We had the good fortune of connecting with Robyn Cait and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robyn, is there something you believe many others might not?
“When you realize you aren’t special, you’ll be much happier in life”.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I tend to refer to my art as hot and cold, soft and sharp. I love malleable textures and acrylics together. In contrast I always lean towards crisp paper and ink for more dark art intentions. Currently in my career position, I have accepted that I can not comfortably specialize in one area of media because I reach for so many different products and tools. You won’t find me only printing limited edition copies of freehand drawings, I leave a channel open to accept commissions for abstract paintings that give me an entirely different level of freedom and expression. I’m a freelance photographer and maintain a small list of clients. Often I receive requests for line work, texture gradients, portraits – and I’ve yet to turn down an opportunity that pushes me. Getting to this point in my business was no easy accomplishment. For years I kept my work to myself, in the family, incredibly reserved about what I was producing. By the time I was in college I was bored in every art course I took, what I had to do became mundane and ultimately wound up pushing me to pack up my supplies for much longer than I’d care to admit. I moved from Oregon to California determined to pursue art and launch my creative career. Just 19 at the time, I quickly grew into distractions and consequently would sparingly pick up a pen or brush, only when I convinced myself to. All this to say, the pauses in my career as an artist were self inflicted. Self doubt, denial, excuses, distractions, what have you. I have never not been an artist, but I did stop cultivating my craft. I was immersed in a fast paced workforce climbing the ladder to excellence in another field, when like everyone else in the world – life came to a halt and I didn’t have an ounce of control over it. Losing my professional career amidst this pandemic drastically made me realize the passions I had shelved. The circumstances were enough for me to launch into a familiar place that I used to frequent, my creative mind. I announced to my network that I was open for business, unleashing my work upon the eyes of critics and adoration. This choice has yet to backfire and I work at my portfolio, client list, content, and conversations every day. Ultimately I learned to overcome my mind. I have always been the roadblock in my lane. Conquering my thought processes and setting my focus on determination and love for myself and my work has multiplied successes not only in my commissions, but my relationships, networking, and ego (in the good way!).
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In a perfect world, knowing my best friends – we’d be all over the place. First thing first, COFFEE. We’d stop into Alfred or Blue Bottle for iced espressos and cruise through Beverly Hills, take Wilshire to Santa Monica and drive past the ocean into Venice for a walk down Abbot Kinney. Cocktails & brunch next at Butcher’s Daughter or some beers at The Otheroom. We’d boutique window shop and make our way to the water for that SoCal West Coast free therapy. What I love most about Los Angeles is the diversity. We could spend a whole day in just one of the many different nodes of the county. From drinking downtown at Perch, or Seven Grand, to Hollywood’s go to’s: Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, The Roger Room, Sky Bar, or Dream. Fairfax must eats, John & Vinny’s and Badmaash, or my favorite hole in the wall, PhoSo1 for the best bowl of pho or vermicelli you will have in your life. If we are ever so lucky to be graced with Smorgasburg again, we will starve ourselves and show up ready to throw down. Hands down the most fun and best craft eatery set up DTLA has seen. PRO TIP: go with a group and share because the food does not stop for anyone or anything. Other than touring LA’s finest F&B around, I’d show the girls my favorite spot to see the mountains (pending smog) and the ocean simultaneously. Drive them through mid city where I had my first apartment, show them my favorite liquor store where I used to keep a tally of how many times I had watched the owner chase people out with a bat. Point out that one intersection where I sprinted 5 blocks with my friends to make it to Casey’s in time for the ball to drop on New Years Eve (thank god we knew the bouncer). We’d wind down at Mama Shelter to watch the sunset, sipping champagne and talking our lives away. I’m a nostalgic gal, I’d show them all my memories and make more with some evidence in the form of a disposable camera. You’ll never catch me without some film on hand. orm a disposable camera. You’ll never catch me without some film on hand.
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?
My mother, naturally. She has always been in my corner regarding my creativity. She recognized at a very young age what I was capable of in more ways than art; music, gymnastics, outdoor activities – she let me explore it all and made it possible for me even though she was a hustling single mom raising my brother and I. I came home one day and had six piece drum set waiting for me. I walked into my room and had a drafting table and charcoals. She knew when the ‘buy one get one for a penny sale’ was happening at Aaron Brothers and would stock up on canvases. All so I could just play, which has now turned into my work. My mama was my creative enabler when I was young, and still is to this day.
Without pause, my story would not be possible without crediting my mentor, Ano Youssefian of Portland, Oregon. I first joined her Academy for Creative Minds when I was six. I went on to study with her every Saturday for over 12 years. She is the reason I am a mixed media specialist. Clay, metal & wire manipulation, loose leaf adhesion, texture bases, acrylic, watercolor the list goes on. Ano made me do it all. She signed me up for art fairs, helped me sell my first painting when I was 11. Her work ethic became mine, I adopted her caring attitude and her lessons have stayed with me all these years later. Whenever I take my eyes away from a current project, I think of her. I know she would support me in my process, and I find complete comfort in that as I grow in my business. Thank you endlessly, to these two wonderful women.
Instagram: @robyncait.art @robyn.cait @robyncait.bakes