When the postcards of artist and photographer Liz Huston caught our eyes coming off the presses, we here at NextDayFlyers wanted to find out more. The self-taught artist printed her beautifully haunting photo montages on Art Deco-inspired postcards to use as giveaways for fans at events. We interviewed the born-and-raised Los Angeles artist/photographer about her work, what inspires her, and more.
You’ve created art in a variety of mediums over the last 2 decades…How do you stay inspired?
I am inspired by everything that crosses my path. I go for long walks in nature and always return full of ideas. I also read a lot, and daydream quite often. Even Einstein believed in the importance of daydreaming. For me, all of these activities invite inspiration. I think the key, however, is to DO something with the inspiration that comes. To stay inspired, I continue to create. I take photos, I make art, I write; to express myself I use every method at my disposal.
To put it simply: My job as an artist, is to show up and make creative work regardless of if I feel inspired or not. (Lucky for me I am inspired most of the time…)
Who are/what is the biggest influence in your life and art?
I am a very nostalgic person and deeply influenced by the Victorian era, flappers, and the Industrial Revolution.
The natural world itself enthralls me; I love to look at bones and stones, feathers, natural water formations, trees, clouds, the sky. I marvel at the beauty of it all. The natural world is always a main component in my art.
On the contrary, much as I love the earth, I am also deeply fascinated with outer space and topics that are reserved usually for science fiction. I might be a study in extremes, but it works for me.
In my art, I like to bridge the gap between the known and the unknown, the possible and the improbable. I seem to always be creating and exploring new worlds in my art.
Is there one piece of work that you’re particularly the most proud of, and why?
The answer to this question changes with each new piece I create! The last piece I made, entitled, “Sun in Pisces” is my current favorite. I finished it (in early September) after having shelved it months ago. Back then, I knew what I wanted to create, but it just wasn’t coming together. Sometimes, much to my chagrin, I find that art has its own natural gestation time. I can’t push it, I can only accept this fact.
“Sun in Pisces” is my current favorite because it is a triumph in the sense that I was not sure it would ever be finished. It also represents a sort of departure for me; the colors are different, and the overall piece is softer and more dreamy. It’s a bit more surreal – which I love.
Who are your clients and customers? How do you market yourself?
I am always surprised by who my clients and collectors are. On average, they are women, around the same age as me, with a similar aesthetic as myself. But there are many men who ferociously collect my work and who, on the outside, look like your average guy. It’s always such a delight to meet and connect with new collectors and appreciators of my work.
As far as marketing goes, I participate in the Downtown Los Angeles ArtWalk every month, exhibiting in the Spring Arts Tower (which is the same building that houses my art studio.) I also have work in a number of other art shows at prominent galleries across the country, and have a regular presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Where do you see yourself and your art in the future? What are your professional goals?
As an artist, the foremost important thing is that I continue to make art. No matter what.
Beyond that, I envision a future where the sales of my original artwork continue to grow, as it has steadily been doing over the last 5 years. I see more solo shows, as well as bigger group shows in galleries both new and old to me. Right now my income is 60% art and 40% freelance work. This has increased dramatically over the last year, and am looking forward to earning a living solely on my art sales. I am also currently working on licensing deals, which is just a thrill!
What advice can you give to other artists just starting out in their careers?
Remember that art is a great contribution to the world. We need art, we need to be reminded of the beauty and wonder in the world. As an artist, consider that you are being of service to the world. What a great honor! Contribute to the best of your ability. Always do your best.
Walk the balance between accepting what you create and striving to expand it. Learn new techniques, and push yourself in developing new work.
Don’t be shy; market yourself! Talk about your work. Get it seen. Believe in what you are doing. Stay driven and focused.
And lastly, create a community of artists around you. It is imperative – for support, inspiration, and knowledge that you receive and give.
For more about Liz Huston or to purchase her work, visit her website photomonium.net and her online shop, or check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.