We had the good fortune of connecting with Linda Litteral and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Linda, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is a part of life, I have tried to embrace it as part of my process. When I moved to San Diego, I packed my daughter and a few things in the car after being layed off from my job. We moved, I found work and went forward in a different place. Later I quit working in engineering and embraced art making as a way of life. Going back to school and graduating with my MFA at the age of 49. I think we need to be able to keep evolving and trying new things as we learn more through time. In my art making process I try new materials and ideas all the time. It is what keeps me moving forward in creativity. The ability to expand my oeuvre, and change is how I keep myself interested in the entire process.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I worked in tooling and product design for many years. As a mature person I discovered I was a creative person in more ways than I knew. Going back to school for an art degree was different as an older person. It was easier to focus on what I wanted to learn and discover. Art is a process that needs to be worked on every day. Creativity demands work. It is easy to get complacent and the work shows that. Our creative endeavors reflect how much thought, feeling and effort we put into it. I began my art making as a way to look at alternative ways of healing from childhood sexual abuse. Art was the vehicle that allowed me a voice. To be able to visually express all the things I could not with words. I discovered that art making was a way to build images of my personal story to help others heal from the trauma they have experienced. Having lived in a space of silence for many years, art gave me the path to use personal stories and address the concerns I have about our society through human experience. There is a Taboo about talking about incest and child abuse, This taboo helps it to continue. We need to be vocal about the problem. I have lived the secret, kept silent, and no longer continue to do so. I hope my art is an avenue for changing the consciousness of the individual viewer that will move to effect societal norms, and change the taboo. As a teacher I have found that art is a vehicle for personal transformation for many. Teaching at a women’s detention center I have seen many people experience a belief in themselves through art. They find an inner strength and worth, while working within the creative process. The transformation is beautiful to watch as they find self worth they never felt before. Being able to voice their story visually makes them more aware of what is inside. Creativity is a basic human function, we need to foster it in as many ways as we can. Abuse is a cycle that continues if it is not healed in the victims. Art is a way to stop the cycle.
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.
Art Produce in North Park, The Studio Door in Hillcrest, A walk around Balboa Park, visiting the Mengei Museum and the San Diego Art Institute. Lunch at the Purple Mint Vegan Bistro and dinner at Donna Jean’s. The beaches are aways beautiful. Sunset cliffs in the evening. Blacks Beach for a walk and watching the gliders. Coronado for the gold, black sand. Ocean Beach to watch the people. And walking the boardwalk in Pacific Beach and Mission Bay . Trynns Gallery in the mountains and the charm of Julien.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate this shoutout to Duke Ready, my first art teacher in Charleston, South Carolina. He showed me that creativity is alive and we all have the ability to make the world a more beautiful place through art.
Facebook: lindalitteral and lindalitteralartist
Youtube: linda litteral
All images photographed by Linda Litteral