I've had the amazing pleasure of getting to know artist Courtney who lives and works out of Southern California. I'm not quite sure how I stumbled into her work, but I'm so glad I did. After a few back and forth messages, I knew I need to showcase her talent with a brush (and her creativity) so you all could see and get to know her better.
Courtney's passion and heart for not just art but the community she is creating around her work is inspiring and empowering. I promise, you will love her genuineness when it comes to creative struggles, finding the deeper meaning in your art, and just being an artist!
Hey Courtney, would you mind introducing yourself and what you do to the audience?
My name is Courtney Simone and I am the artist behind Courtney Simone Art. I am a visual artist creating art in various forms. My main passion is painting, but I recently took up jewelry making as well, and I love it. I love being able to create Art in other forms that speaks to my mood. My hope with my Art is that is evokes an emotion from the viewer in some way through the vibrant colors, bold shapes and textures that I use.
I live in Southern California on the outskirts of San Diego. I’m obsessed with a good crime show podcast, a cozy book, and of course a delicious cuppa coffee. I’m passionate about all things art related and it’s truly how I connect with the world. I am a firm believer that we as humans are all creative, just in various ways. I love helping people discover their unique way of bringing their creativity into the world.
How did you get started with art? What made you begin to branch out on your own and sell your creative works?
I started out as an Artist at a very young age. I was an insanely imaginative, and introverted child. Drawing was my first love! As a kid, I would take a stack of computer paper with me everywhere I went, and would just draw through page after page. I wasn’t huge on sketchbooks early on; I loved the freedom that loose paper gave me. After I filled every page, I would then staple my drawings together and turn them into books. I picked up other art mediums as the years progressed and continued to familiarize myself with them. I began to see art as an option for selling when I was in College.
I started following other artists online and seeing that making money from your art wasn’t as taboo of a concept as I always believed it to be. I created my first website on Etsy in 2015 and would slowly market it through Instagram. I would go to Art Markets and vend at local fairs as a way to connect with other artists and get real time feedback from viewers. As of now, I share my work on Instagram and sell my art through my website.
Some artists have deep meanings behind their work and some artists just like to make stuff, well, because it's pretty. Where do you sit on this scale?
I would say I am somewhat in the middle. As an Enneagram Type 4, I am always searching for the deeper meaning behind everything. But when it comes to my art, I strive more for it to be
meaningful than have a specific meaning. If a certain piece stands out to someone and sparks an emotion, but they don’t know why, I am okay with that. Its more about the mood my art puts people in that I am searching for. I often get wordy in my captions in a post on Instagram, and that is usually where I’ll express in detail what I was feeling or going through with a piece. I have finally come to a point in life where I don’t always feel the need to have my work "mean” something, I just want it to be meaningful to the viewer, or even just to me. I love to put paint on paper because its fun and pretty also, and it can be just that.
Are there any ideas, beliefs, or thoughts that fuel your work? Are these things (if any) for you only or do you like to share them?
When creating art, my number one motto that I always take with me is, “Make a bunch of Crappy Art.” The idea of creating a bunch of crappy art comes from moments of finding myself in Artist/Creative block. If I ever find myself stuck in that space, I remember that I need to create my way through that space and eventually within the making; I’ll find the art that feels like me again. In that same breath, I am big on taking much needed breaks. Sometimes you do need to take a step back and maybe do something else when you find yourself blocked. Write, go for a walk, read a book, watch a show on Netflix! Though I feel creating is the key to break out of a creative rut, taking breaks is also a way to reset and recharge!
We've previously talked about the mystery that surrounds an emotional/spiritual connection you can get from viewing art. Does this idea affect how you create and what you make in the studio at all?
There is so much mystery behind that 'why' and there is sometimes an emotional connection behind the work we do as artists! This is different for everyone in my opinion, as some artists feel no emotional connection behind their art, but in fact can create work and release it without having that attachment. As for me, I’ve always felt deeply connected to my art. I paint from a place of self-expression and healing, and when I complete a piece, in a way its like a little piece of me goes with the art as well. This can affect the work I create, because I find that in order to maintain consistency, I still need to create art even in these emotional states, which can be hard. Not all work has to be made from an emotional place, and I’m learning to find a balance with this. I want to always feel connected to my work in some way, but not always feel attached to the point where I couldn’t let it go.
Which would be worse to you: your art never having a deeper connection to someone or never making a sale?
For me, it would be worse if people never felt a deep connection to my work. I think, in order for someone to want to buy in the first place, there needs to be some level of connection to the art they’re viewing. This can be as small as them simply just enjoying the color palette you used in a piece and they can see it fitting perfectly in their home. The sales will come, but connecting to your audience in an authentic way means more to me then just selling art for the sake of selling art.
What advice would you give to the abstract artist trying to explore or understand their work?
Let go of the notion of trying to “understand” your work. Create work, and let the work speak for itself. When I first started creating abstract pieces this year, I struggled with this. I was so fearful that my art was going to become meaningless. But in all actuality, my work is ever evolving and changes and grows as I do. I am discovering more of my voice throughout creating pieces that are more subjective and up to the eye of the beholder to make space for what my art means to them.
Is there anything you've learned in your years of creating that totally changed your outlook on what you make and why?
I’ve learned that your personal art style is more than just a type of aesthetic, but in fact your overall essence as a person. Your style changes as you change, and we are always changing. I’ve learned it’s more important to discover your voice and message and within that, your art style will form.
In five years from now, what do you see yourself doing with your art?
5 years from now, I see myself as an established artist with various, diversified streams of sustainable income. I don't want to just paint. I want my art to be the catalyst to connection with other artists and like-minded individuals. I see myself teaching classes that start with art but end in emotional healing. I plan to be hosting a podcast for creative individuals to share their voice and unique talents. On a more tangible level, I'd love to see my art in store and on various products in the surface pattern design realm, as well as getting into some brand partnerships.
Basically I see myself continuing to sell art, connect with other artists, and grow and thrive in my little corner of the internet.
Where can our readers learn more about you and shop your work?
You can find me on Instagram under @CourtneySimoneArt where I post the most frequently. I
have a website, www.courtneysimoneart.com where you can shop my art and jewelry. While you’re there, you can sign up for my monthly newsletter where I share inspiration, words of encouragement, updates from the month, and any behind the scenes things going on in my business.
Thank you Courtney!