In this edition of ArtListr, we’ll look at the story and creative process of some of the amazing featured artists on our Instagram page @arlistrgram. This week, we have Suze Schneider, an England-based mixed-media artist whose works are multi-layered with texture and meaning. Her contemporary artworks shared on Instagram are quite intriguing and piqued our interest.
Here are 8 questions that we asked to get an insider’s look into her art practice:
1. When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
SS: I was always drawing and just never stopped, so I think I always knew it was what I was going to do. I remember as a very small child, gazing at the window displays in department stores being mesmerised by the colours, textures and the way fabrics were folded around the beautiful mannequins. My mother said then that I would need to go to art school. I took a while to find my field, which makes me very much a mixed media artist; I have always been interested in fashion and textiles but did my degree in fine art and printmaking.
2. How did you begin work as an artist?
SS: After completing my degree I got a studio and began exhibiting regularly, first locally to set the ball rolling. I did find that one show would lead to another, taking my work further afield and offering up teaching and workshop opportunities.
3. How do you regularly work?
SS: It is not always possible but if I can, I am in the studio each day. When I can’t be there I will be working on images on my phone or laptop and printing. I am also always capturing images and use my camera as my sketchbook, to play around with ideas and seek inspiration. I do work directly from my photographs making observational drawings and as a reference to trigger a memory. My love of textiles and printing reveals itself in my works on canvas; where I like to build up layers of collage, paint and plaster to scratch into and then sand down to reveal arbitrary marks beneath.
4. How would you describe the kind of work you do?
SS: At present I am trying to simplify my marks using just ink, pencil and charcoal on paper. My work is abstract but does comes from nature and real life, a lot from just looking around me. It is very often a therapeutic process and will have very personal elements in it, which I can share or choose not to reveal to the viewer – depending on what I choose to say or write about the work. I am happiest working in monochrome or dark, earthy hues but I do often work with colour doing commissions for people.
5. What are your greatest weaknesses and strengths as an artist?
SS: I think my strength lies in my absolute need to create and keep going in my pursuits. It is definitely something I have to do to feel alive and well. I do have depressive phases (as a lot of creative people tend to) and art saves me. My weakness is that I doubt myself and my ability as an artist. When I am feeling very happy, nothing can touch me but in the darker times I will be very hard on myself and think I am worthless.
6. When people criticize you, what do they mention the most?
SS: My biggest criticism is regarding my (sometimes) lack of self- worth and doubting my ability as an artist. I can take criticism as I am my own worst critic but it never stops me from working because the need to do it is immense in itself.
7. What are your compulsions and what inspires you to do your work?
SS: It is all self perpetuating: the happiness that being an artist brings to me. I have not lost the ability to see as a child does and be excited by the world – to look constantly, explore and experiment. I see art everywhere and I am constantly inspired by life. For motivation and inspiration I need new experiences, to hear new sounds, explore new places, meet new people, try something different. I am a perfectionist but I have had to learn to let go of things sometimes, in order to find peace.
8. Where do you see yourself in the future?
SS: My art is being seen much more by being on Instagram; it’s taking my work around the world and connecting me with many other artists and galleries, interested in my work. Through the promotion I am receiving from Artlistr and other websites I would like to collaborate with other artists and exhibit my work here and abroad. It would be wonderful to be chosen to be represented by a gallery and I would love the opportunity to work possibly with someone in another field or media: a collaborative project in fashion, printmaking or photography.
It was really amazing to get a glimpse into Suze Schneider’s background as an artist. We’re excited to see other interesting paths her art might take! If you wish to see more of her work, please follow her Instagram page at @ivy_lux_omni.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested to learn more about another featured artist, check out our interview with pastel and acrylic artist, Victor Goertz.