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ART / MENTOR ME

How Do You Keep Rooted in Your Values / Beliefs?

MentorMe is a free resource for creatives who wish to learn from their peers. This Q&A resource provides insights into how some of the most esteemed artists have stayed true to themselves, they’ve shared the up and downs they’ve experienced, and how they have overcome expectations to create work in their unique style. In each guide a different group of artists and photographers will share their insights, personal experiences and advice with creatives that wish to grow and evolve in their artistic practice.

Beautiful Bizarre Magazine mentors encourage, guide and inspire emerging artists as they explore their creativity, develop their technical skills and find their personal style.

MentorMe Edition 5 Mentors:

Kate MacDowell, Jane Burton, Miles Johnston, Marco Mazzoni, Juz Kitson, Peca, Redd Walitzki, Ewa Prończuk-Kuziak, and Josh Keyes

In Edition 5 Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s Mentors respond to the following 3 questions:

  • How do you keep rooted in your values/beliefs and your personal views as an artist whilst speaking to a large group of people?
  • Tell us about your journey. What are some of the ups and downs you experienced along the way?
  • How did you overcome traditional “contemporary” art expectations to create work in your unique style?

Below 3 of the 9 mentors respond to the following question:

How do you keep rooted in your values / beliefs and your personal views whilst speaking to a large group of people?

Miles Johnston surreal nude artwork - How Do You Keep Rooted in Your Values/Beliefs?

How do you keep rooted in your values/beliefs and your personal views whilst speaking to a large group of people?

Miles Johnston: “Good question, I try to embrace the fact that I don’t really have to represent anyone except myself. I feel like since I have the lucky position of being able to be authentic, and I am not ashamed of who I am.”

Juz Kitson opulent organic sculptural artwork - How Do You Keep Rooted in Your Values/Beliefs?

How do you keep rooted in your values/beliefs and your personal views whilst speaking to a large group of people?

Juz Kitson: “I think the more I delve into my practice, the theories behind it and my morals and beliefs in life both socially and politically, the easier it has become to stay rooted in what I believe as a female artist. As a young artist fresh out of University in my early 20’s I felt I couldn’t express myself verbally in front of a large group or have the confidence to even call myself an artist, there was a sense of insecurity, but that changed when I made a conscious decision to express wholeheartedly and stay true to my creative vision and I now get up in front of a large crowd confidently and the thought I have in that moment is, ‘Just be yourself’.”

Marco Mazzoni pop surreal butterfly portrait - How Do You Keep Rooted in Your Values/Beliefs?

How do you keep rooted in your values/beliefs and your personal views whilst speaking to a large group of people?

Marco Mazzoni: “One of the few things I realised immediately (right at the beginning of my career, 15 years ago) about contemporary art is that you have to try and talk, through your artworks, about whatever you know best personally. The artist must be honest in his work, as the work itself is transparent and it reveals both the subject and the author’s authenticity.

When I started, I was a young student coming from a small village in the countryside, populated almost entirely by elderly people. I spent the first four years of my artistic career drawing their faces, because I knew them well and I also knew that every wrinkle on those faces concealed a certain story.

When I came to Milan, I realised that the world was much more complex than I thought back in the village, and I tried therefore to dig deeper in my roots. This is when I began studying the folklore tales about witches and animals from my mother’s village of origin in Sardinia, to show, visually, the devastating strength of femininity, a difficult topic especially for my country. I noticed that there was a cultural problem around me and I wanted to highlight how being a woman in Italy has a long story and inevitable importance.

I think that when you face the world as an artist, you simply have to prove that you know exactly what you are talking about, and that you know so well because you are aware of the road you walked down to reach your working paper, or canvas.”

To read the other Mentors’ answers to this question or any other in Edition 5 please click here to download our FREE Artist Resource, MentorMe.

About Author

Caitlyn Gregson is the Social Media Manager of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, and a 3rd year Bachelor of Fine Arts student at the University of New South Wales, Australia. She started her journey with Beautiful Bizarre Magazine in April 2017 as an intern, working closely with the Editor-in-Chief to learn about independent publishing and the arts. Caitlyn continues to work with the Editor-in-Chief, Danijela Krha Purssey, providing editorial and curatorial support, and now she also provides input into the magazine curation, assists with the administration of the annual Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, manages the magazine submissions process and MentorMe, the Beautiful Bizarre Magazine free artist resource. Caitlyn started her artistic journey as an acrylic portrait painter, but is now focusing more on photography, which she is falling more and more in love with each day. She loves spending her time reading and is a self proclaimed plant mum. Caitlyn loves all things weird, wonderful, beautiful and bizarre. And just between us, she’s also a little bizarre herself - but aren’t we all!

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