Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sloane Merrick | Interview

Happy Tuesday loves! I hope you all had a great weekend and are looking forward the rest of the week. I can't believe how fast this month is already going, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away! I'm responsible for bringing a dinner dish and a dessert. Do you all have any ideas for me?!

If you follow Peaches + Planks on twitter (@peachesNplanks) then you know there is an exciting addition coming.. It's here!! We are introducing interviews! About every 2-3 weeks we will be posting new interviews. Recently I've been inspired to live your dreams and really experience life. All of these interviews are done with keeping that in mind. We hope you enjoy them!


 Sloane Merrick
Instagram: sloanegodmillionaire

P+P: When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
SM: Not until I was 20!

P+P: Growing up, was there someone you inspired to be like or someone that you admired artistically?
SM: I actually admired dancers & actresses very much growing up.  My parents exposed me & my siblings to the great classics when we were young, like West Side Story, Oklahoma, Carousel & even comedy icons like Gilda Radner & Lucille Ball.  I thought Rita Moreno in West Side Story was the most perfect thing I had ever seen.  I wanted her dress & to dance like her!  My mom was also a very accomplished, ballet dancer for a good part of her life, so I know that affection comes from her as well.  I still admire dancing so much today.

P+P: What is your aesthetic?
SM: Great question!  What I feel personally & what has also been repeated to me is a mix of primitive & sophisticated themes revolving mostly around nature & textures.  I use a lot of clean lines & color to communicate a certain amount of whimsical & supernatural content.

P+P: Who are some of your favorite artists? Have you met any of them?
SM: I just think Van Gogh was absolutely brilliant, I feel he's my most favorite & I find his personal life very intriguing.  I do love some of the other masters like Da Vinci & Monet.  I have drawn much inspiration from Georgia O'Keeffe as well.  A wonderful woman named Jena Taylor from West Texas is an incredible artist that I look up to & admire & she took me under her wing for an entire year & mentored/taught me art.  I owe so much to her....a beautiful woman inside & out.

P+P: Describe your definition of being an accomplished artist.
SM: Another great question!  This is good to talk about, b/c there are so many definitions & in my opinion, many damaging & inaccurate ones.  For starters, I feel like we have to talk about what art is to answer this question.  Art is communication.  There is a lot of self expression out there that is coming through artistic mediums but that does not make it art....that is basically displaying your journal through paint.  It doesn't mean that it's not beautiful or to be admired, but art is effective communication & is more than just a person throwing up their feelings onto a canvas.  An example of the difference between the two is someone saying "I'm angry"....that's self expression.  Art says "I'm angry about this particular issue & this is why it's wrong & this is why I'm using these particular materials to communicate that - they are helping get my point across".  Do you see the distinction?  Real art forces the artist to be an effective communicator & be more specific- it takes the material from just fleeting emotions to an intelligent state that can actually help the observer take their message seriously & read it correctly.  So with answering that question first, I feel that the definition of being an accomplished artist is becoming more & more advanced with your ability to communicate.  There is much soul searching & self discovery that comes with the process & it's incredibly important to not only establishing your aesthetic but making great art that lasts.  Great storytelling will last for centuries, b/c the human heart will never grow tired of it...ever.  There is a lot of "art" that is selling right now that is not art & a lot of people calling themselves "artists" who are not artists at all & I do believe it is that black & white.  Sales & money should not call the shots as far as defining an artist. I think when an individual focuses on being a great communicator, the rest will follow & they will have a lasting career.

P+P: What has been your most memorable work of art?
SM: This last installation I did in TriBeCa called "Michael & Joan" was monumental in my life.  It's much too personal to go into, but there were so many internal & spiritual battles going on, that at times, I honestly didn't think I could finish the project.  Things of spiritual & supernatural value are so fulfilling to paint & create but can also challenge your true beliefs & what really holds your foundation together.  It's an incredibly significant wrestle though; one we must all confront.  Just like when Jacob wrestled with God, I had my own tangle with Him as well.  Jacob was never the same again after & I honestly feel that was my experience....that project changed me & I haven't been the same since.  I feel that those themes can even be seen in the work, there is a rugged nature to the angel wings- a strength that is vibrant, colorful & almost warlike & the overwhelming anthem of Joan of Arc's life was battle.  It stirs me up even now as I write this & brings me to tears all over again.

P+P: Do you display your own work in your home?
SM: Not really :)

P+P: What did you feel like that first morning you moved to New York? Do you still get that feeling?
SM: Scared!!!  In some ways yes.  There is no place like it & I think the beauty of NYC is it's undeniable ability to show a person how small they are in the world.  That discovery will save a life.  To realize how many people are on this planet & everyone is faster, stronger & more talented than me & God says my life matters.  I realized quickly how fleeting life really is & my efforts are only going to destroy me.  The energy of New York is so electric though, I love it & NYC changed my approach to art completely.  I think every artist needs to spend time in the Big Apple.

P+P: What are some other ways you let out some of your creativity?
SM: You know, I am more passionate about creating beauty than I am about making art.  I pursue beauty in lots of ways but I actually LOVE beauty products. :).  I am a true product junkie & it may sound odd but reading beauty blogs & watching beauty tutorials inspires me soooo much.  It will stir my creative desires much quicker & in a much larger way than looking at a piece of art ever will.  Self nurture keeps my gift alive in me.  I also get a lot of enjoyment out of giving my friends & family "spa" days.  Pampering them gives something back to me in a really rich way....it's so bizarre how that helps my art, but it does!

P+P: What is your favorite place in the world? Do you paint when you're there?
SM: The mountains & yes absolutely.

P+P: In what ways do you challenge yourself creatively?
SM: I don't know if I have any methods or exercises that I practice for that but one incredibly LARGE & important lesson I learned in New York is that no one has arrived.  There is always something to learn & to try to cap that is very damaging & will leave my work & myself very stagnant.  It doesn't mean you lose yourself or lose your methods but weaving new ideas & concepts into your creative DNA keeps things fresh & evolving,  I think we do this God too often too...we think we have figured Him out & have learned all there is to know about Him but scripture says He's the inexhaustible One.  If that is the case with God, how much more with art?

P+P: How would you describe the last 5 years?
SM: Another great question!  Without a doubt, in the last 5 years, I have become more whole.  And that is something I want to keep pursuing until the day I die.

P+P: What is something most people don't know about you?
SM: I have been mellow & quiet my whole life, but what surprises a lot of people is that I'm kind of feisty.  A lot rolls off my back, but the stuff that doesn't roll off, you're going to hear about. :) 

P+P: What is the best advice you've ever been given?
SM: So much!  If I had to narrow it down though, the best "advice" has come through an author named John Eldredge & its that the heart is central.  When we neglect our hearts, like clockwork, we will lose it & to lose heart is to lose everything.  I have personal experience with this.

Visit Sloane's website: Sloane Merrick Art
                                              xo, Erica

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