and.

**** – (): 14:26.81

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Kind of like learned how to master 1 piece one section of that and then keep adding and seeing like you know because I still have to be happy with it and I still want it to be visually interesting and not. They might be a little overwhelming for some people. Um, but.

**** – (): 14:27.54

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 14:40.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 14:44.81

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): That’s what I find interesting when you can see something different every every time you look at it and from different angles I Love yeah the angles of how the shadows are created and light reflection. Um it it moves like as you walk around a.

**** – (): 14:46.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah angles I Love that about it.

**** – (): 15:04.46

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): 1 of these paintings. They kind of seem to move and have their own life. So I love that.

**** – (): 15:08.88

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): None that that now that’s interesting. Okay, let’s let’s talk a little bit about um who you were like did you always want to be an artist was that something that you’d always intended on.

**** – (): 15:23.28

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): I would say probably um, it was definitely throughout my childhood in my high school and um I was always the art kid. Um I remember trying to draw when I was probably like four or five years old and trying to trace little Walt Disney characters on this light up drawing table and being so frustrated because I couldn’t stay on the line. So I guess I’ve always had this sort of desire to to create pictures.

**** – (): 15:57.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, okay, and how do you? Um, How do you deal with um, you know the over one that comes with I think something that a lot of artist struggle with is um. Expectations of who they perceive themselves to be as an artist versus you know, a lot of times where we see us as how do you stretch yourself creatively.? How do you?? um, find that how do you fill that gap and like you said you’ve taught yourself skills like. That didn’t come naturally to you and that are a big part of who you are today. How does that feel like to you.

**** – (): 16:38.28

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Ah, Bliss like it’s It’s my Bliss. It’s like I I Love working I Love Creating. It’s really hard for me to like do things that like other people think is fine like vacation. Like I don’t want a vacation I dress rather be working. Um, it’s I’m not sure what am I answering the question. What was you get? Um, yeah I forgot the question.

**** – (): 17:04.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, go ahead answer what you like.

**** – (): 17:15.99

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): So just.

**** – (): 17:16.00

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I you know what I’m interested particularly if you ask is I think um and this again comes back to the point that when you stretch yourself like you know you’ve evolved your work in 2 like it’s like from here to here like you’ve really stretched yourself. And during that process and I think I also experience this a lot of time like when I look at someone’s work and I’m like wow I’d really like to try something like that or this is the kind of work I’d like to do. But at that point probably I am not equipped technically creatively. Mindset wise whatever to reach that point and it takes a lot of patience in practice to reach that point once you’ve said this like you know where your work looked at a certain way and now it looks entirely different. What is your suggestion and what is your own experience and how how have you built these skill sets. And transitioned creatively into 1 from 1 zone to this completely new zone of work.

**** – (): 18:16.66

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Ah, well you know baby steps can be the way. Um, just adding a new thing daily to your practice. You know an artist once told me um, always be changing and he said.

**** – (): 18:27.94

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Always it moving.

**** – (): 18:31.11

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Always be changing always add something a little different into each painting so you don’t get like stuck or coined into a certain thing and I always thought that was pretty good advice that you know.

**** – (): 18:38.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Now.

**** – (): 18:46.61

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Listen to your ideas listen to that little inner child or that inner inner voice and and play I mean art is a form of play and at some point you’re going to get tired with the same old toy and you need to try New toys. So.

**** – (): 18:47.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I Love that.

**** – (): 18:53.78

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 19:02.16

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): You know? and if you’re having creative block. That’s the perfect time to try something completely different and don’t show anyone.

**** – (): 19:04.65

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You know? yeah, do do you think this came out your new like this body of work this whole did it come from a point where you was. You’re feeling stuck or like creatively blocked. It did How can you talk a little bit more about it.

**** – (): 19:18.17

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, oh that was so painful. It was really painful and I think that’s 1 reason why I went back to school is that I really didn’t know what to do I had I had no drive to make paintings anymore I just was. Felt labor intensive and felt like pulling teeth and I wasn’t excited about anything I was doing um I was it ah just couldn’t come up with ideas I didn’t know what the background should look like um I just. I don’t know it just was really tough. It was really tough times so I thought you know by going back to school I thought I can’t even paint anymore I literally thought I could never paint again and I thought I’m going to go to school and become a teacher.

