Thursday, June 26, 2008

Janice Johnson Smith – An Artist Who Rocks

Today I had the opportunity to interview Indiana artist, Janice Johnson Smith.
Artistic Focus: Drawing and Painting

Mel: How do you feel when someone calls you an artist?
Janice: Well…um…good. It feels right. It fits me, but it isn’t like most things you do. No one calls a restaurant owner a restaurant. They say you have a business. Art is a business too.

Mel: When you create a drawing or painting how is that emotionally empowering for you?Janice: Art connects head, to heart, to hand, to paper, to eyes and back to head and heart again. Because you begin with the artist and then the work is viewed, enjoyed and interpreted.

Mel: Who in your life or what in your life encouraged you to keep going forward in your path to be a creator of your own work?
Janice: I was active in art as a young girl and a bit in college, and every now and then since. My husband all along said, “Do it.” About give years ago of friend of mine encouraged me to paint something for her. Then another friend did, and she said, “I love it!” The support has been there all along, to pushing me to create, to “I love it.”Now I get my support through a networking group. I met a house designer who installed my work in a home. It has been great.

Mel: Is it still scary for you -- ever, often, always -- to put yourself out there?
Janice: You know what? I’ve moved past some of that. There always is scrutiny when you’re showing your work to others, but it depends upon the context. It is normal to feel a little sting if someone hates your work, but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t believe in it.

Mel: Can you envision yourself doing anything else with your life?
Janice: Possibly, but not full-time.

Mel: What is the best advice you have been given or can give in regards to following a creative path?
Janice: The Best Advice Given? Stay inspired. Best Advice I Can Give? Follow it to the end. Just do it, and see. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

What is coming up for Janice?
She’s helping coordinate a First Friday art event through called the Elegant Funk group art show; slated for August 1st in Indianapolis. Admission is free with complimentary food and wine tasting. A cash bar will also be present.

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