We had the good fortune of connecting with Wendy Kwasny and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Wendy, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
When we decided to have children we know that we wanted one of us to stay home with them. That has had the biggest impact on my family and my art. When I decided to shift to staying home or really, working from home, full time, it changed all our lives. Of course it impacted us financially, especially in the beginning but the balance it brought to the family by having one parent available to manage the house and kids, was invaluable. It has also allowed me to grow my art business, over time.
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.
My paintings are bright and interesting portraits that focus on bringing out the personality in addition to the likeness of a subject. I hope to capture a moment that tells a story about a person and invites the viewer to become involved. I want to create a sense of curiosity and wonder in my paintings that captivates the audience and keeps them coming back to discover more. Lately, I have been playing with adding more papers (mixed media) and abstraction into my work, although the portraits are still representational. I’m excited to see where this leads. I have always had a passion for creating art, so it was easy to see this was my path. The difficulty has come in continuing to find the value in creating art that inspires me in a commercial world. I’m always going to be more interested in making art for art’s sake than for the sole purpose of selling or making money. I’ve been lucky enough that many collectors have seen the value in what I do and have supported my original artwork and others have trusted me enough with their images, with which I create unique commissions. I’m passionate about what I do and I’m excited to see how my business continues to grow over time.
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.
San Diego has so much to offer. I would definitely take a visitor hiking in Torrey Pines to show off our beautiful coast. We would need to hit up our world class museums and zoo in Balboa Park. We’d need to grab lunch at Buona Forchetta in South Park and maybe dinner at Kindred and dessert at Extraordinary Desserts. If we’re wanting something more casual but super friendly, I’d take them to Lunch at the Lunchbox in La Mesa. I always bring people to my happy place, The Artist and Craftsman in Hillcrest, for just about any of your crafting needs. The thing about San Diego is you can be at the beach, in the mountains or desert in just a matter of a beautiful drive. It’s really the best place to live.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to give a huge Shoutout to Kate Ashton and the community of artists she has built at Art on 30th in Ashton Gallery. I have been part of this community going on 4 years now and the classes, exhibits and feedback from Kate and other artists at Art on 30th has helped me become a better artist.