**** – (): 20:06.18

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, oh what? oh.

**** – (): 20:13.40

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): After going to school I realized I didn’t want to do that. But.

**** – (): 20:18.14

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, but then um, can you also share a little bit about you know? Ah I think 1 thing that a lot of artists are concerned with and that is good and bad. Both can be I think one end of the fear is. If they change too much a lot of artists are afraid that they no longer may feel relevant people may not enjoy their work or let’s say if there’s somebody who’s already established they feel like they may take away the you know, ah the success they’ve had so far on the contrary. Um, it could be completely a different scenario where what you have been trying to work on may maybe that would have been working but something that you do completely like you know, push yourself. It may work even better. Did you have these fears. Ah, while your work was evolving and how did that turn out for you.

**** – (): 21:17.45

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Oh yeah, well yes, and I really lost a ton of followers and I lost a lot of a lot of collectors. Um, but you know what I couldn’t stop.

**** – (): 21:24.68

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh you did? okay. Yeah.

**** – (): 21:34.15

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Making this work and I still can’t stop making this work even and I’ve even tried and thought well maybe I should go back to painting because I’ve had better success I mean I’m doing okay with sales for these but this is how I make my living. And so that is very scary when your income relies on your artwork. Um, and it’s a tough thing but here’s what I found is that guess what? So these people don’t like this new work. But guess what? there’s new people over here that like so either your collectors grow.

**** – (): 21:54.63

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 22:04.34

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 22:10.45

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): And and go with you or you find new ones and um and that’s worked extremely Well so I would say the big thing for me is that I cannot stop doing it I Just can’t.

**** – (): 22:10.86

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 22:16.57

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 22:28.40

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Now Know how about your advice for someone. Um, very tactical question by and a business side of questions for someone a lot of artists feel confused in the sense of let’s say okay I had this point I had this body of work. I am transitioning into a new style body. How do I communicate to my fans Followers Collectors Buyers. What’s happening. Ah, and I think you know what’s complex in this situation is that. A sharing does not come natural to all of us. We all have different ways of sharing B a lot of times you’re in points of Confusion. You try to hold yourself back and you feel like I think I for one feel like I want to go into a cocoon understand what’s happening once I figured it out then I want to come out like.. That’s just a process I feel comfortable with personally but a lot of artists I’ve seen that they share the messy and you know all sides and then you know what? whatever is happening people are learning so there’ are several formulas in the sense of like what’s natural to each one of us. Ah did you have like did you have any strategy in the sense of. Communicating what you’re thinking why you’re doing this how your thought process and kative process is changing and communicating that to your current followers and um collectors.

**** – (): 23:56.94

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Um, you know I do think that’s um, somewhat important, um some people read posts and want to know more. Some people are just purely visual and they they don’t need me to clothe my.

**** – (): 24:03.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 24:13.25

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Art with words. But um I think it’s important to do some personal reflection and try to understand why you’re going through what you’re going through or um, your ideas and it’s very difficult to put words to art.

**** – (): 24:30.33

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Absolutely yeah.

**** – (): 24:32.61

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Um, we all know that it’s it’s it’s ah it’s an attempt I mean all we can do is attempt to help people understand. So Um I you know I think it’s a good thing for people to be. And change slowly you know and you don’t have to throw it out there on social Media. You know if if you’re not comfortable with it then you can always throw things out and um, even look at what other people have written about doing the same similar things or what other people are.

**** – (): 24:52.33

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 25:07.20

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Are doing and try to understand and maybe you can make a connection with their words that that that goes aha I’m doing the same thing I didn’t realize um yeah I think art is really hard to um, it’s hard to explain. It’s hard to understand.

**** – (): 25:10.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 25:25.77

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Um, even for the artists. So I don’t know Yeah I think it’s harder for the the maker than it is for others. So yeah.

**** – (): 25:26.38

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah I I Second that. And someone else. Yes I think I think that’s true I think when I look at someone’s work I’m like oh this is what I see this is what I feel but when I’m looking at my own work I’m like what am I feeling. There’s so many feelings that um it is harder to seef through and see it. From a very different standpoint versus I feel like I’m immersed into it and every direction I see I see so many things and I’m like what is this.

