We had the good fortune of connecting with Gray Lew and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gray, how do you define success?
I define my success through the connections I made with others, and those that I’ve yet to make but look forward to making every single day. I’ve realized that once I chose to pursue a creative career, conversations became real. I often found myself trying to fit into the mold that society has created for us, and it became draining. I slowly began to lose myself and the creativity I so desperately wanted to share with the world. However, once I took this leap, I found connections with other humans, whether that be with fellow artists, students, or the sweet elder lady that sat next to me in the coffee shop yesterday. I make art that is bold and based on one of my biggest struggles, anxiety. I enjoy using bright colors and messy paint strokes to shed light on my personal anxiety and mental health challenges that others may face. My approach to art is different, some may not see the vision, but it is how I bring challenges to life. I was once told that connections are easy to make, but true connection is created through shared experiences and challenges. I’m here chasing those true connections because that’s what success is to me. At the end of it all, it will not matter how many works of art I sold, or which ones made it to a gallery wall. What will matter are the people and conversations behind the works created. Art is a story, art tells a story, and art develops a space to share stories. True connections are my success because without them I would not be creating the art I am today.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I created art that is bright, messy, and bold but used to shed light on mental health challenges that others face. I often find myself developing little characters to put a face on anxious thoughts or depressive states. For example, one of my most recent works is a giant pink one-eyed genie coming out of its bottle, titled “so you think you can wish me away?” to represent anxious thoughts asking an individual if they think they can wish away their mental health challenges. I use various mediums, such as, acrylic paints, spray paint, and ink to bring each piece to life.
One lesson I’ve learned along away as an artist is get used to the word, no! Being a creative is a challenge and pursuing a career in this field is not easy. I have definitely heard the word no way more than I heard the response yes in this field. However, you just have to brush it off. Each opportunity, project, and conversation has a purpose behind it. You will get your shot!! Keep your head up and don’t change you or your art in hopes to hear yes! Your art matters!
Grxy Lxw Art is striving to create art that understands you, instead of you understanding the art. I am learning every day and continuing to grow as an artist. I am here to advocate for those facing mental health challenges and developing lasting connections while creating art that I love and enjoy. I hope that you chose the checkout Grxy Lxw Art and support this journey!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well in my opinion ttis is how the best day ever would look –
THE BEST DAY EVER ITINERARY
1) Start the day off with a Giant Stack of Pancakes and hit up a local coffee shop
2) Jam out in the car to an awesome playlist
3) Hit up the beach or a skatepark and connect with some like-minded people
4) Grab an Acai Bowl and picnic outside
5) Head to the Studio
7) Head to a local spot to hear some live music and enjoy the nightlife
8) Movie Night @ Home
So, I’d hope to spend most days like this! Bouncing around town, meeting people, supporting local businesses, enjoying the little things in life, and creating. Exciting people are everywhere, it’s just a matter of are you going to start the conversation!? 🙂
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?
Yes, The Art Spread! Their Instagram handle is @theartspread and be sure to subscribe to their emails as well. They are a non-profit ran by some awesome people who support artists and spread awareness. I will forever be thankful for them seeing something in my art and taking a chance on me. I can’t wait to continue to form part of The Art Spread family and support them the best I can!