We had the good fortune of connecting with Connie Resch and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Connie, why did you pursue a creative career?
I had always daydreamed of becoming an artist, but a different time and place, limiting beliefs, and lack of confidence threw me in another direction. When I was younger, I felt as though I wasn’t allowed to choose a creative career. I believed that I wouldn’t be taken seriously if I chose this path for myself, and I was too afraid to step out of the comfort zone of a more secure job. I came into my artistic career after spending many years studying and working in a completely different field in science. In that work, I oftentimes felt fulfilled knowing I was making a difference; but in other ways, I felt a little stuck. I used my spare time to create and to fill the creativity cup which I wasn’t filling at my job. I felt an urge to build and create every day so I threw myself into personal projects to satisfy my inner artist, and I painted for friends.
Starting a family then really drove it home for me. Having my children realigned my priorities and it was in this space that I realized the traditional job I was accustomed to would simply not be a fair trade for enrolling my children in daycare. I knew I had nothing to lose just to try; to pick up the brush and see where it could take me. Once I decided to seriously commit to starting my own art business, it all started unraveling. I realized that the desires to create for others, build, and learn were things I always needed to feel in my work and that I was unconsciously seeking these things in all of my previous jobs. I realized that this drive to show up and to build something that would leave a legacy was always inside. Or the desire to make someone happy with something I create. I can’t seem to stop now, and I can’t imagine a time where I ever could stop. I know now that it wasn’t a matter of why I pursued my artistic career, but when.
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.
My background might be more unusual than most artists. I grew up in a small island town in Canada, living on a farm and spending a lot of time outdoors. I had a sketchbook and set of pencils with me whenever I had the chance, yet I had very little insight into the field of art as a career. Living in a low-income household, the starving artist trope steered me away from going to an art school so I pursued a scientific degree instead. I obtained a Bachelor of Science, chose a career in laboratory sciences, and worked for years in the environmental field. I was determined to support myself and worked hard for it. During this time I continued to practice my art as a hobby to fill the void.
Things changed for me when I uprooted my life to move to the United States with my husband and starting a family. Unable to work for years due to immigration reasons, I had to leave my career behind and subsequently all of those years of hard work to get to where I was. My desire to express myself through art grew even stronger as I learned more about myself through having children, and as I thought about my future. When the global pandemic erupted and anxiety rose I dove even further into my work. With some encouragement, I decided to take the big leap into art and it was like I pushed the door open to a whole different universe! I have started to build, slowly but surely, in this new space.
My background growing up and in the natural sciences field both heavily influence the art I make. I enjoy realism and illustrating forms in nature, whether it be plants or animals and anything that spikes my scientific curious mind. Driven by a childlike fascination with the many intricacies of nature, I tend to focus on details and mechanisms in my artwork, bringing them to light. I am passionate about the history and science of classical art and I am inspired by traditional scientific and botanical illustrations. Often the biologists, chemists, or botanists in classical periods – before the invention of film – were also talented artists. I draw other influences from collected vintage ephemera and my illustrations are often pieces of the natural world that I find fascinating. In making art, I am reminded of a more simplistic life – free from the onslaught of distractions of today’s world – and creating art takes me back in time to that place, while living in the present moment.
I have learned in this process that science is the language of nature and that art brings this to light by taking the viewer deeper. I have also learned to step outside of my fears and realized that art-making is a part of me and it’s not going anywhere. I have learned to accept this part of myself and to model this for my daughters – who are my biggest motivation.
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 the Seattle area, to me, the most interesting places in this area are the many hiking spots in the region. Visiting Mt. Rainier, and the various parks. To make an exciting week I would plan some local wine and beer tasting, some mountain hikes, and a visit to some of the best restaurants in my town. I would also plan a trip to downtown Seattle to visit Pike Place Market, the art museum, and a local band concert.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My friend Katie Buckman was the person who lit that initial fire in my belly and deserves a whole lot of credit for helping me realize both my potential and my confidence in my creative work. She has been a massive source of support and encouragement this whole time and I honestly might have just continued daydreaming if it wasn’t for her! She is an amazing photographer and artist, risk-taker, and a huge source of inspiration for me.
There are lots of other specific people to thank, I have met so many other artists now who possess the same need to show up in art as it’s a part of themselves. I also have so many family members and close friends who cheer me on and help me in my endeavors! People who have been there to support me as I venture on my new path help me keep going even when it’s tough.
Myself, Katie Buckman