**** – (): 26:00.62

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Yeah, that’s a good. That’s good though. That’s a good question for you to ask yourself. But even if you don’t understand or you don’t have an answer that doesn’t make it insignificant or unimportant. Just um, the process for me is the most important.

**** – (): 26:09.84

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 26:18.37

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I Love one so coming to process How about you take me through how do you work? What how do you create this these beautiful amazing works that I can see in the background right now. What does a typical process like a day in the studio.

**** – (): 26:18.56

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): That’s that’s my true love is I Love every step of my process.

**** – (): 26:37.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, how do you approach your paintings. How do you? Ah you know how does your mind work.

**** – (): 26:42.95

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Um, okay so typically um I would paint a portrait first so I would get the portrait done and they would sort of guide me or something like I would just get some sort of idea or inspiration from that portrait.

**** – (): 26:46.57

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 26:58.69

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): No background. No nothing just paint the portrait and then I yeah and then I just would get a direction. However, now that my materials are are evolving sometimes a material drives my idea. Yeah so um.

**** – (): 26:59.14

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Just the center of the portrait.

**** – (): 27:10.40

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): What kind of project.

**** – (): 27:16.34

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): You know, part of my process is just going and and treasure hunting and going to the antique stores and the Secondhand stores and and seeing what jumps out at me and like oh buy me I don’t know what I’m going to do with you but it’s yelling at me to buy it and so that’s.

**** – (): 27:26.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And I feel you.

**** – (): 27:32.10

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): On that’s like a super fun part. Um I love getting the old jewelry and cutting it up into pieces sorting it all by color. Um, so I I have drawers and drawers you can see behind me full of stuff. Um, that’s all organized. Um.

**** – (): 27:35.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, okay, okay, yes again.

**** – (): 27:52.70

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): And then I sort of decide. Um, it takes me a long time. Maybe a couple weeks to even lay something out and figure out how it’s going to go because it’s really hard to undo. So um, sometimes I have undone things. Um.

**** – (): 28:04.24

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah. Okay.

**** – (): 28:11.42

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): But it’s really difficult so now I just spend like maybe weeks sort of finalizing the plan or at least get a good start and then the materials talk to me and I just I work stream ofconscious too. so so I’m not afraid to make a different ah change or move.

**** – (): 28:19.32

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Happening.

**** – (): 28:29.22

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 28:30.91

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Um I I always go with that’s a yes if it’s a yes I do it if it’s a no or a maybe I don’t do it and then I go to the next step. So I might paint a paint first. Um I determine a background.

**** – (): 28:35.74

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 28:50.65

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Um I sew and then I wait to adhere everything last. So.

**** – (): 28:55.68

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): So are you literally sewing every piece on the portrait.

**** – (): 29:02.42

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Yeah, so I’m doing much of the sewing I have a few pieces where I’ve gotten old quilts that um that I’ve recycled the crazy quilts actually had a lady send me the most beautiful.

**** – (): 29:07.33

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ok, may.

**** – (): 29:18.54

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Squares from her great grandmother and and I’m so scared to mess them up that I have to I’ve had them for a while and I’m just still trying to figure out how to keep these intact and it’s embroider embroidery I could never possibly do. They’re amazing.

**** – (): 29:20.55

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh oh.

**** – (): 29:35.19

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh wow.

**** – (): 29:38.18

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): So I have to wait for that idea I have to sit on things sometimes for a year or two before I know speak to me. Yeah, yes, so that’s pretty much. Yeah, that’s my process.

**** – (): 29:42.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): For them to yeah yeah I love that So what are you working on right now in the studio is there something that you’re working on um, a project and you work something that you want to share with us.

**** – (): 29:57.91

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Um, yeah I’m working on a um, a little red riding hood and the reason why is because I got a coyote face literally the face of a coyote the skin with the and.

**** – (): 30:03.31

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 30:09.14

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, okay.

**** – (): 30:16.48

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Ears and everything and of course I can find these odd things at my local Flea market. Um, so but I’m kind of telling a different story one. That’s not the typical where um, you know, kind of like.

**** – (): 30:21.48

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): He ah.

**** – (): 30:26.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 30:33.30

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): I don’t know if you ever read Clarissa Pincola’s book women who run with wolves. Okay, so it’s kind of like that that sort of idea that that maybe she killed the wolf and not the Huntsman and and in one of the stories. 1 of the versions says that the.

