We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassidy Austin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cassidy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Only once you remove the ego can you truly take risks. Without risks, you can never really grow or succeed, for the opposite is complacency. This is what drives me. This is why I wake up every day with a sense of purpose: to face whatever challenges come my way. I know that if I want something bad enough, then I have to be willing to risk everything for it.

Only recently in my adult life have I truly begun to understand the beauty and amazing power in that of taking calculated risks without ego. Had I not faced the risks and instead been complacent, I never would have had the opportunity to live in Florence, Italy for two years. I never would have tested and been accepted into the Accademia di Belle Arti for painting. I never would have become bilingual nor met all the incredible people I have in my life. And I never would have started my business with only a few hundred dollars to my name.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started to seriously focus on creating art during a moment of extreme turmoil in my life. I have always been artistic, even throughout childhood, but this time it was serious. I began to pour myself into art as a means of therapy and decided to go back to college for painting and finish my education after almost a decade. I developed some crazy idea that I was going to move to Italy to study and by sheer grit was able to achieve that dream. After two years in living and studying at the Accademia in Florence, I returned home, graduated and began to slowly build up my body of work.

My paintings are a continuous exploration of the situations and emotions we experience. I create my paintings to be strong, powerful depictions of the female form. Both sensual and ethereal with emotional depth. I want to lift up women. To show them how beautiful they are in all forms. I find the utmost beauty in the human figure and the stories our bodies tell. I strive to ensure that each piece conveys the right emotion expressed through the color and brush stroke. My work is instinctual as I explore the space between perceived expression and visceral emotion by bringing colorful figures out from the blank canvas.

The biggest risk in being an artist is to put yourself out there. To be vulnerable and show the emotion. I am so honored to have won awards for my paintings in the states and to have been shown in galleries both in the US and Italy. Each time someone purchases a piece it really does make you feel like you are doing something right in your life and to all of my collectors, I am eternally grateful.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In keeping with the theme of fine art, I would have to recommend a day trip to the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, or the Laguna Beach Art walk or Sawdust Festival also in Laguna Beach in the summer. To escape the city I would definitely recommend a trip out to Joshua Tree for some beautiful sun rises or sun sets and the most amazing rock formations. But if the drive is too far, head up the San Bernardino Mountains by Lake Arrowhead and hike to Deep Creek thermal hot springs. It is about a 6 mile on the famous Pacific Crest Trail and don’t forget to bring your swim suit.

If you have more time to spare, take a weekend up in Solvang and enjoy their Danish main street with their delicious pastry shops. Partake in a winetasting from a local winery and you can not miss making a trip to OstrichLand USA! Where you get to feed the Ostriches and Emus and realize just how big they really are.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It definitely takes a village to guide you through owning a business. I am so eternally grateful for part of my village is the support and motivation from an incredible Hollywood business woman who is blazing a trail for women in tech and lighting. Learning from her how to negotiate in a male dominated industry and finding the confidence to go after those goals. She has pushed me to take my art career to the next level and also just so happens to be my best friend. Without the support of Tiffany Keys, I would not have been able to accomplish nearly as much as I have in this short amount of time.

Website: www.CassidyAustin.com

Instagram: @cassidy.austin.studios

Facebook: CassidyAustinStudios

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.