We are delighted to publish the first of our new styled interview entitled ‘Mobile Artists on Their Artistry’. Within this interview, we ask highly successful mobile artists twenty questions about their backgrounds, their work, social media, how Covid-19 has influenced their creative life and so much more…
Today, we are very proud to publish inspirational mobile artist, Cindy Karp from Georgia, United States, interview. Enjoy this deep dive…
How would you introduce yourself to someone who doesn’t know your work?
Having had an art background and several degrees in education, Fine Arts and Printmaking I let my interest wane in that field for the past 45 years as I became a successful serial entrepreneur. During quarantine I had time to revisit my interest but in the new iPhone technology that captured my attention and harnessed my creativity. I began downloading seemingly an app a night and learning it, and then applying it to the copious photos I began taking. I hired a model for a couple of hours and conceptualised my first ever photo shoot. I tested my creativity with her images that I displayed in a multitude of ways. I think the portrait style look that I began creating has given me a distinctive look that I seem to be recognized for.
What name do you use within social media and was this a conscious decision?
A photographer friend insisted I get on Instagram and he showed me the basic platform. I came up with” cindykarpiphonephotographer”.
I also put together an art website during the pandemic where models or anyone can purchase an image on a multitude of mediums here.
What kind of family did you grow up in?
My father died at 34 when I was 11 and my mother left teaching to run the company he started. My brother and I were latch key kids and fended for ourselves. Like the song Taxi by Harry Chapin we both went on divergent paths to find the “stars” – he did drugs and I lived in a fanciful life making art and working hard. Art inspired me and I got lots of awards and in college the Whitney Museum bought one of my prints. I never received any support from my family either financially or in emotional support but I always strived to do my best in whatever I was doing.
Did your childhood influence your ideas about creativity?
Since I learned to occupy my time reading or inventing games with friends, I think that was the genesis of my creativity. Creativity manifested in poetry and was published in Seventeen Magazine at 16. Art was my favorite subject and was always drawing and won a trip to Atlantic City for my family when I was a teen.
Did your parents support your creativity?
Not really. My father was a wonderful pianist who played for the Broadway stars who would practice in our apartment in upstate NY. His father played with Irving Berlin in the silent movie theatres in NYC. I got my musical ability from him and loved watching him play and then we would watch Name That Tune on one of the 3 channels we had on a black and white TV. They did take us to see the summer stock plays and my mother enrolled me in a music camp.
When was the first time you knew you wanted to be an artist?
I always loved art. I loved museums. In high school I played hooky nearly every week and hitch hiked to NYC about 2 hours away to visit the museums. I was in the AP classes and it didn’t affect my grades. I felt I was getting a more enriching education that way and tailored it to my passions.
I went to undergrad school in North Carolina and earned 2 degrees in 4 years while doing term papers for my friends in exchange for use of their camera, a ride somewhere, etc. I attended the Univ of London as an exchange student and studied Shakespeare and Art. I went to every museum and gallery and lived adjacent to the British Museum where I would hang out while my friends went to pubs.
I went to grad school in NY for Printmaking while I was running an import store and restaurant I founded with my late husband and working several jobs at the University. I barely slept and somehow it was reflected in my work in Lithography as I received the dreaded B instead of an A. That is when I made a life change and went to grad school in Georgia for Archeology. I never did art again except designing textiles putting my soon to be husband through med school. I taught school for several years, started importing and buying artefacts for museums and private collectors primarily in South America. After having 7 machine guns at my head this “Cindiana Jones” decided for a less adventurous life as I now had a one year old son. I started a rep company which made $8 the first month and then grew exponentially and before long I had showrooms in Atlanta, Charlotte,NC and Puerto Rico. I became the largest gift rep firm in the country and often helped design and write for the greeting card companies. When that wasn’t fun after 15 years, I decided to get into real estate after spending the weekend with one of my art vendors who was married to the most famous Realtor in LA. It opened my eyes to possibilities as he was getting calls from Barbra Streisand, Lionel Ritchie, Kenny Rodgers, etc that weekend.
I sold my business and have been doing real estate for the past 32 years as Broker of my own company.
Since the pandemic I have re-evaluated my life and found much more pleasure in art again. Now I have a foot and a half in retirement in my Golden Years and get so much enjoyment in making art, photographing models and travels and interacting with the artists on the various art groups. My passion has again been unleashed and relish learning new things each day.
What is creativity to you?
The emergence of ideas and recognising the multitude of possibilities and enjoying the ride of discovery.
Where are you most creative?
At the moment my creativity is centered around my iPhone and infinite possibilities I can derive from the images with apps. I am also creative in decorating, visualisation, creating a nationally renowned garden that appeared in magazines, on covers, and on tours, not knowing what the plant was but being able to conceptualise the design.
What inspires you?
I get inspiration from so many visual cues. Most of my life when not working my passion has been travel and becoming more adept at photographing what I see. I have a penchant for people and love portraits.
I have honed my eye for visual quality and ingrained a deep sensitivity to the aesthetics of cultural diversity.
Who inspires you?
My inspiration comes from other artists, colors, design, reading about an intrepid adventurer whom I want to emulate or learn from.
Does your engagement on social media help you to plan your future projects?
Yes, I am very active in the community, served on Boards of the 2 Museums here as well as other civic boards. I seldom miss a party or an event and have become very social. It’s helpful in my business and now I am recognized for my photo art. I just had a show called Pandemic Portraits and will be doing a show at the State Botanical Gardens.
What does your average day look like?
I look forward to each new day and adventures. Deliberately slowing down my workload, I only set an alarm when I have to catch a plane. I get up at the crack of dawn and enjoy languishing in bed for a couple of hours with my iPad and cup of coffee that I never seem to drink while its still hot. It takes a good hour to respond to the copious emails and messages. I am so humbled and blessed that people like my work and grateful for my peers whom we continue to cheer on one another. Today I shot a new model for 2 hours at the local cemetery. I don’t generally plan much around these shoots but let happenstance take over. Having recently sold my home and downsized …I spent the last year remodelling the entire home and gardens. This has usurped much of my energy but was definitely rewarding and I will put it in writing…not going to move again unless its to that plot I bought a few years ago in that same cemetery. 😉
Is it your intention to ask questions or make the viewer question what they see?
Art is very subjective and I like to leave a bit of ambiguity for the viewer to feel the piece and let it speak to them.
Is there humour in your work?
Most definitely! I grew up in the Catskills which spawned all the great comedians. I make a joke of everything! And certainly going out with a laugh- I actually put in my will that I want a U-Haul behind my hearse. In this world..we have to find humor in everything…”Life is Beautiful”one of my favorite movies.
How important is failure in your work process? Do you incorporate it into your creative process?
Failure is part of the process but you must continue to keep trying. Einstein said “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”
How do you deal with criticism?
It can be a good learning tool if it’s done constructively. If someone on a group says something rude I generally ignore rather than dignify it with a response.
Has the Covid-19 pandemic influenced your creative life?
Absolutely! I started doing Corona Virus Art and it was picked up by a local paper and then it took on a life of its own. I post probably way too much on Facebook but at the end of each year I have a hardcover book made of my postings on ReSnap and it becomes a coffee table book top that reflects the past year. You can’t look through the book and say it wasn’t a fantastic year despite the pandemic and all the restrictions.
Who dead or alive would you like to have dinner with?
My late father and my late husband.
What is the best piece of advice that you’ve heard and still repeat to others?
“There is a reason the windshield is larger than the rear view mirror…its more important to know where you are going than where you came from”.
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