**** – (): 30:36.55

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes I love that book not that book.

**** – (): 30:44.62

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, okay.

**** – (): 30:53.14

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Wolf had swallowed her hole and so it’s sort of the wolf coming up like she’s coming out of it and um so it’s a little bit of a different tale and then um I’ve got some old book. Yeah, like an old red riding hood book. Um.

**** – (): 30:53.49

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 31:10.24

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, book.

**** – (): 31:11.41

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): That I’ve taken the pages out of and using those in the background. Um, so it’s It’s a little different because now I’m using some paper in this piece. Um, which it’s taken me a little bit to figure out how to use paper. Um, just because of dimensionality. So it’s.

**** – (): 31:14.22

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, oh wow.

**** – (): 31:20.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 31:31.38

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): It’s um, it’s a new piece. You know I’m trying a new material. Yeah.

**** – (): 31:31.79

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I am I am very excited to see and when it’s done make sure you share with us and we’d love to support you any new projects that you’d like to share with us anyone who’s listening where we can support you where people can find you.

**** – (): 31:39.10

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 31:44.92

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): And.

**** – (): 31:50.60

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): It’s been amazing chatting with you I Want to make sure that you know we give you enough space to share. Whatever your point.

**** – (): 31:56.61

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): I’m super excited to be doing the pma craft show which is the Philadelphia Museum Of Art Fine Craft show that’s coming up in the first weekend of November in downtown Philadelphia. So.

**** – (): 32:00.40

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, after all.

**** – (): 32:08.38

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Amazing.

**** – (): 32:13.33

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Unk um I’ve been trying to get into that show for a couple years and um I’m super excited too. Yeah, thank you? Um, and then in December I’ll be at the armadilllo Christmas bazaar which is in um, which is in Austin Texas Texas um.

**** – (): 32:16.19

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wow congratulations.

**** – (): 32:25.72

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, okay.

**** – (): 32:32.81

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): And it’s an indoor show for about a week and a half two weekends and a full week. So yeah, those yeah yeah, busy working on get ready.

**** – (): 32:36.23

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I Mean so lots’s coming up I mean and what can people find you on the internet on social media website.

**** – (): 32:47.97

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Ah, carriepeers.com and my Instagram is 1 carry pierce.

**** – (): 32:52.26

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Perfect. So what I’m going to do is everything the books you’ve mentioned the links you’ve mentioned and your work we list all of that in the show notes. So anyone who’s interested can go on our website and find the link of this podcast episode and find everything we’ve spoken about. And read a lot more and view. Um, Carrie’s work that we’ are very very grateful to be sharing. Thank you so much Gary. It was so nice to talk to you and I’m very grateful that we got this chance to you know, be in your studio to hear what you do and so to literally see that. As well.

**** – (): 33:30.67

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Well thank you This was delightful and I think you’re brilliant and um, you’re doing amazing work.

**** – (): 33:34.29

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Thank you so much. Thank you for your support I have I Hope you have a good day. Thank you for making it. Thank you.

**** – (): 33:40.41

**** – (): Carrie Pearce

**** – (): Thank you for having me bye.


About The Guest(s):
Carrie Pearce is an artist known for her unique and experimental mixed media artwork. She has a background in painting and has recently transitioned into incorporating various materials such as fabric, embroidery, and found objects into her work. Carrie’s artwork often features portraits and dolls, creating a whimsical and captivating world.


Summary:
Carrie Pearce, an artist known for her mixed media artwork, discusses her creative journey and the evolution of her work. She shares how she rediscovered her passion during the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to explore new materials and techniques. Carrie talks about her love for dolls and how they have become a prominent element in her artwork. She also explains her process of incorporating different textures and materials into her paintings, creating visually interesting and dynamic pieces. Despite facing challenges and losing some followers and collectors during her artistic transition, Carrie emphasizes the importance of staying true to oneself and following one’s creative bliss. She encourages artists to embrace change, experiment with new ideas, and not be afraid to share their work with the world.


Key Takeaways:

  • Carrie Pearce’s artwork has evolved over the years, incorporating various materials and textures to create visually captivating pieces.
  • She rediscovered her passion for art during the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to explore new ideas and techniques.
  • Dolls have become a prominent element in Carrie’s artwork, symbolizing companionship and cultural significance.
  • Carrie’s process involves incorporating different materials, such as fabric, embroidery, and found objects, into her paintings to add depth and visual interest.
  • Despite facing challenges and losing some followers and collectors during her artistic transition, Carrie emphasizes the importance of staying true to oneself and embracing change.

