I was very honored recently to be invited to share my story in this on-line journal, The Heroine’s Journey, created and edited by Peter de Kuster. Hope you enjoy it:
What is the best thing that I love about my work?
When I am painting I lose all sense of self and ego. I am no longer the director, I become the process. It’s like that sense of flying you have in dreams, where you know if you just don’t focus too hard on what you are doing you can stay in the air. If I get too aware, the painting crashes into the weeds. When the balance between control and no control is just right, it’s a magical feeling.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
If such a thing as Perfect Happiness exists, it’s vapid and will never produce interesting art.
What is my greatest fear?
I used to be afraid of talking to people. When I went to openings or parties I would stick to the walls and leave early. Then I got a job teaching art in a continuation high school, I learned pretty fast how to talk to a room full of people. Now the only thing I fear is time.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
I hate being self-conscious about superficialities like hair, weight, clothes,“likes”… I try not to be, but it’s our culture, it’s hard not to get caught up in it.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
There are so many people I admire. Professional artists, organizers, curators, if I made a list it would be quite long, and without wanting to I’d end up leaving someone out. I will say the people I admire most are initiators. They are the people who dream, and then make the dream happen.
What is my greatest extravagance?
I’m not extravagant. That sounds so sad- I need to think of something to be extravagant about.
On what occasion would I lie?
I don’t lie, really. It’s such a waste of breath. Unless a truth would devastate someone for no good reason. Otherwise, just be out with it and let the chips fall.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
More self-discipline. I find it way too easy to take a beach day.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
I have had a lot of achievements that I’m happy about. I started as a commercial artist in New York City, then moved to LA and became an animator on low budget monster movies, then a mural and props artist for TV commercials and rock videos. I segued into art department administrating for films, working as an Art Director and Set Decorator. Then I dove back into my studio as a fine artist, and began showing my work in galleries. At each stage I made a decision to stay, or take a chance and go for another level. Each time I took a chance to jump, I (mostly) landed on my feet. I have worked in a few interesting careers, and achieved a certain level of success in each of them. Though I have come close a couple of times to falling flat on my face, I’ve managed to avoid a total splat. I’m still getting up in the morning, doing what I love to do, with people I love. I consider that my greatest achievement.
Where would I most like to live?
Howl’s Moving Castle.
What is my most treasured possession?
What is my most marked characteristic?
I’m impatient. I see a goal, I see the dots from here to there, I see how to get there, but then there’s piles of s t u f f you have to crawl under, around and through to get there. I get impatient trying to move all the stuff out of the way.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
My best inspirations come from random experiences talking with people. I met some guys at an Ethiopian restaurant on Fairfax last week who were so kind and generous, they invited me to share their meal, and their culture. They inspired me a lot. And one lady downtown, I helped her after she dropped some bags, she hugged me and then we sat and talked for a long time. And another guy, I was having a complicated and stressful day, I was rushing and bumped into him at the metro turnstile – instead of getting mad at me he said something really kind. It stopped me in my tracks and changed the whole rest of my day. People who are kind and human are my inspiration, no matter where they are.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
In LA? Ha! Too many places!
What books influenced my life and how?
Women who Run with the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I read a lot of books, my house is piled with them, so I’m surrounded with literary influences. But this book found me – it literally fell off a shelf at Barnes and Noble and landed right in my lap, which I took as a big nudge from the Universe, so I read it. WWRWW crystallized a lot of ideas I was struggling with, at a time when I was feeling uncertain about letting go to become a full-time artist. I would say this book gave me the encouragement and inspiration I needed to fully embrace the life of a dedicated artist.
Who are my favorite writers?
Yukio Mishima; Octavio Paz; Pablo Neruda; Gabriel Garcia Marquez; David Mitchell; Margaret Atwood; J.K. Rowling; Mary Shelley; TS Elliot; Charles Bukowsky; e.e.cummings, Philip K. Dick, Bram Stoker, Andrew Marvel, Dante, Shakespeare…really too many to list.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
I like a lot of music: Rap, Bhangra, Appalachian Spoon Music, Mozart, Tibetan temple chants… but today I’m listening to Stevie Wonder. If today’s my last day, that’s my soundtrack.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
Doctors without Borders
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?
What role plays art in my life and work?
What role does farming play in the life and work of a farmer?
Making art is how my brain has been wired since I was little. Whether or not that’s been a blessing or a curse, I’m not quite sure. I certainly would have had more money if I’d taken other paths, but I doubt I would have been more content. Making art is what I do. Some people make shoes, or grow corn, I make art.
Whom would I like to work with in 2018?
I would like to work with all other initiators creating projects and programs to build community locally and globally through art.
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on?
I am working on 3 new series’ of oil paintings exploring interior and exterior portraiture, and personal magic. Other projects may come along, but for now I’m focusing on those.
Where can you see me or my work in 2018?
I am in new gallery exhibitions every month. This month I’m in LAUNCH “Intersections” and next month I’ll be at the Ontario Museum of History and Art. The best way to find out where to see my work is to check the home page of my website which I always update, or join my quarterly newsletter, both can be found at
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
I prefer Matisse’s quote, “Creativity takes Courage.” Passion comes and goes, but you still have to get up every day and face the work, waiting where you left it, glaring like a pissed off cat.
How can you contact me?
Sarah Stone, sarahstoneart.com