We had the good fortune of connecting with Gina Altadonna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gina, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
Being an artist can be a strange, and unforgiving career. There are so many times where it seems as though the “writing is on the walls,” so to speak, and giving up feels inevitable. Between the rejections, social and financial pressures, and overall self doubt, giving up seems almost sensible. One of the most important lessons I have learned over the years, as an artist, is that you cannot give up on who you are deep down. Art is pervasive, and it encompasses your whole soul. To give up on art is to give up on yourself. Art is an artists identity and it is their therapy. It’s so important to stay true to yourself in this world and to do what makes you feel the most whole. If you are honest and vulnerable in the studio, and if you have put in the time and dedication, opportunities will come. You never know when you will be seen, or your art recognized, so if you give up you will never know what could have been. For some, recognition happens early, and for others much much later, but that has no baring on your skill, ability, or voice as an artist. There is no time frame and no deadline on your hopes and aspirations.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Art hasn’t been an easy road for me, there have been many setbacks and self doubt. I have learned so much about who I am and the strength that I possess. I am so proud that I have never given up, and that my art has stayed true to who I am. I paint from a very honest and vulnerable place and sharing that was scary at first, but now I wear it as a badge of honor. It hasn’t been an easy road to get to where I am, but I have had the loving support of those around me, and an incredible art community to keep me on track. I have learned that art is a community, and it is very necessary to be surrounded by a group of people who prop you up and work together for the common goal of survival. Art isn’t a competition, but rather a village. I have learned to gather and accept the help and support of others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m not even sure anymore with the covid world. I tend to stick to the mom and pop coffee shops and parks. (I live in Philadelphia)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been many people in my life who have furthered my art journey, people who inspire me, and who instructed me. From my parents to my high school art teach, Richard Ressel. However, the person who has been by my side and has helped me so much, is my husband Dan. He is my whole support system and keeps me looking forward. He is my partner and my confidant. It is so important to have a partner to shoulder some of the burden when necessary, and to cheer you on when needed.
Other: TikTok – @ginaaltadonna