Quotes:

  • “I Just found… the possibilities are endless… I didn’t feel restricted anymore by the paint.” – Carrie Pearce
  • “If 2 of us made artwork that looked the same, one of us would be really unnecessary.” – Carrie Pearce
  • “I Just can’t stop making this work… I don’t care if anyone ever sees this… people might like it, they might not.” – Carrie Pearce

Charuka Arora is the founder of the Arts to Hearts Project and Host of the Arts to Hearts Podcast. She is also an acclaimed Indian artist known for her contemporary embellished paintings. Her unique blend of gouache, collage, embroidery, painting, and drawing explores the intersection of art, culture, heritage, and womanhood. Through her work, she tells stories of female strength and encapsulates them in pieces that can be treasured for generations.

 Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Charuka’s work draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, recognizing women as vessels of Shakti, the cosmic energy. She beautifully portrays powerful goddesses like Durga Maa riding a tiger or lion, symbolizing their unlimited power to protect virtue and combat evil.

Through her art, Charuka invites us into the world of women, showcasing their beauty, strength, and resilience. Her creations not only exhibit exceptional talent but also serve as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for those challenging societal norms.

About Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Arts to Hearts Podcast is a show delving into the lives and passions of renowned artists. From running creative businesses and studio art practices to cultivating a successful mindset, Charuka Arora engages in heartfelt conversations with her guests. Experience your personal happy hour with your favorite artists, right in your studio.

Through candid discussions, Charuka and her guests reveal the joys and challenges of a vibrant creative life, both within and beyond our studios. Get ready to be inspired and uplifted as you tune in.

About the Guest

Image taken from Meet the Artists

Carrie Pearce was born in Peoria, IL in 1969. She has been drawing and painting as long as she can remember. Her earliest memories include a Walt Disney light-up table and asking her mom to draw her pictures as she described them to her. Carrie’s first major inspiration came from Ann Adams, an artist who drew with a pencil between her teeth. At the age of 6, Carrie was amazed at her ability, and tried to duplicated her drawings with and without pencil in her teeth. Carrie attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia where she graduated with honors.  In 2007, Upon seeing DaVinci’s portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci, she declared, “I want to paint like that”. Her paintings can be described as imaginary realism.  Although dedicated to the 16th Century techniques of the Masters, she also finds room for the occasional scribble, inspired by children’s drawings. Pearce describes her work as emotional portraits rather than portraits of people. The people are inspired by turn of the century photos that she finds at antique stores and estate sales.

Carrie’s work has been featured both nationally and internationally. She is a “Living Artist” with the Art Renewal Center, a website dedicated to revival of realism in fine art. Her work has been featured in Fine Art Connoisseur, “When artists paint themselves”. 

In this week’s podcast, we listen to Carrie Pearce who is taking us along on her artistic journey. Carrie has always been an artist, and even as a child, all she remembers is her passion for painting. Even when her artistic style has evolved in the past few years, she reveals that these ideas have always been there with her, maybe since 30 years!

Looking at Carrie’s art, all you can think about is how other-worldly it looks. With their warm color palette, and a striking resemblance to the 16th century art style, Carrie’s artworks momentarily take you away into another universe. If you think that the subjects in Carrie’s paintings resemble dolls, you may not be the only one. It’s quite interesting to listen to Carrie talk about her fascinations and interests, as she finds dolls to be “symbolic and trusted little companions for people”.

I do find them interesting because they cross all cultures. They’re in in every culture you can imagine.

Carrie Pearce –Arts to Hearts Podcast E40S03

Covid19 and creative block

Carrie’s artwork

We all have our own stories to tell of when COVID19 hit. It was a time when a lot of people had life-changing experiences. Carrie experienced a similar shift, where she suddenly hit a rock. For her, this creative block seemed so final that she thought she may not paint again.

When COVID hit I lost my sense of humor, I just lost my passion.

