An interview with Featured Artist Annie Blake

June 8, 2016
Proximity

Proximity

1) What are your sources of inspiration?
I’m inspired by humanity and mountains and houses. I love architecture and the symbolism of structures that we build and live in.

2) What do you want others to take or feel from your work?
I hope to communicate to people that they have a place in this world, that they are valuable, and that there is beauty everywhere.

3) How do you feel that your testimony is reflected in your work?
I used to feel insecure that I was an artist in Utah who wasn’t painting Jesus. If I have a testimony of anything it’s that our Heavenly Father and Mother love us and that our uniqueness is valuable and that we need each other. So that’s what I make art about, and I’ve stopped worrying about painting overtly religious themes.

"Infinite Angles"

“Infinite Angles”

4) How do you find time and space to create art?
I don’t find time and space to create art–I make it! There isn’t always as much time to paint as I would like, and work/life balance is definitely more of a pendulum than anything evened out, but my whole family knows things go better if mom has time to work. So I fit it in. Sometimes I get a sitter, sometimes I distract the kids with outside time or screens, and sometimes I sacrifice sleep, but I make it happen.

5) What do you find empowering about being an artist?
It’s empowering to be doing what I love. It’s important to me that I model that for my kids. And there is something really empowering about having people respond positively to something I’ve made. There is nothing quite like the feeling of someone seeing who I am and saying, “Me too,” by putting my work on their walls.

6) How do you encourage creativity in others?
I feel like one of my life’s missions is to put a stop to the phrase, “I’m not creative.” Humans are creative, and the definition of that creativity is so broad. There is no need to limit the way we see ourselves just because we may not draw or paint proficiently. I’m an artist, but I’m an extremely uncreative businessperson. I know lots about proportion and color and beauty, but my landscaping looks like it was done by someone….with no landscaping skills. It’s good that we are all creative in different ways!

Shelah

(Co-Editor-in-Chief) teaches English at BYU and French at a Salt Lake City middle school. She has an addiction to her Audible account, hates making dinner, and embraces the chaos of life with a husband, six kids, a dog, a lizard and four rabbits.

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