We had the good fortune of connecting with Cathy Snodgrass and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cathy, what’s your definition for success?
Most would define success as making money, and indeed I have done so as well. But there comes a point in everyone’s life where you realize the quest for money isn’t worth the misery that drive can cause. Simply put, life is too short to be miserable. We’re trying so hard to survive at times, we forget to nurture ourselves. I’m speaking from experience. I held down a full-time day job while also pursuing a career as a published author. Did I have success? Yes. Was I happy? No. I wasn’t healthy either. One issue after the other cropped up that had to be dealt with. The biggest enlightenment was that sitting all the hours required for the jobs was doing my body grievous harm. I took early retirement from my paralegal job in 2004 and turned my focus to my publishing career. In 2019, I retired from that as well. The satisfaction I needed in my life was no longer there. So now, here I am—an artist. I didn’t realize that was even in me, but it was and longing to be freed. My success now comes in the joy of learning and growing, of the peace that settles in my soul, and of the opportunity to inspire others.
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.
I’m learning a lot about myself as I walk this new path. Friends were referring to me as an artist long before I accepted that. I’ve learned I apparently like symmetry in my mosaic art…or rather, I like to make it appear as though the finished product is symmetrical. I’ve realized how much I love color. I’m not a perfect potter, but do love experimenting with the different glazes. My approach as an artist isn’t as intense as it was when I was an author. As an author I was driven and doing whatever it took to move up that crazy ladder. As a paralegal I was also driven to get as high up in that professional ladder as possible. But with the art I’m letting it happen and evolve into whatever it wants to be. In doing so, I’m letting myself evolve with it. My initial goal was to learn mosaic art and pottery. There was never any real intention to set up shop and sell seriously. But to learn pottery well, you have to make pottery and experiment. That left quite the stockpile of pottery for me. I slowly dared to set up a vendor spot, but didn’t force myself to do anything that made me panic or make me feel driven. All decisions made are ones I’m comfortable with in my heart, mind, soul. My tag line is “Come visit my gallery of color and fill your own creative soul.” Few things give me more joy that inspiring someone else to try something new. I am fully invested in the success of others. I feel that attitude alone sets me apart from others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First up would be a tour of my yard. I love my yard and talking about all my plant experiments and animal encounters. Visitors would see my yard art, see what I have in the works, and get a tour of my studio (recently renovated by my husband). Then they’d be taken to the Twentynine Palms Historical Society’s Old Schoolhouse Museum. The Historical Society is run by an all-volunteer staff (of which I am a part) and I want visitors to see how wonderful it is. Joshua Tree National Park is always on the must-see list, even if it’s just a drive through. One friend was so in awe of the geology she never saw the wildflowers. On that particular trip, a herd of big horn sheep appeared us before on the trail. There’s always something interesting to see there. Exciting to me, might be boring for most people. Nature, animals, and history are my priorities.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, of course, Les Snodgrass. He is indeed the wind beneath my wings, supporting and encouraging in all my pursuits.
My friend, Dana Bowden, who knew I needed to learn mosaic art.
Gretchen Grunt, my friend and mentor, who guided me into the wonderful world of clay.
Friends and family too numerous to mention that are always excited to see what I’m going to do next.
Les Snodgrass Cathy Snodgrass