Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Winn.
Hi Susan, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Being an artist has always been a part of who I am. I have been surrounded by artists and encouraging/inspiring people my whole life. It has always been an outlet for me for whatever I am going through or whatever I want to work towards. I like to think that art chose me and not the other way around.
When I was little, I remember seeing my Mom work on her paintings. My Grandmother created outfits out of random fabrics. I remember seeing huge detailed Norman Rockwell-like stories my Grandfather photographed. Needless to say, my family was and is very inspiring in their creativity and are constantly encouraging me.
I took every art class I could get my hand on in school and was part of the art clubs. When I went to college, I knew I wanted to be an artist, however I was torn on which medium I should settle on. I changed my major probably every semester for the first two years until I landed on photography. I loved the stories a single photograph could tell. After college, I was conflicted on what to do so I went ahead and continued my education thinking I could teach college. During that time, I worked with a lot of phenomenal artists and keep in touch today.
After college, I did all the things a photographer does before landing on who I am today. I did the weddings, the events, portraits, gallery’s, teaching, print work you name it, good chance I did it. Despite that, I ended up settling on showing my art in galleries mainly co-op community-based galleries and assisting with gallery work. I don’t believe that I would be where I am today with my art without my family and friends encouraging me to keep going and growing what I do. My biggest encouragers are my 4 and 6 years old boys.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Oh No! Even though I had people encouraging me, I was self-conscious of my art and what I was going to do with it. When I was in school and a long time after school, I was constantly comparing my work and worrying about what people thought. It is not a fun way to be an artist.
I love art and photography, and as I mentioned before, I did almost everything a photographer would do before landing where I am now, it took me a long time to get there. I felt that I needed to make a lot of money to be successful, I felt I needed to be in these high-end galleries or work at the best university. But that is actually all B.S.
I found my niche about ten years after graduating with my Master’s Degree. By this point, I was wandering around discouraged. I ended up getting a job where I ran a community-based gallery and art classes. I fell in love. I enjoyed talking with fellow artists and seeing their progress. However, life is sticky and I had to leave. I left to have my two wild boys and I began slowly after they were born volunteering at a co-op community-based gallery, 40 West Arts. And it is perfect. The first few years, I would volunteer and show my work. Now that my kiddos are in school, I am now upping my volunteer work there, working more on my photographs, I have got back into the clay studio and meeting and working with inspiring artists. I am showing my work more, and I feel great about my art. I feel like I would have been here sooner if I would have just followed my gut and not what I thought everyone and myself viewed as success.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a Colorado photographer who tries to find beauty in our chaotic world. I photograph close-ups of flowers, vast landscapes, impressionist landscapes, and plant textures. Currently, I am exploring texture, shape, color and the translation of it to our world and combining it with storytelling and new forms of representation. I am exploring ceramic, watercolor and ink as well.
I am proud that I have kept creating my art and after all the times, I wanted to quit… There have been so many wonderful adventures I have been a part of and will continue being a part of.
Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
I have learned that family and happiness is very important. I feel like before Covid, I was always on the go, staying busy and not making time. I feel it is important to take things slow and not to always be in a hurry. Make time to see the ones you love and even though it can be hard, slow down and enjoy it.