We had the good fortune of connecting with Maxwell Carraher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maxwell, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think risk is often misunderstood. Most people view it as a pathway to failure or success. Risk and success are not mutually exclusive, same goes for risk and failure. I don’t think risk is about either one of these. I see it as being valuable in itself as itself regardless of the outcome. The fire that gets lit inside when you take risks is the feeling that makes life exciting and worth living. Within my work if I’m not constantly challenging myself and my ideas then I will become less of an artist. Creating risks to take is a key way I have grown as an artist and, I think, a key way to grow as a person. Safety is the enemy of creation. Without risk what’s the point?
Please tell us more about your art. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My artistic inspiration has always been the soul, it’s struggles and triumphs. I find this subject is the one that most consistently motivates me to push through the myriad of creative struggles that are inherent whenever you are trying to make something from nothing.
Sculpture can possess a fantastic ability to illustrate a single idea with monumental clarity and force. The human image allows for this ability to be harnessed to the fullest. It is this quality that makes human form the natural choice for my work. The pursuit of this artform is not a simple one, it is extremely expensive, time consuming and physically taxing.
I don’t think there has ever been a time I would characterize my career as easy but its always been worth it. When I get faced with challenges in this field before I ever try to solve the problem I ensure I’m willing to solve it. Obviously how you solve problems is important, but before the plan comes there has to be the willingness to try. Starting is always the hardest part. When a piece goes wrong, when I waste a ton of effort or lose funding etc etc the hardest part is starting again. I have to remind myself doing anything is better than doing nothing. Even if I don’t have a plan, starting is more important than a plan.
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?
Oh man this is a hard one. Well here are some of my favorites.
- Clifton’s cafeteria – A fully restored 1930s cafeteria. This place is 4 stories tall, in the heart of DTLA. It’s got a gigantic fake tree that goes through the middle of the entire building, crazy animals dioramas, a tiki bar with a speed boat in the middle of it. They regularly have live music on the 2nd floor. I once saw the voice of Spongebob, Tom Kenny, and his band play there. They did all 60s soul covers.
- The Getty Villa – As a sculptor this is LAs finest representation of figurative sculpture. It’s also right next to the beach.
- Musso and Franks – Oldest restaurant in Hollywood, been around since Hollywood Blvd was a dirt road. I would sit at the bar and order the lobster bisque and dirty martinis.
- Museum of Jurassic technology This place is hard to describe, but I promise you will never forget going there.
- Greenblats Deli – Another Hollywood original. I’d go to the second floor and order the Reuben.
- Disneyland – I love it but only on a weekday.
- Santa Barbara, sea cave kayaking and charter fishing
- Bludso’s BBQ – Best pork ribs in LA.
- Annenberg space for photography – Regularly amazing photography exhibitions.
- The Tiki ti, the smallest, coolest bar in LA.
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?
It’s probably not a very original answer but my Parents. I am tremendously lucky to have parents that care about what I want for myself more than what they want for me. Being a new father myself it becomes clearer every day the miracles my parents pulled off to allow me to become a self sufficient, self-determined individual. Beyond that, the pursuit of my artform can be a daunting task but not once have those individuals questioned it. Uniformly they offer support in the ways of knowledge and time whenever needed.