We had the good fortune of connecting with Barbara Close and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Barbara, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
T.S. Eliot said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”. And Renoir said, “One must from time to time attempt things that are beyond one’s capacity.” I’m Barbara Close, a Lettering Artist/Calligrapher and Artist. I’ve been doing this work for over 40 years…and still love it. I find, because of great quotes like these, that it keeps me always interested and intrigued enough to “take the risk” -to see what else can be done. As an artist, I like to ask myself “What if…..” There may be a more exciting way to try something, if only I would take the risk to see what could be done. I enjoy going “out of the box” with my art. I’ve loved the disclipline of calligraphy, and now enjoy trying more ways to use it. And, it does involve risk. “If you always do what you’ve always done…you’ll keep getting the same results” (I forget who said this) but it is true. Things that spark interest for me to take risks can come in many different forms; it could be an interesting shape of a cloud, an unusual color, some other way of putting art on a page that I hadn’t thought of. It could be endless, if you are willing to have an open mind.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve learned that if you have a strong interest in something, you should make every effort that you can to pursue it. And, pursue it with passion. Life can get in the way so easily, you really have to have a strong desire to keep moving forward in your direction. It’s tough with a family, other income jobs…but if you want it bad enough, you can get up a little earlier or stay up after every other family member goes to sleep and practice. No, it is not easy. You’ve got to make it a habit. I have studied and studied, loving it..but when I was ready, I took the risk of doing something a little different and people started to notice & actually liked it. So, I started doing more of “My” style and was extremely happy. I’ve developed work that others can recognize as mine. That makes me so excited.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I would start with the Getty Museum. It is famous all over the world. The art is wonderful and the grounds are great – enough to want to spend the whole afternoon and just walk around. Then, we would go over to see some of the other museums that are near. The beaches in CA have to be on the itinerary also. The Griffith Park Obseratory is still a wonder and fantastic views of the city. We have a lovely library near me, The Cerritos Library, which is like a museum also. It has a eckleItic setting of old-world, art neuvau to futuristic settings with many beautiful paintings and sculptures. in and outside on the grounds. I would also have to take them to one of my class sessions at ABC Adult School in Cerritos. We have the most up-to-date technology with a smart TV, hybrid classes. Students are learning and doing fantastic work. I’m very proud of them.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh yes, My ShoutOut goes to The Society for Calligraphy, Los Angeles
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