Carrie Pearce –Arts to Hearts Podcast E40S03

Losing hope, she went back for her masters to Savannah College of Art and Design, where she had also gotten her undergrad degree. Her purpose now was to become a teacher, since in her mind she couldn’t imagine her future as an artist. However, she was hit with the realization that she could never be a teacher, she was meant to be an artist. It was when her professor assigned her a book by Joseph Campbell that she started to think about following her bliss.

The possibilities are endless, I didn’t feel restricted anymore by the paint.

Carrie Pearce –Arts to Hearts Podcast E40S03

She began to make a list of all the things that she loved to do, such as jigsaw puzzles and sorting things. Suddenly she found her ray of inspiration, which she was longing for so desperately. It was then that she decided to have this shift in her creativity.

If you’re having creative block. That’s the perfect time to try something completely different.

Carrie Pearce –Arts to Hearts Podcast E40S03

Carrie still loved to paint portraits, and she realized she also loved to sort things, so it just came to her. She began to reimagine her art, where she could put these different objects on her paintings, even though it was out of her comfort zone.

Why do I have to paint these things you know, there are no rules.  

Carrie Pearce –Arts to Hearts Podcast E40S03

Embracing the creative change

For Carrie, this creative transition was a challenge because she lost art collectors and followers. But her perspective on the whole thing was quite optimistic. Just like there were people who appreciated her previous artworks, and didn’t resonate with her new style, there were bound to be people that would love her new artistic style. So that is what she did! She stayed true to what she wanted to do, and since then, has created some truly marvelous pieces.

I was like I don’t care if anyone ever sees this.

I have people that really hate my work and I have people that really love my work and that’s fine.

Carrie Pearce –Arts to Hearts Podcast E40S03
Carrie’s artwork

For Carrie, it’s quite natural that two artists should not produce the same work. If everyone made the same art, which may attract more followers, the art would be unnecessary. And this is what makes Carrie and her work unique! Carrie thinks it’s important to keep evolving and to embrace the change. And that is also what you are meant to do as an artist, otherwise you will be stuck at the same spot with not creative growth.

Listen to your ideas, listen to that little inner child or that inner voice, and play. I mean art is a form of play, and at some point you’re going to get tired with the same old toy, and you need to try new toys.

Carrie Pearce –Arts to Hearts Podcast E40S03

Carrie’s creative process

Looking at the artwork that Carrie has been making since the beginning, we can’t help but marvel at how ethereal they seem. When we look at the artworks that Carrie has shifted towards now, they have an added touch of magic. With their colorful patchworks, pearls, stones, and beads, it’s hard to take your eyes off them.

Getting to this point has taken Carrie some time. It takes her several visits to antique stores to find the objects that she wants. To get her imagination running wild, Carrie would usually paint a portrait first, and then from there, she would get some sort of idea or inspiration. She says that her material are evolving, and sometimes they are the ones that drive her ideas. So what does she do? She goes to all the antique and secondhand stores for treasure hunting! She doesn’t always know what she is looking for, but trusts her instincts and sees what jumps out to her. Sometimes, she would get old jewelry and cut it into pieces by colors. These objects do not have to necessarily be of use to her at that time, as she organizes them in her drawers, so they are always there to serve their artistic purpose. Sometimes, she would sit on an idea for a year, just to be sure. But the results truly are worth the wait and effort!

I think art is really hard to explain. It’s hard to understand, even for the artists. But even if you don’t understand, that doesn’t make it insignificant or unimportant. Just the process for me is the most important.

Carrie Pearce –Arts to Hearts Podcast E40S03
Carrie’s artwork

An interesting advice Carrie gives to other artists regarding transitioning to a different artistic style is to take baby steps. Nothing happens in a night, and you need to give yourself the time to take it slowly so you can do it right. To make sure that she was learning continuously, Carrie would add something new to her artwork every time.

An artist once told me, always be changing, always add something a little different into each painting so you don’t get like stuck or coined into a certain thing. And I always thought that was pretty good advice.

Carrie Pearce –Arts to Hearts Podcast E40S03

Carrie’s artistic expression is unique, something you don’t come across very often. Tune in to this weeks’ podcast to find out more about how Carrie was able to grow as an artist. You can catch Carrie’s craft show in the Philadelphia Museum of Art Fine Craft show in the first weekend of November. You also have to chance to marvel at her artworks in December as she will be showcasing her work at armadillo Christmas bazaar in Austin, Texas.


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