We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassandra H. Kendall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassandra H., why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
When I was a little girl, I was naturally drawn to and fascinated by the arts. Drawing, painting, music, and dance were all a major part of my family life since my mom and dad were both working artists. My mom was a ballroom dance teacher, singer, actress and my father a jazz pianist and painter. By the time I became a teenager, I was doing commissioned art for family and friends. Also, I had very persuasive siblings who were striving to be successful artists and strongly encouraged me along the way. Having had the tremendous support from my family provided the backbone and confidence to pursue a creative career. Moreover, enabled me to be a solo-preneur and be the captain of my own life. Since then, it has been my mission to create beautiful, timeless art in order to make a difference with my client’s and viewer’s sense of well being.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Growing up and living on a ranch with many animals, I learned to care for and have unconditional partnerships with them. Especially horses, who play a major role in the style of art I create. Since I was seven years old, I have had a horse. From that point on, I have had the good fortune to work with horses on many levels. Such as, summer camp in the Swiss Alps, arduous trail tours in the Sierra Nevada, adventure rides in Wyoming and professional horsemanship in San Diego’s local mountains and beach communities. In a nut shell, horses and equestrian portraiture are the fundamental fabric and structure of my life. Every day is committed to building successful partnerships with horses and the people around them. Over the years, I have developed long lasting relationships with ranchers, veterinarians, boarders, competitors, etc… and each person I meet learns about who I am and my skills. In due time, they eventually hire me to capture their furry friends. The best part is when word gets out that I’m an artist, it spreads like wild fire! By no means has this been easy. In fact, it’s probably one of the most difficult careers one can possibly choose in life! It’s one thing to manage heavy camera gear during shoots, yet, another to manage the moving parts of 1,200 lbs animal with a mind of it’s own. Like a dragon on a kite string, there are unpredictable dangers in this business. For instance, getting kicked in the gut by a donkey, or bucked off my horse because he spooked at the camera shutter-click. You name it, I have most likely had a bad fall due to my own silly, human errors. Though, if and when this happens, parallel to life’s experiences, I check myself for injuries, dust myself off, reassess the situation, and get back in the saddle. In fact, having an excellent chiropractor is strongly advised if one shall choose this path! However, what this career has taught me is to be incredibly mindful and in-tune with nature, uncertainty and adversity. “Anything for art”, you’ll hear me say during a session. I am always willing and ready to learn and experience an adventure. What I want the world to know about me and my brand is that there is a beautiful narrative laced into the context of each piece of art I create. There are these wonderful people doing right for their animals, for their beloved fur babies, who work incredibly hard to help them live happy, healthy lives. I get to play the role of capturing their loving partnerships for them to enjoy for a lifetime of memories. At the same time, help them look and feel absolutely fabulous! Besides, it’s a great excuse to buff-up the leather boots, shine the silver conchos, get dressed up and feel like a movie star for the day! We all deserve to feel beautiful and it brings me so much joy to do that for my clients; to provide them with sensational visual art, with a sense of well being and empowerment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego is one of the best cities to live in and visit! There is so much to do here, it’s amazing: Monday, we’ll go to La Jolla Shores beach for some fun in the sun and afterwards, sip on delicious frozen margaritas and enjoy eating grilled Mahi Mahi at the local Shore Rider Bar. Tuesday, we’ll grab quick breakfast burrito at Lolitas Taco Shop and take you on an adventurous horse back ride through the gorgeous Tijuana River Valley Estuary and onto the beach. Pack you’re hiking boots because on Wednesday, we’ll head-up to Mt Laguna for a delicious breakfast at the Pine House Café & Tavern. Then, go for a panoramic hike to Garnet Peak, overseeing the Anza-Borrego desert and Cuyamaca mountain range. If we’re not too tired, we’ll swing by Julian for a slice of sweet apple pie and mocha cappuccino. We’ve earned it! Thursday, we’ll take it easy and go for stroll around the famous Hotel Del Coronado. Afterwards, grab a cold brew and some grinders at McP’s Restaurant, where the Navy Seals, America’s elite warriors, hang out for some good times. Finally, come Friday, we’ll set-out to sail on San Diego Bay for a fabulous yacht tour and perhaps, get a glimpse of dolphins and other sea life. Afterwards, we’ll head over to downtown’s Gaslight District for a fantastic meal at the House of Blues and listen to live entertainment. Later, a little salsa dancing at Café Sangria! If that’s not enough, Saturday, we can go meander around the beautiful Balboa Park, catch a quick show at the space theater and visit San Diego’s nearby award winning zoo. Again, if we’re not too tired, we’ll grab a gelato in the park and go ride the stunningly beautiful merry go round. Unfortunately, Sunday is not such a fun-day because you have to go home- but, I will take you to the awesome SD international airport where we can shop til we drop! Then, we’ll sit down for a pre-flight champagne cocktail and reflect on the amazing trip you had to San Diego!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A HUGE shoutout to Xanadu Art Business Academy and mentor, Jason Horejs, who has created an amazing platform for artists striving to be successful. Not only have I studied with Jason for the past two years but also read his books, “Starving To Successful”, “Dad Was An Artist” and “How To Sell Art”. Jason is a brilliant teacher and successful entrepreneur/gallery owner and strives to help artists on many levels succeed in the art gallery business.
All photos were taken by Cassandra H. Kendall, accept for the one black and white image of Cassandra with her horse and camera in hand, taken by Karen Hoffman.