We had the good fortune of connecting with Palmer Earl and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Palmer, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Before I had kids, I could work whenever I wanted to for as long as I liked. Now I have to divide my time between work and being with my kids. I love being with my kids and need to give them plenty of time, but I also want to maintain my studio practice so when I work, I really focus and make use of every minute. Finding a perfect balance between career and family is a constant challenge. I will always feel a bit guilty if I spend too much time in the studio instead of with my family and vice versa. I guess as long as the guilt from painting is close to the same level as the guilt from being with my kids, I am doing all right. I also try to remind myself that it’s good for my children to see me working hard and following my passion as I know that it will inspire them to one day do the same.
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.
I am really curious about how ancient cultures shaped the way women are treated today so I do a lot of research on ancient mythology, religion, philosophy and events and then incorporate what I’ve learned in my paintings in some way. Recently, I have been collaging pages of ancient texts into my work. In a painting about Adam and Eve, I used shapes I cut from the pages of the Old Testament to make up the background. I want people to consider the negative influence that ancient ideas have had on our view of women. By understanding why sexism exists, maybe we can loosen its grip on our society. One lesson I’ve learned is that it is crucial for artists to spend as much time making work as possible. I am very dedicated to my studio life and always seem to be thinking about my work but I still have a long way to go and a lot to learn before I consider myself a real success. At the same time, I believe that if you have a passion for something and are able to spend a large chunk of your life pursuing it, some success is inevitable. Even if you aren’t making a fortune, you will have a fulfilling life and I think that is the best thing one can hope for.
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?
One thing I would definitely do is take them for a long hike in Griffith Park, then we would grab some Iced Tea, a “snake dog”, and a big chocolate chip cookie at Trails Café. I love living in a big city with such a beautiful, wild place just a mile from my house! We would also have some breakfast tacos from Homestate and go on one of the many “stairwalks” around my neighborhood in Silverlake/Los Feliz. Later, we’d have a drink while relaxing in my garden and then head to a pasta dinner at Speronza. T The LA Arboretum is another place I love to take people. It is so magical with all of the peacocks strutting around in the gardens.
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 want to dedicate my shout out to my husband Austen. He always has faith in my work and as a writer he understands the ups and downs of the creative process. When I am stressed about a piece or feeling like I haven’t gotten enough work done, he gladly takes the kids on an impromptu adventure so I can get some painting in and maintain some sanity. He also has many ideas of things I should paint (though I should point out that I have never actually used any of them). His ideas may not be perfect but, without his support I would be less confident in my decision to paint full time. I am thankful to have someone who helps me live a life where I am free to follow my passion