Hervey Bay based artist and curator, Susie Lewis pushes and strives for success within the art world. She is largely present within her community and is a voice that promotes positivity and team work. Always busy with a project on the go, Susie's ambition and determination is compelling.
What style of art are you drawn to and what medium/s do you incorporate into your works? ~ I definitely tend towards expressive art that is more abstract than representational. I love spending time in galleries with work face-to-face and seeing brush strokes and pencil lines created with rawness and emotion. Work that has a depth to the context draws me in readily and I’m a big fan of installation and conceptual works.
My own practice has a wide scope and is spread across a variety of media. My 2D work is largely acrylic and mixed media whilst my broader body of work has featured installation and digital projection also.
Where are you based and how do you get involved in the community? ~ I am based in Hervey Bay and yes, I’m very active in our arts community as an artist but also as a freelance curator and arts advocate. I truly believe that a strong and supportive arts collective rises together. Quality projects to participate in and opportunities to socialise and network only sees the confidence of an artist grow and that confidence is a vital asset.
What was the best lesson you’ve learnt as an emerging artist? ~ Vernon Ah Kee recently spoke at a NAVA forum and said ‘Art is for grown ups!’. A tough but vital lesson to learn as an emerging artist! Building a thick skin and realising that it takes grit, persistence and a determination to continue to show up and be seen puts you on the path forward. You have to really want this career and keep at chasing it down. Getting no’s and rejection is a part of the process. Embrace it, learn from it and try again! Know that not every opportunity is right for you. Find your track, the path that is the best fit for your work, and you are that one step closer to a yes!
What inspires you? ~ The big stories in life! Why are we here and what is life all about? I spend as much time studying the mysteries of the universe as I do in my arts practice and that interest spills over into my artworks.
Do you have any projects you are currently working towards? ~ Yes, I have a number of projects on the go which is very exciting for a regional artist and curator. I am co-curating an exhibition for the Fraser Coast Regional Council which is due to be exhibited in Hervey Bay early next year before heading over to China! Which I’m very excited about!
My creative partners and I run a multi-faceted arts business which moves across a number of platforms from creating, exhibiting and learning to tour art to fine art education that also keeps me very busy.
What does success mean to you? ~ Success is a curious word to attach meaning to as I’ll have moments that feel successful but be less successful than someone else in reality. I guess the meaning of any success boils down to what I wanted to achieve. My personal measure is did I play it well, did I play it fair and could I have given it any more than I did? How I answer those questions and my success or lack thereof will then hold powerful meaning and absolutely influence my process. That said, I feel it’s important to say I’m fiercely unafraid to fail. Getting it wrong is powerful to embrace with those personal checks and balances firmly in place. Success is measured by perspective!
How do your supporters and advocates play an important role in your life? ~ I couldn’t do this without them and that is no understatement. This career is being raised on the back of a small army at times! I cannot overplay the power an artist grows in having a dedicated band of advocates in their corner. For me it's from the small whisper in my ear of you can do this to someone standing beside me on an opening night and the million moments in between. Physical and financial support to make and move art whilst I figured out how to make it all work. Every moment of it adds up to a career. In just those few statements, I am naming so many people and I don’t undervalue any one of them for a second!
Where can people find you and your work online? ~ My website: https://susielewisblog.wordpress.com/ and Facebook at Susie Lewis Art.
Five things that make your life just right? ~ Every single member of my incredible tribe, art, music, God’s mysteries and Harry Styles.
Where do you create your works, what is your space like and how important is it for you to work in this way? ~ I have a great sized studio space at home. You will always know if I am busy on a project because it gets so messy. I’m not a tidy artist by any stretch when I am in process. I give myself that freedom so I can just roll with an idea and keep bouncing to the next idea until the creative moment is exhausted, and worry about the clean up afterwards.