We had the good fortune of connecting with Channing Smithson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Channing, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My wife and I are both ceramist. She’s more of a sculptor and I prefer to wheel-throw and hand build ceramics. As a medical professional I’ve always tried to have a bedside manner with my patients. As I’ve assisted doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to care for others, I’ve always had a fascination with the way that art and the environment would have on my patients. We wanted to create a podcast that specifically addressed this issue. Most art podcasts focus in on how artists have developed their craft. However, Vessel: Art as a Doorway Podcast hones in on how art affects us emotionally and psychologically. We interview TED speakers, scientists, musicians and art collectors to discuss the impact art has had on them and the environment we live in.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was privileged to come from a very loving family. I was raised by a single parent in a low income area of Atlanta. My mother would always try to teach me in the finer areas of life. Although we lived around areas where there was crime, she’d take me to museums and art shows. I remember her taking out her finest silverware to serve me caviar with biscuits. She thrived on educating me about art, finance, and the meaningful things of life. When I sculpt the vessels of clay into an object, I think about these lessons she taught me in life. The act of creating something from a thought or memory and having others obtain these objects in their homes, businesses and offices is inspiring. It reminds me of the lessons she taught me regarding being hospitable. I’ve always thought that when an artist allows their art to be collected by others, it is an intimate gesture: They are entrusting a piece of themselves to another in an experience that can last a lifetime.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Living in Los Angeles, we have so many amenities that can be taken for granted. When friends come visit for the week I take them to the Will Roger’s beach in Santa Monica. We then hop over to a few art shows in some of the art galleries I’ve had the privilege of making connections with like bG Gallery. We also have wine country in Paso Robles. One of my favorite wineries is Tooth and Nail. Can’t get enough of their Cabernet. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Seth Godin’s Akimbo Podcast really inspired me to become a podcaster and artist. I loved how he mentions the act of successfully managing a business can be compared to the art of creating a vessel or product. When others hear our ‘art’, what is it that inspires them to action? What motivates and captivates them to not only listen but act on what they are hearing? I’ve always been enamored by these questions.