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

Hi Tesa, what role has risk played in your life or career?
As an artist I think risk will always accompany creating art. Every time we take to your easels we take a risk; what to paint, the right composition, the right colors, the risk of trying something new. So many risks and taken that need to come together in order to create synchronicity and to have a painting work and have it make sense. I feel I take a risks and push the boundaries with every piece I create. I think taking risks as an artist allows you to grow as an artist. It’s apart of the artist journey. Uncomfortable at times but necessary. With out risk there would be no change or growth. You take a risk and paint what you feel inspired by, or what moves though you and hope that it reflects what you are trying to say and by taking that risk you hope that all you are trying to convey is going to be well received and understood. We take risks not only with one painting, but then on entire collections. We risk putting ourselves out there for all the world to see with every piece, every time and risk ridicule all the time. As an artist I think embracing risk is necessary, other wise you’d be creating the same thing over and over. This question also reminds me of what Steven Pressfield said about always having “Resistance” play such a pivotal roll in artist. I agree and feel that always taking a risk and fighting resistance will always be there and go hand and hand. As uncomfortable as it may be Ive learned as an artist I must embrace risk and not be in fear of it and to drive and push forward. They say with big risk comes big reward….. well??? I sure hope that is true because I feel I take huge risks, I feel half the time I am just absolutely crazy, yet I see that fear and risk and dive in head first and go for it. I also feel this took me a while to embrace risk and resistance as an artist. The more Ive done this the easier it becomes, it is work, but don’t get me wrong, it is always there. It doesn’t go away, you have to learn to embrace it. We must embrace risk and push through it. Hope you come out the other side glowing and not create a complete disaster in the mean time. Even if you do, because you will also make mistakes along the way you can always toss that painting in the trash and start over. To me all of this is also the beauty of creating art and being a professional artist.

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 classify my work as Mixed Media Fine Art that incorporates Precious and Semi Precious stones. I use a combination of stones such as Genuine Diamonds, 24k Gold Leaf, Amethyst and Turquoise. My favorite and most used medium is oils, but I also incorporate a lot of acrylics as well. My work is heavy and created on panels. My largest pieces Ive created are 4×8 feet and 7×7 feet weighing around 200lbs. I am also working on my largest piece that will be even larger and more of an installation piece which I am excited for. As an artist I feel my work is stronger on a larger scale which is also my favorite to create. Larger provides me more freedom and options of using larger stones and more variety of stones as well. Plus the larger works creates more of an impact. I really want people to be moved when viewing my work. More of an experience of sorts, creating these larger works showcase that. I am also in the mists of creating a new Avant Garde Collection and larger home décor, interior and exterior works on a large scale which I am really excited about. Allowing me more possibilities to bring in the magic of the stones in more unique ways. As an artist Ive worked up to this. I started with using only one small round piece of Agate and now I use hundreds if not thousands of stones in one painting. It has been a journey and one that is in some ways just beginning. You give me 100 feet, Id take it and run with it. Has it been easy, no. Yet, I was born an artist, it is who I am and the more Ive embraced that and all my crazy larger than life ideas, the better it is. Ive learned so so so many lessons along the way in my artistic journey. Too many to list, however probably the biggest lesson would be is to trust in who you are and stay true to yourself and inner essence. Plus for me it is always pushing myself, breaking boundaries and pushing innovation, that has also been helpful to me and what I create by. I would love those who view my work to know that there is so much more behind my work and that goes into my work then what you see on the surface. So much passion, love and dedication that I hope reflects in all of my work. So many people, planning, collecting, cultivating, are apart of each and every piece. It is apart of who I am, apart of my soul that I pour out and further enhances and accompanies the glorious stones that are in each piece.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh wow, hard question as there are so many amazing places in this town. Coronado Island and to The Del. Cardiff by the Sea after stopping at Seaside Market for lunch and snacks. Dinner at sunset at Pacific Coast Grill. South Ponto beach and Pelly’s. Leucadia Pizza and take it to Moonlight Beach. Little Italy in the evening for dinner and cocktails, love Kettner Exchange. Carlsbad Village and to Front Porch Gallery, grab a coffee and go to the beach. LaJolla shores and sunset for dinner at The Marine Room. Those are probably my favorites.

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?
I have so many people that have supported me along the years. I have an amazing team who with out them I would not be able to fully execute all my wild ideas. They’re been many amazing people who believed in me, went along with all my crazy ideas and stood beside me which for that Ive been truly blessed. My mom, Kathy Kaberline is defiantly my largest support system from such an early age until now. Her love and support has never wavered. There is no word to say how much she means to me. My grandparents when they were here showed me immense support in many ways. They’re essence will always remain in and around me. Fine Artist Cliffard T Baliey who taught me my foundation as a fine artist. All of those who represented my work in galleries and shows. Marty Herman (owner) and ALL the beautiful team of people at Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art. There are no words to express my gratitude to them and all they have done and do for me. Julie Weaverling Director and fellow artist at Front Porch Gallery, she has inspired me as an artist and encourages me to push boundaries. My assistant Melody Maker, she stands by me, supports and goes along with my craziness. John Liddot who has supported me for so many years in many ways. My family and brother who loves my work, and takes my rejects and loves them. Uncle Lee and Auntie Sherry who have helped build and support me in many many ways. Mike and Todd who are always there with such love and support. Chie Imiazumi who feeds my soul. Sarah Stieber and all of the other fellow artists who I show with and who support me. Much love to you fellow crazies who follow there hearts and souls like I do as artists. ALL of my absolutely amazing collectors. I have all the love and gratitude for you selecting my work into your lives and homes. I am so thankful to each and every one of them. To any of those that I did not mention. For those in my past or present. Please know I have love and gratitude in my heart for you.

Website: https://tesamichaelsart.com/
Instagram: @tesamichaelsart
Linkedin: Tesa Michaels
Twitter: @tesamichaels
Facebook: Tesa Michaels Art

Image Credits
Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art, Sedona AZ