We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzanne Edmonson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzanne, what do you attribute your success to?
I think that very early in my artistic career, I was impressed with the art of Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Claes Oldenburg, artists that made us look at things, people, etc. of everyday life with a unique statement. Ordinary transformed into extraordinary. That influence encourages a kind of experimentation of color, composition and subject matter. And frankly, having a background in advertising when concept mattered, it has helped me to focus on what is important in the painting. I also like to have a bit of whimsy in my work. One client told me that when he passes by my painting, he always smiles. That is my goal, to have the viewer compelled to look and examine my art, but leave with a positive emotion. And bottom line, I honestly believe that my talents and success are God’s gracious gift to me. I agree with Julia Cameron’s principles “Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.”
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.
As a visual individual, my prior work as an art director in national advertising campaigns helped me to develop and create visuals that had a beauty as well as exhibit the point of the campaign. During my career, I always had a painting that I was working on in my off time. Whether during rating seasons at ABC, campaign presentations or productions, it did not matter, even though it was a challenge, but a rewarding challenge. And I think that the perseverance and determination of those times gave me a drive that I continue to have to do my art. Due to my career in communication, I endeavor to do art that uplifts or gives comfort or a smile. And with my style of painting which is kind of an abstraction of realism, the subject matter is recognizable and relatable. And because of that, my work is not mundane but always has a bit of a twist, to intrigue and entertain.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Living in Los Angeles gives me a wealth of choices to introduce my friend to with interesting places to go and things to do. • Starting with a subway trip to Union Station which is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States and is widely regarded as “the last of the great train stations.” The station’s signature Mission Moderne style makes it one of L.A.’s architectural gems in downtown Los Angeles. It is a work of art inside and out. Next, walking across the street to Olvera Street, which is historic and in the oldest part of Los Angeles. It has culture, museums, fiestas and delicious Mexican food. Taking time to walk, shop and eat delicious food. • Malibu Country Mart is a delightful location for shopping, dining, and relaxing. It features unique and upscale boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants in an astoundingly beautiful atmosphere. Enjoying the shops, food and the beach. • Griffith Park Observatory is an amazing building which houses art, science and interactive experiences. We can look through a telescope, see a live show in the Planetarium, explore the exhibits, and enjoy the spectacular views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign. • The Original Farmers Market on Fairfax is a rich experience of farmers produce, various merchants, and restaurants. One of my favorites is a French market and shop that also serves French cuisine for lunch. Right next door is The Grove, which is an outdoor Disney-like shopping center. It features entertainment and trolley rides, great shops and restaurants. • Warner Bros. Studio Tour gives us the chance to get a glimpse behind the scenes of a film studio. It includes visiting a soundstage, the backlot, garage of cars used in film & television, plus a couple of interactive stages featuring Harry Potter and the tv show Friends. Lunch at their cafe is a fun and a delicious treat. • Los Angeles Museum of Art which collects works of art that span both history and geography, in addition to representing Los Angeles’s uniquely diverse population. One of the many buildings exhibiting various works of art on the property is the contemporary building housing The Broad collection. Across the street is the stunning building of the Petersen Automotive Museum. The outside is a work of art that contains unique and rare cars from the past, present and future designs. • Malibu Wine Safari is a 1,000 acre Saddlerock Ranch and vineyard in Malibu, and includes guides that lead an adventure of stops to take in the scenery, taste local wines, and get up close and personal with animals: zebras, water buffalo, alpacas, bison, and even Stanley the Giraffe. Along with these day excursions, I will plan a couple of dinner parties that include friends from the art, entertainment, and music worlds. A couple of other sights and sounds for the evening entertainment includes the Baked Potato Jazz Club and a trip down the Sunset Strip with it’s lights and glitz.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I want to give honor to my amazing creative Mother, who sat at the kitchen table with me and started drawing. That wonderful lesson and inspiration occurred when I was about 5 years old. Soon after that she enrolled me in art classes at the Children’s Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, where I did my first painting on canvas board. She not only encouraged my art, but introduced other creative expressions of music, plays, travel, etc. to me. And for creative encouragement, which I have previously mentioned, I want to give credit to Julia Cameron’s book, The Artists Way. It gives practical advice for creativity while also taking great care for the artist’s well being.
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