We had the good fortune of connecting with Karrie Ross and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karrie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
My Mother had a phrase she encouraged me with “What is the harm in asking as long as you accept the fact that the response might be no?” As a small girl I never imagined what affect that phrase would have on my life, where a fascination with questions would take me. Taking ‘calculated’ risk is something that happens with each project I create. I begin with questions, expoloring, and planning the experience, there is no failure just seeing in a new, different perspective. I assess all aspects and ways to proceed. Then it’s just a matter of doing it. A gathering of materials, and trial and error phase help in discovering the vision. Over my 40+ year career in advertising, marketing, sales, consulting, I found out just how important asking questions, taking risk, and thinking there is no failure can be.
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.
Art reflects the artist and each artist brings their own unique experiences and ways of living and being in the world to their art. The mere fact that they are an artist sets them apart from another artist. Both my graphic design and visual art benefit from my ability to keep learning and improving and changing. And my ability to take risk. I observe situations and solve problems that come up. I am a muse, a consultant. I have trained in a variety of modalities like NLP, hypnosis, satnam rasayan energy balancing, feng shui, life coaching each aids my ability to get into the mind set of my clients and succeed with the work I create for them. For me questions and observations are everything, the story that permeates through it all. As a book designer I love the story, creating a visual that moves a person to turn the book around and read more then to open the book and finally purchase. I work closely with my author clients to find the perfect for them visual for their material. I then add my love of typography and balance for the final read… quick easy and clear. I consult with them as to marketing and promotion and help them find the place where they are comfortable with the direction they have chosen. As a visual artist again it’s the story but this time it’s my story, my life and emotions and fears and risk. I find that with each painting series there is a lot of time spent figuring out how to ‘save’ the unwanted that occur. I don’t call them mistakes but, for me, it’s important to know how to lessen their presence and even let them become part of the artwork. Just like in real life we try to hide our perceived imperfections, I like to remember them and love the art because of and in spite of them, they add life and form for me. My career path was not the easiest, self-taught, young woman/mother, husband off in Vietnam. Let me tell you the 1960’s were not as kind as you might think. In 1969 a friend and I tried to go out to dinner and were refused seating because we were “un-attended”. This would probably not happen today, but it did back then. And I have other stories of being discriminated against in business and in public even up to this year of 2020. But I chose a career in advertising and I never thought of anything else and continued to do the best job I could and excelled in my skills and trade which covered designing anything from yellow page ads to movie posters, magazines, and annual reports. The most important lesson learned, although not always followed, is to not close doors. I feel it’s who you know that moves you forward. Sure being skilled helps the process of referrals but its who you know more. The problem with that is if the ‘who’ really doesn’t like you and if that happens, well, I feel you best move on to another job/situation. I’ve learned to survive, to keep opening doors, trying new things… taking the risk on me, my abilities to rise to each occasion in the best way I can. No, its not been easy but it has been exciting and noteworthy, I get to see so many people really take a look at who they are being and hope they grow from it, I know I do.
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?
For me this is not the easiest question. Even though I’m a native to Los Angeles I leave it to the quest to ask questions and we together plan out the trip. Sure I throw in suggestions but I’ve seen so much and I am pretty easily pleased… I can sit at the beach for a long time with good conversation. I like going to the tops of buildings and looking at the city or just driving north or south on PCH. I guess I’m not the best tourist guide. So if you come to visit, give me your thoughts of what you like to do/see and I’ll give you tons of suggestions and plan the day. However, one of my favorite drives is Sunset Boulevard from downtown to the Beach and all the eating places along the way, or up the coast PCH to Santa Barbara and beer-boiled shrimp at the pier.
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?
No, not one and yes, many. My mom and dad taught me all the basics and then I gathered what I needed along the way from the people around me. I am self-taught both in my graphic design and my visual art so I learned from each jobjob I had. I was a freelance graphic artist working around the LA entertainment industry for years and then merged into advertising agencies and design studios. Sure there were many people who I observed how they did it, asked tons of questions, and adapted skills from them. I was married twice and gained different skills from each of those relationships. My second husband was instrumental in my experience of operating a business and getting more involved in making my abstract art. I was on the board of directors for the Art Directors Club of LA for four years responsible for the membership and public relations committees. I joined a membership gallery which was important for learning the workings of, and an introduction to, the how-to workings of a gallery. I like to document things, and community is important. I tend to choose to experience different environments and I create projects that help me to learn from them—that is the RISK part. I created an art-history-book project and publish a paperback book documenting artists and their art each year. I’m usually not afraid to have to ‘move along’ to another job or experience. Of course this way of looking at life can be a problem in-as-much-as it makes me seem like I don’t need the job or am perceived as not needing help. OK THERE IS ONE PERSON OUTSTANDING …. my son. He did and still does change my perspective and life every day. HE is the miracle I was looking for… he is 48yrs old this year. He too questions and challenges life and situations and amazes me all the time. He is my gift.
Other: https://www.artistartandstory.com https://www.bookcoverdesigner.com http://www.bebuddies.com