Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nicole B. Schmidt is Green Over Art!

Partial interview of Nicole B. Schmidt of for the Votre Vray Creative Women project.

One of the key questions the Votre Vray project asks every interviewee is how they feel about being called an artist. Some embrace the concept, and others balk at nuances the term brings up for them. Nicole B. Schmidt is one of the later.

"I have two conflicting ideas when I think of the term ‘artist,’” says Nicole. “The first is the stereotype of the flighty, all over the place but not necessarily responsible type. The second is of someone who has the innate ability to be creative, outside the parameters of society or original intention.” Nicole then goes on to state she’s not sure she’s earned the right for the second definition yet but she’s working on it by getting away from traditional 2D and formulas such as copying the masters. For her, “It is more about the experience than the end product, let it evolve, go through the process instead of dictating to the piece, ‘You will be…’”

I asked if her new creative direction causes her to fear putting herself out there. “Oh yeah! The new direction of my work is more commercial and there is still an elitist view of who has made it in the world of art,” much like A-list stars in Hollywood. “You need to be in the scene to make it big, if you don’t fit that image, you won’t make it.”
Does she want to be “part of the scene”? Nicole laughs and says, “I want to make a sellable product. Every piece is not a child of yours. It is your work that will replenish itself. Let go of what you’ve made (sell it) and create anew.”

And create, Nicole does. When she was little her mother had to create a rotation system of the pieces on display on the fridge, keep it up a week, and replace with her latest work. She went on to take AP art classes in high school and some of her paintings are still in her parent’s home.

What does she advise to new artists? “Find yourself in your art. If you’re in it for money, find your direction, find what you really love – a subject or a medium – and see how far you can push yourself in that.”

What is Nicole’s latest artistic aim? “I am working on creating a line of art that is completely eco-friends – renewable materials, looking at dyes and milk paints – and making it affordable for younger people who want to feel good about purchasing something beautiful that is also a green product. I will be successful it I can create a modest living making art that others can enjoy too.”

I’m willing to bet Nicole will do just that.

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