"You have to cultivate your own ability to be inspired. As I become more mature as an artist its how do I create the circumstances to cultivate the mood and the mental state I need to be in to really connect with my vision as an artist."
Four years ago when she hit a low point in her life, artist Caitlin McCollom could not have imagined that today she would be a full time artist with a successful career. When you don’t have anything, you don’t have anything to lose someone once said. Then why not just create the work that fulfills your soul as opposed to what everyone else wants you to do she thought. Starting from the emptiness of nothing forces you to surrender and appreciate all of those meaningful physical and spiritual moments that you might have before taken for granted. It was a painful reset but it allowed her to start making the work she was meant to make.
She had wanted to be an artist from a young age and always had a strong compulsion to create. As she rebuilt her life even if she couldn’t create artwork she did at least something small everyday to keep her creative spirit and thoughts progressing. Previous to this time, studying art in school, she developed her survival instincts and knew the art world was competitive. She also was not afraid to experiment and throw work away if it didn’t make the cut. Starting from scratch she knew one of the important things to cultivate would be her point of view and how to convey what she wanted to say along with her ability to stay inspired.
No doubt Caitlin takes her craft seriously. Her paintings tell many different stories and are infused with spirituality, mysticism, jungian archetypes, and existential voids, to name a few aspects. Their creation is intentional but there’s also room for chance. The shapes are symbolic and so are the colors. Her ideas and inspiration come from a lot of research, reading, journaling, and just paying attention to her mental state and what comes up in life.
In this interview we talk about her art but also quite a bit about business, social media, and the kinds of advice she gives to her interns about being an artist. She talks about the tools she uses and why she decided to hire a PR firm. Her business utilizes a lot of Instagram and Facebook ads and she discusses many of her strategies for those. Feel free to contact her if you have any questions and enjoy this fantastic episode full of inspiring and practical information!
Some of the subjects we discuss:
College mentor’s advice
In the mood to work
Vision for the work
Description of paintings
The work you need to make
Red Space/apartment gallery
Moving to NYC and back
Starting over from scratch
Red and Blue in work
The last four years
Selling to collections
Hiring people to help
Using a PR Firm
Living the dream
Advice to interns
Social media strategy
Opening: October 4th, 2018 7pm
Solo exhibition debuting an exclusive collaboration with Wonderwall Studio. A collection of original paintings and reproductions will be on view and available for acquisition.
October 19th: 7-10pm
Open Canopy is a fun free art event hosted by Big Medium and my studio complex Canopy sponsored by Tito's vodka and local breweries, I'll have my studio open for viewing, you can see the work in person and chat with me about what I'm working on.
916 Springdale Austin, TX 78702
Invite Only: November 3rd, 6-10pm 2018
A grand reveal of new work for collectors, patrons, and press only. Sip curated wines and nibbles while absorbing the studio before EAST. Patrons receive a special promotion. Add a new painting to your collection before November to be invited.
916 Springdale, studio #122
The Femme Abstract
Opens November 2018
An exhibition of 30+ female abstract artists
Curated by Moya McIntyre Featuring: Caitlin McCollom, Rebecca Bennett, Stella Alesi, Cherie Weaver, & Vy Ngo.
1300 E. 5th Austin, TX
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian
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