"Always learn from other people … Work hard at what you do and place yourself in a situation that promotes your creative process"
THOMAS CROUCH - VISUAL ARTIST, NEW YORK USA
FR: Why do you create art?
TC: I have always created art visually and musically since childhood. I think humans create all the time. Some open that creative process to public scrutiny and it becomes art.
FR: What inspires you and what motivates you
TC: Human nature is the basic theme in my work. Whether it be a portrayal of animals on blueprint paper or a depiction of current events, my work invites the viewer to consider the reasonings of humankind.
FR: Is there a difference between inspiration and motivation from your own creative perspective?
TC: No. All of my creative work addresses these issues. I suppose my work is a physical and transferrable form of my general thinking from day to day.
FR: Are there any artists or other people who have most significantly inspired your creative life?
TC: I've been around art and creating via my family throughout my life. Most notable would my grandmother's music and painting. I paint from her old wooden paint box and have her recreated Audubon paintings of birds at my house. But moving to Italy when I was seventeen and studying painting in Florence, Italy is the most significant inspiration that is hopefully evident in my work. Caravaggio is the main influence from the European masters. I also think of Francis Bacon, Julian Schnabel, and Leon Golub in the studio.
FR: Could you share a little bit on what you do to put yourself in your own production creative state of mind?
TC: I usually clean my studio before I start on a new series of work. As a kind of a purging of the previous work, I even burn sage and open windows to air it out. I guess as a spiritual renewal of energy but more as physical clean surface to start from.
FR: What is the creative experience for you? What does it feel like?
TC: Kind of uncomfortable. I usually paint for hours and days at a time once I have the idea. In the studio I'm constantly second guessing the work and my ability to convey my conceptual intentions. The viewer's perception is always very important. So I suppose I'm viewing the piece as artist and viewer. Towards the end of the process it levels out a bit and I generally fine tune the pieces.
FR: What thoughts would you share with others attempting to pursue their own creative aspirations?
TC: Work hard at what you do and place yourself in a situation that promotes your creative process.
Always learn from other people. When you explain your work to people you are in a sense explaining it to yourself. This way you can see it in two new perspectives, yours and theirs.
If you get frustrated take a break and leave the studio.
Always document your work, even the stuff you don't like. Someone will see it differently than you.
Thomas Crouch is a visual artist from Columbia, SC. He has paintings in private collections on five continents is currently working in New York State.
Having studied figurative oil painting, figurative drawing, and art theory at the Lorenzo De Medici School of Art in Florence, Italy, Thomas obtained a BA in Art Studio from the University of South Carolina in 1997. He create d the ongoing Art Bar Agora Art-Food-Music Showcase in 2010 and has exhibited professionally since 2008.
Painting is the among the earliest and most potent forms of human communication and transferral of ideas. It exceeds the boundaries of language and sound, academia and intellect and relies solely upon itself and the viewer for its success or failure.