We had the good fortune of connecting with Fiona Ackerman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fiona, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Music, books, life, art, people, the weather. Everything gets fed into the engine that is my studio practice, fuels it, and moves my work and my interrrests in new directions.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When graduated from University in my early 20’s, I rented a small studio in Vancouver and got a job waiting tables at a dinner. At the restaurant, staff punched in and out with time cards, so I decided to use the same system at my studio. Every week I was careful that I spent more time painting than taking breakfast orders.
Now, painting is my work and my income, but I still live by the rule that you have to show up to make it happen. In recent years I’ve expanded my studio practice, taking on several public murals, making video work and writing and recording music. The same rule applies: even when I have no idea what to do, show up and just start.
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.
Visiting me in Vancouver BC, I’d want them to meet my local friends and would host a dinner at my studio, a high ceiling large room in an old industrial building overlooking the train tracks. During the day, depending on the season, we’d go to the beaches, or on a hike, or ski the local mountains. We’d explore my area, Commercial Drive, stop into The Only Vintage Shop and Pulp Fiction Books, have a snacks and a cocktail at Bar Corso. We’d eat at any one of Vancouver’s excellent restaurants, and go to a show!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like dedicate this Shoutout to Berlin Painter Gregor Hiltner, my father. I met Gregor for the first time on a visit to Germany when I was a teenager. When I was 18, he invited me to his annual summer painting class in Italy where I fell in love with painting and set the direction of my life. He taught me how to look at painting, how to finish a painting and mentored me for years. He is one of the best painters around, and has given me the education that has shaped my life.