We are humbled today to share with you our exclusive interview with Preston M. Smith whose work portrays a deep and meaningful personality – which we love! Take a look at our time interviewing Preston.
The White List: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us today – we know you must be very busy at the moment? Can you tell us more about what you do?
Preston: I am a fine artist/oil painter and a writer. I am constantly busy working on new pieces and ideas for upcoming projects. I paint about four paintings per month, and last year I self-published three eBooks. Two were novels and one was a collection of my original paintings and poetry. I work on painting commissions sporadically and exhibit my work multiple times per year. No matter what happens in my life, it all comes back to the creative impulse, and this is what grounds me.
The White List: With regards to your art, where does your inspiration come from?
Preston: I would say that my inspiration comes most strongly when I am living in the moment. When I am tapped into the present moment, this is when my experiences and ideas flow most easily through me. I also do my best to keep myself as inspired as possible with music, film, writing, painting, and other art forms. You have to cultivate experience; otherwise I feel that you are limited in the scope of what you have to say as an artist.
The White List: Your work seems to portray a very personal story is this the case?
Preston: Yes. I have used art in many ways in my life. I have filtered personal experience and feelings (both positive and negative) into art pieces, as almost an exorcism of sorts. I also use it to express the overwhelming beauty and a peace that I see and feel, which could not be fully realized in any other way. Sometimes that expression comes out as a self-portrait, other times as an abstract piece. I think for art to be good, it has to be personal. That is what gives it life. When people are affected by art that is telling a personal story, the authenticity resonates and becomes relatable and even universal.
The White List: Can you give us an insight into how your working week looks?
Preston: I spend the beginning of the week developing a new idea and collecting supplies (if I need them). I will then set aside a large chunk of time to begin painting. Sometimes, I will paint for about six hours, but I have been known to paint for 12 hours straight and finish at around 4 or 5 in the morning! I feel like when the creative moment has you, you have to follow it until it runs out. I used to feel a self-imposed pressure to finish a painting always in the same night. As I have gotten a little older, I have relaxed a bit and will take more time if I need it. Many of my most recent paintings are finished in 2 to 3 sessions. Writing for me always comes at night, when everyone is asleep, and many times over a glass of wine.
The White List: When did you realise that you wanted to create art?
Preston: When I was very little. I would sketch for hours in my house, or on family vacations in the car. Most of my sketches were more primitive versions of similar themes that I work with today! When I wasn’t doing that, I was writing, directing, and acting with my best friend in countless homemade movies. It was a wonderfully creative and fun time for me.
The White List: If you could pick you favourite piece of art from your own work, what would it be, and why?
Preston: I have a hard time with this, because many times you feel as if you have really done something with a new painting and then a couple of years down the road you think, “man, I could have done that better.” There are a few that stand out in my mind that have a nice mixture of abstract elements, color and movement, with a contemplative lead figure somewhere in it, all important aspects of painting to me. When these all work together, I feel like I have done my job. “Lose Yourself”, “To Argentina With Love,” and “The Little Bear that Lost His Way” are a few examples of this. Ask me in a month, and I will give you a different answer. Ha ha.
The White List: Where can we go to see some of your work?
Preston: You can see my work always on my personal website, Facebook, Twitter, Saatchi Online, Society6 and We Are The Digital. If you are in Los Angeles, you will many times be able to catch my work in a show or exhibition.
The White List: If you could choose another artist to work or collaborate with, whom would this be and why?
Preston: If he were still alive, I would say Jean Michel Basquiat. I feel like we share a common childlike curiosity in our work, though his technique is somewhat different from my own. I think it would make for an interesting collaboration, if I may be so bold. Living, I would have to say that I would be interested in collaborating with Lori Earley! Her moody and intense portraits of women with exaggerated features are right up my alley. I find myself inspired to paint, each time I check out her work.
The White List: What have we got to look forward to in the coming months? Can you tell us any exciting news of events or pieces that are due to be released?
Preston: I just finished framing 20 paintings through an art campaign that I launched through Hatchfund online. It was a great success! I am planning an exhibition, to showcase many of my wood pieces that have recently been framed, but the location is yet to be determined. I will be posting it on my website and Facebook page as soon as possible. I am also about to start work on a private commission this week. Onwards and upwards.
The White List: Thank you for taking the time to Speak to myself, Lloyd today. We truly love your work and the pieces are beautiful!
Preston: Thank you. It was my pleasure!