Artist profile: Susan Polston

When I was recently thinking of who I’d like to approach next for my little artist profile, I didn’t have to ponder for long. I’ve been admiring the designs of artist Susan Polston for some time now. A regular participant in Spoonflower’s weekly contests, Susan’s designs are recognizable, playful, rich in texture, with a vintage flair and a painterly quality. Her design “Farm Share” was recently featured on Spoonflower’s blog among only 8 other farm-related prints – considering that Spoonflower is selling at least 910 farm prints as I’m typing, this is no small feat.

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Susan was kind enough to answer some questions about her artist-life:

How did you come to be an artist?

I never thought I would be an artist! In 2007, I suddenly decided that I would like to decorate my house with original art, and finding that I couldn’t afford anything good, I decided that the reasonable thing to do was to paint some myself. I was 33 years old. I bought some paint-by-number kits from Ebay, left them in the closet for another 6 months or so, and then I pulled them out and started painting. I SO did not follow the paint-by-numbers. I do not like to follow directions.

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What is your favourite artistic medium?

I have tried oil, acrylic, and pastel. I also do digital drawings on my tablet. I have to say that there is something about oil and acrylic that bring me to life. I love designing patterns for Spoonflower because it is not messy like painting. I have three children and homeschool two… I draw when the kiddos are doing math problems!

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Do you have a (or several) favourite shape(s) and colour(s)?

I become very happy when I put colors next to each other. For me, it is a very intuitive process. With colors, I always have a feeling that “I just know.”

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Are there any subjects you are particularly drawn to?

In a lot of my drawings and paintings, I find that I enjoy featuring people or animals. I also like to create spaces (holes, windows, doors, rooms).

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What and who inspires you?

Inspiration! Ah, that is a hard one. I like to look at a lot of different things…clothes, furniture, jewelry, architecture, toys, books…etc. I get inspired by other people’s creativity. I love raw materials. I love to tell stories. I admire everyone who does their craft well, be it cooking, farming, or computing. It makes me want to become a better artist when I see others excelling.

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Would you mind sharing some of your plans, hopes and dreams for your career as an artist?

I want to let my art tell a story about myself. I hope that as I grow as a person, I will also grow as an artist. I don’t think life and art can be divorced, and good living begets good creativity. I want to find the right audience for what I do. I want to come to terms with the reality that my work is not for everyone, but that it is for someone very specific. I want my art to set someone else free to do theirs.

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Visit Susan’s Spoonflower shop: http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/susan_polston

Read Susan’s blog: http://susanpolston.wordpress.com/

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One thought on “Artist profile: Susan Polston

  1. Christine, this was a great interview with Susan. I love her artwork and patterns. Plus, she is just a super-cool girl! Your questions are very good, Christine. :o)

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