We had the good fortune of connecting with Otiswoods and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Otiswoods, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Thats a good question, I don’t give it much thought but to be frank my answer is a two way street with two different answers. I pursued an artistic career because 1. I had to and 2. I wanted to. Being a painter and drawing was a skill I developed at an early age thanks to my older brother, it was all I knew and felt comfortable doing, but growing older I realized I had to do it and not just for art sake but because it was paying the bills. I found a balance of doing both.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think I felt more set apart when I was younger, only because everything I was going through felt as if I was the only one experience it. But whether you’re an artist or not we all have a lot in common, everyone is struggling just to BE.
I believe I started feeling more proud of myself when it seemed life was turning around and my career was kicking off, it is then that I felt I could even use the term “proud” proudly. The hard work really pays off.
How i got where I am today? Your gonna here this time and time again, working hard and working especially harder even when i didn’t enjoy it. There are no short cuts, at least there weren’t any for me, but there are plenty of opportunities if your hungry to chase go after them. It’s important to remember your career path will be your own and very different that mine. Embrace failure because that will be your biggest teacher and most important lessons, its what will develop you as an individual in ways you could have not thought of. There is no recipe or formula, nothing is guaranteed and it’s not gonna be easy, but it sure isn’t impossible.
You will have to walk in overcome various obstacles and walk unfamiliar areas but if your are passionate or doesn’t have to be difficult. Lessons will learned one after the other, that will never stop just like you will never stop learning.
Don’t let what I/others say discourage you, embrace the fear and allow your self to feel terrified, it’s all part of the climb. And if your discouraged, then that’s when you know it’s real.
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?
I’d suggest bar crawling, most of my friends are beer enthusiasts. Take a camp trip get out of the city. I’m not an exciting person to say, I’d keep it simple for the most part.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Absolutely, I’d like to start by thanking my mother for having the biggest job in the world and that’s bringing me to this world with purpose, tattoo artist and artist of other skills, my older brother Luis M. he encouraged me to paint when we were younger, I like to think it all started with him. I’d like also show my love and appreciation to my family and friends for being supportive in the best ways they can and the Art Division family, a non profit serving the communities that surround MacArthur Park, guiding young adults to find a path in the art world.. It is with everyones support I’m able to continue to pave a path in my art career, that in time I can share with the youth.
Artist Photo Portrait: Rogelio Gonzalez