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Rising Stars: Meet Susan Winn

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.

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