We had the good fortune of connecting with Shahla Rahimi Reynolds and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shahla, what role has risk played in your life or career?
If I had to choose a superhero, it would be Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) for his willingness to risk it all in order to save so many. For me that means facing life’s challenges head on, even when the odds seem insurmountable. My works are a reflection of my experiences as a whole. I have had to design and create works that not only have represented an event, but also an organization, therefore telling the story through a single design involved taking the challenge of facing objections head on from the beginning. It is not an easy task to convince committees of 40 to 50 people to agree on anything, but having the courage to introduce them to reasoning and elements behind an idea is very rewarding. In many ways, as I get out of my comfort zone and confront the mundane routine, my work takes on a new direction, allowing me to grow as an artist.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
A typical day for me starts by walking to my studio, which is located inside Art Share LA in the Arts District-Los Angeles. This walk becomes a meditation and reflection on the past and builds up my inner strength and creativity.
The Pandemic has changed the way everyone is doing business. Most often buying art is a personal experience and with the studio closed, this is not happening. As an artist, I must embrace virtual ways to connect with customers and fans. I am now creating my paintings “Live” on different social media platforms and trying to capture new audiences, while maintaining my long time supporters.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many things to do, see, and enjoy in Los Angeles especially if it is someone’s first time here. There are the museums, Hollywood, all of the celebrity homes and similar things to do, but besides the beautiful palm trees, the ocean is what I would show them. Looking at the first rays of sunshine over the blue water not only re-energizes a person, but also, its infinite size humbles and puts things in perspective. The amazing thing about LA is its cultural diversity. There are so many ethnic neighborhoods; for example, you can dance to a Mexican mariachi in one place and then go eat Ethiopian food just a mile away. And then we go to the heart of Los Angeles, Downtown. Walking through Downtown LA with all of its clubs and restaurants during ArtWalk night and before the Pandemic introduces them to the artists, who are the trendsetters for arts and culture around the globe.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It does take a village to get the job done and no one can claim credit for everything in life alone. Each and every member of my family is the foundation that I stand on to go forward. Being an artist is not easy and there are times when doubts and unanswered questions become overwhelming, and around every corner another obstacle appears out of nowhere. This is when they help to lift me up and show me the way. I owe each one of them, and I am grateful for having them beside me.
Shahla Rahimi Reynolds