We had the good fortune of connecting with Anton Zhou and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anton, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
We talk a lot about persistence in the creative field. I’ve learned over the years that it’s ok, maybe better, to let go of certain elements if they aren’t contributing to your growth. I’ve grappled with this a lot as an artist who knows I may spend years perfecting my craft, but then realize I want to take it a different direction. The important distinction here is to not give up on yourself and what paints your broader vision. Artists will always be faced with obstacles that hinder them from experimenting, so it’s up to us how we traverse the nuances of a creative journey.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Painting has long been woven into my life as a studio artist. I consider my work to operate along the lines of impressionistic realism. Having studied at the Florence Academy of Art and then Columbia University, I’m constantly inspired by the whole gamut of artistic genres. I think what distinguishes my craft the most is my ability to synthesize knowledge from various art forms, in particular lighting design and color grading. These concepts permeate painting, photography and film, and putting them in conversation has helped me level up tremendously from a technical standpoint. I’m also very intrigued by human form, and I owe a lot of this to my time in Italy where anatomy is such an integral part of classical art training. It’s actually what inspired me to bodybuild and practice “sculpting” in a sense, leveraging a lot of what I learned in the atelier.
Getting where I am today required a lot of persistence, but more importantly self-confidence. Balancing academics with bodybuilding and my creative pursuits proved increasingly challenging in recent years with so many moving parts. After all, that’s part of the freelancing life – it requires us to manage our own creative enterprise.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
While I’m not a current LA resident, there is so much packed within the city that I know there’ll always be something new to explore. I consider myself a light chaser, so areas like Chinatown and Downtown, which are nestled in vibrant lights and aesthetic contrast, always win me over. I love cruising along the coast as well to soak up the atmosphere and collect my thoughts when I’m overflowing with ideas, which will often lead to impromptu photoshoots. Nothing beats a day of creating and enjoying good company.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents are my rock and the reason I was able to kickstart my creative journey. They gifted me my first set of brushes, drove me around to visit galleries and everything in between growing up. I also want to give a shoutout to my childhood friend and neighbor Archit, who understands my work ethic and helps keep me grounded when I feel overwhelmed. Every hustling artist with a lot on their plate needs a buddy like this who they can lean on. I’m beyond grateful for these individuals.
Website: www.antonzhouart.com (*under renovation)
Other: Link to all my platforms: https://linktr.ee/AntonZhou