Grace Lane Smith, a full-time artist, brings joy to the walls of homes everywhere. She married her best friend and moved to the Maritimes of Canada, which is a dream come true for her. We have yet to meet in person, but Grace is a huge advocate for women supporting women and we hope to begin Skype “coffee chats” soon. Today, Grace shares about her creative rhythms, the motivations behind her art, and how a support system can be a BIG game changer.
When did art become a clear vocation for you?
I wanted to pursue art from a young age, but I didn’t take it seriously until I sustained a concussion in 2015 and lost my job. I had a good job where I was constantly challenged and learning new things in the arts entertainment sector. It was hard leaving, especially since my (now) husband and I were saving money for our wedding. Between the fatigue, headaches, and memory loss, it wasn’t fair to the business for me to stay and it wasn’t fair to my body.
Recovery was slow and sometimes very dull. I would feel fine one moment then completely exhausted the next. It was in this time that creating art became a possibility.
Tell us about your art.
My art is inspired by the natural beauty I see around me. My style is constantly evolving so some pieces have more of an abstract feel than others. I try to create pieces that evoke a sense of peace while radiating energy through unexpected pops of color or pattern.
I usually use acrylic paint but I enjoy experimenting with oils, pencil and especially charcoal – such an expressive medium!
What do you hope to inspire in others when they see your art?
My hope is to add a touch of whimsy and to invite viewers to press pause in their busy lives. Color, subject matter, pattern, texture and the physical size of a painting has the ability to change the atmosphere of a space. It can make a place feel cozy, evoke memory, or inspire.
How do you create on the days you feel unmotivated? Is there a specific routine you go through every time you approach your art?
I go through seasons. Some days I’m “in the zone,” and it’s great. I find a blank page or canvas much more intimidating than a work-in-progress piece, but I try not to overthink it and just start. Sometimes switching mediums help free the mental block.
I don’t feel ready to start until I’m armed with a cup of tea, hot chocolate, or even just plain hot water. It’s a very small thing, but it mentally prepares me to start creating.
How do you balance your work life/home life?
I often have to step back and reevaluate where I’m allocating time. I try to reserve dinner and post-dinner time to spend with my husband and our friends. That said, since my concussion, I need more sleep now and have to focus on doing one thing at a time. This has actually proved to be a good thing. I used to work myself to the ground but, my body’s limitations are constantly teaching me to respect its need for rest.
Do you have any encouragements for creative women?
Be a force of positivity! I’m encouraged by other creative women who share their stories and strive to create a positive environment. Creativity thrives in positive, friendly environments. Let’s build that for each other.
Also, have a support system in place, even if you start with just one person. My husband Ben encourages me every day and fully supports my dream to be a full-time artist. While I do share a few low points with the online community and friends, Ben sees all my low points and talks me through them. Every now and then, I ask Ben if we’re making the right choices. Are we crazy to do what we’re doing? It helps to jump into big projects (creative or otherwise) when you have someone on your side. It makes an infinite amount of difference to have people believing in you.