Today I am excited to share my second artist interview, this time with Robyn Thayer of Studio Lila.
My first contact with Studio Lila was a card I purchased at Kismet in the Denver Highlands when I first moved to Denver 5 years ago. This card hung in my creative space for several years before I finally gave it away to a friend. Two years ago, with that same friend, I came across more of Studio Lila’s work at Details in Littleton. I read the little bio on the back of the card and exclaimed, “I could be friends with this woman! We’re both from the midwest and she lives here in Colorado.”
My next encounter was an engagement card I recieved (which is framed and hanging in our hallway now.) I was reminded how much I loved the senitment and style of Robyn’s work. Her work was similar to mine, yet totally different at the same time.
Finally, I was fortunate to be introduced to Robyn at a DHA marketing event we both attended several months later and then we both participated in the first Sugar Plum Bazaar last holiday season, futhering our connection as Denver handmade artists.
When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?
(Laughing.) Rather, when did I accept I am an artist?! It wasn’t until the last decade that I began taking an honest look at my creativity and responses to it and stepped up to being of service through my talent.
What does it mean to live an authentic life?
When I consider what to do, buy, eat, ect. I ask my heart, “does this serve the Highest Good?” It is just a question and what bubbles up from my interior I don’t always agree with nor like (at all)… A dear one frequently reminds me, “You don’t have to like it.” Following this for quite sometime now my life is more in the flow than ever before and when its all said and done I usually like it and definitely like myself more for remaining true to my heart.
What has been your most exciting moment as an artist?
There have been so many! and in a myriad of ways. Right now, I am witnessing the power of living the Creative Life, how it is already in my eyes, in the way I move my hips and my lips; embracing this is terrifying and exhilarating at once. The more I acknowledge the Creative Force at play in my life, the more She shows up (shows off!)in my life. As I watch my relationship with art making change, and change again, it reminds me of when I sought out art making in college like a long lost friend, so I could breathe again (figuratively). As I grow in my relationship with creativity, we have our ups and downs; through thick and thin Art has been my most loyal companion. I am striving to be that loyal to creativity herself.
How much time per week do you spend creating (rather than time spent promoting and running your business)?
I am most content when invoking the creative spirit of anything. Having a new baby has put some mighty time constraints on pretty much everything so, to thrive, my soul needs to be in the making mode. Whatever that may be; gazing out a window, dinner, menu planning, sewing projects, home rearranging, blogging, gardening, event planning, even grocery list making, and of course, full-on, luxurious painting, I find a way to be artistic about it with my attitude (my intention is there, though, occasionally it takes a while for my actions to reflect this). A piece of wisdom I hold dear: “Robyn, let your goodbye be the beginning of your next hello.” Simply put, I practice priming the next piece of art before closing up the studio for the night. And outside the studio, I kiss my man goodbye with some conscious zespah, leaving us both excited for our next hello!
I have had to repeatedly take some long, good, close looks at how I do business. I am learning that the more joyful and juicy I am in all aspects of my life, the more we all benefit, my art gets better and more sought after, interactions are more fun, overall there is more trust and beauty in the innate goodness of all things.
What is your favorite art supply, tool or technique?
My credit card of all things! I have a stash of old credit cards, gift cards, room keys, ect. and use them as paint scrapers, pushers and smearers.
Do you have a favorite piece of art you’ve created? What is the story behind this piece?
Titled: Beyond All Doubt. 30×40 Mixed Media on Canvas
This piece was pivotal for me in my relationship with creativity. I had painted 2 other large canvases prior to this and thought my abstract work was just a fluke. I set out with this bad boy and my muse spoke loud and clear guiding each brushstroke, blasting away my silly egotistical idea that I am just poser. It provided me with a deep clear sense of the organic nature of my Muse. When I drop in and listen, She is always there, ready to paint, already knowing what color to put on the brush, how to move it across the canvas, and when to stop.
Do you keep an inspiration board? What is on it and what inspires you?
I do not keep a visual board. I have tried in the past and find it distracts me from the organic images that live in my heart that are made of the experiences of my life. I do however love to collect images on the web or with my camera or out in nature, I will sit with these glimpses for some time, doodling, journaling, and chewing, allowing it to brew up a story in me, then, finally letting it all go, that is when I am ready to paint.
What is your favorite art related book(s)?
Oh, I think there are a few hundred! Here is a stack on my blog.
Who are your top 3 favorites artists?
Mister Roger’s (Fred Rogers) Lady Elaine Fairchild had me from the beginning, Suzy’s Zoo (Suzy Spafford) at age 11, and Friedensreich Hundertwasser at 17 (I fell head over heels in love with his work while in Germany and I still have the very expensive German book I had to own even though I couldn’t read a lick of it!).
How do you recharge when your creativity hits the wall?
I get in the kitchen and follow a recipe, I jump in the lake, I take a hike, I sit my butt down on my meditation cushion. I pray. I stand on my head. I make love to my man. I play on the floor with my baby girl. I do the best job I can to live my whole life.
What advice can you offer those wanting to live a more creative life?
Currently: I stay in the flow by following my enthusiasm. Many times easier said than done, but proving to be well worth it in all aspects of my life.
And a quote I love:
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” ~Jim Jarmusch