We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Lubin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
Like most artists, we have unique, outside the box quirks, but I believe it’s these innate qualities that keep our creative intentions pure and as a comforting reminder of who we really are. We may stray at times, do what we need to stay financially afloat, but no matter what, it’s that creative fire within that keeps us grounded and pushing to meet our individual goals. As artists/entreprenuers, we are our own creator, marketer, business planner, etc. Time management is key. Especially as a parent, we are constantly adjusting to changing schedules, but again, I believe that instrinsic need to create is an asset in making and managing time to be productive. We may feel at times that have so little of it, but that fire within begs to be met. I’ve always loved notebooks and journals, making lists keeps me in check of goals met and ideas I want to put into fruition. I believe the art career is what you put into it, sprinkled with a little bit of luck and timing.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Art is how I breathe and how I deal with the everyday. As a figurative artist that creates mostly self-portraits, I’m constantly channeling my own personal pain and lifes rollercoaster of emotions through art. I don’t think I’m anything new but I do feel there are no similarities as we are not clones. We bring our own uniqueness to the world through our individual creativity. To me the importance is utilitzing my art to connect with viewers on a deeper level, as a mirror of sorts that provokes and initiates introspection and self reflection in a healthy way. It’s never easy to show or exhibit such personal work but for me its a huge part of the therapuetic process of letting go. I still get nervous to this day, especially exhibiting a new piece, but that rush to have it looked at is undescribable. As artists we spend so much time in our own space and head, exhibiting allows us to connect whether positively or negatively. Either way, we need that connection to keep us grounded. I have learned so much about the difference between criticism and opinion, the balance of creating my own series and commissioned art/projects, why I can’t live without creating in some sort of way. I can’t not create, whether I’m drawing, writing, painting murals, “arting” with my daughter, reading about art, supporting other artists, brainstorming, building, or crafting home projects. What I hope the world gathers from my art is quite simple…to know how necessary and essential art is to our mental health and humanity. I draw using minimal materials and tools so the focus reflects the subject matter which is sometimes intense. I hope we can rally around the push to get comfortable with the uncomfortable so that we can heal together. Art in general is a healthy outlet that connects you with yourself, brings communities together, engages conversation, teaches us humility, inspires ideas, breaking molds and limitations. Art is all around us and all I could ever ask for is to continue to use my hands for good.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This pandemic has definitely put a damper on visitors but prior to this new norm, I’m fortunate to have had lots of friends and family make the trip. There are so many fun and interesting hot spots in and around San Diego, it truly is challenging to narrow it down. Having lived in the East Village, I’m a sucker for my go to’s. I’d say grab a fish taco from Oscars on J street, walk through the Gaslamp to the Ferry landing for some incredible waterfront views, hop the ferry to catch some sun on literally the softest sand and biggest beach, Coronado, cool down with some ice cream from Moo Time! Save a few days for Balboa park…it’s difficult to pick a museum but if you are traveling in February, there is always the museum pass that allows you to check out multiple museums. You can spend a day in North Park/Hillcrest/Adams Ave or visit when they are having one of their many festivals. That’s a perfect way to knock off so many hot spots, art galleries, and shops on my list. One of my favorite spots in the last few years has been Barrio Logan…La Bodega’s owners Chris & Soni, really put it on the map, kickstarting more galleries and markets to open! Grab some tacos at La Salud (yeah, if you haven’t noticed tacos are high on my list of priorities, haha) and walk around Chicano Park for vibrant murals everywhere! Ocean Beach is another hot spot of killer food, interesting people. scenic views (Sunset Cliffs) and colorful murals at every corner. I love where I’m from (New Jersey) but have no plans to leave San Diego anytime soon. Now building roots and working in my garage studio in Imperial Beach, I’m learning so much about the rich culture here and love that my daughter is surrounded by so much natural beauty in not just the beaches (we’re so close to IB beach, Silver Strand Beach, Coronado, the Cays) but Wildlife refuges that we hike on almost daily (Silver Strand, Tijuana Estuary, Cabrillo National Monument/Tide Pools) as well as cultural beauty and diversity. It’s so hard to create an itinerary for visitors, I always ask what the priority is, otherwise I’ll give them a list to make their head spin!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It may sound generic but truth is, there have been so many that have attributed to my art career. My friends back in New Jersey (where I’m from) were the ones who embraced my ideas and quirks initially, comforting my fears, and encouraging me to put my art out there. When I arrived to California, not knowing anyone and having little direction, was truly scary, but there were a few that stood out among the crowd of my streak of mistakes. LA Artist & writer, Karrie Ross was one of those and to this day continually provides guidance and opportunities to help me grow as an artist. Shortly after, I met my now-husband (Michael Lubin) who has shown me support in a way I’ve never experienced, accepting and loving every aspect of who I am as a quirky female creative. It’s his continuous selfless love and support that allows me to freely create and aspire. He’s been my cheerleader, someone to bounce my ideas off of, reviewing and reading anything and everything I write, adjusting his schedule to help make time for me to create while being a stay at home mom during this life in the time of corona, being a shoulder to cry on when I fail, and his sparkly smile I see across the room at exhibitions. Since making a home in San Diego, there are so many local individuals, collectives and galleries that have shown me true support and encouragement. At some point, I think mentorship is crucial to our careers’ survival. Receiving the Business of Art Scholarship early this year was truly a rewarding moment, and although the pandemic put a bit of a damper in its benefits, for me the true take-away has been having a mentor like Patric Stillman of The Studio Door (in Hillcrest). As an artist and gallery owner, he somehow manages to bring a sense of light and positivity, educating and promoting, seeking out ways to help us all succeed. His guidance has helped me fine-tune my goals and push myself creatively. During this unprecedented time, he has remained a beacon of hope in the community as he continues to push for funding, educating the public, helping us build relationships with each other, while extending more opportunities not just for me but his galleries studio artists and the community as a whole.