I have to say that long-term goals require a strong will. And our generation is very fragile to long-term goals. Everything goes to instant experience. Instant information access, instant shopping, instant paying - instant living.
But most of the habits we have, contradict the reality of quality life.
We need time to make up our minds. We need time for quality choices, we need time healing, we need time for love. And we need time to call ourselves professionals, to build expertise, and teach others how it should be done.
That's where I find Dragon Star Art as one nice example. Starla Friend committed her whole life to art. Since she was a little child always had her goal in front of her. Details on her little sculptures seem to tell a story of their own. A story of a different world, a story of our desires, a story of our home.
Where are you from? Where does the art journey start for you?
My name is Starla Friend and I am an independent artist working under the studio name Dragonstarart. I am from Texas and currently living in San Antonio with my husband and two cats. I decided as a very small child that I wanted to be an artist, and have spent my life working towards that goal. I went to Webster University in St. Louis with the intention to be a graphic designer and graduated as a painter. That’s where I got my first taste of ceramics, and then I didn’t touch the medium again for several years.
I was at a festival one day, and while visiting a shop selling ceramics, a deep and visceral longing to sculpt came to me. I knew at that moment that I wanted my own kiln, and I wanted to start making ceramics again. I didn’t know where the journey would take me, but I knew I had to start.
What is the first emotion that drives you towards creating an art piece? Do you recognize the connection immediately and let yourself flow on the creative process? Or do you "bake" the inspiration for some time?
I get excited when new ideas come to me, but it’s often at the most inconvenient times. I nearly always have my sketchbook with me, where my ideas begin as a small drawing, and occasionally as just a few, hurriedly scribbled words. I let most ideas grow for a while before getting started on them. It's always interesting to see how the idea and design evolves by the time it's complete.
What is the back story of your design? Because every one of us sees the world through separate lenses. How hard it must be to transfer it to other people?
I try to convey a little cheerfulness and magic with my ceramic designs. I loved painting and drawing animals when I was younger, so it seemed only natural to sculpt them as well. I do occasionally make pieces that are a bit odd and creepy, or evoke a sense of longing. This helps to declutter my overactive imagination.
You can’t demand that the viewer see exactly what you see in your work, but I love when people see my work, and their faces light up with joy. I know in that moment I’ve made something good and brought a little happiness into this world.
When it comes to making a living from your art, what are the main struggles? And what would be your advice for starting artists?
One of the main struggles is having the patience to let your career grow. It can take so much time and hard work to make a living with art. I am so lucky to have my wonderful, supportive husband who has always believed in me and encouraged me to keep pushing forward in my career.
Another huge struggle for me is interacting with my fans. I’m very much an introvert, and having so many followers can be anxiety inducing, especially with the constant influx of messages, comments, and questions. I’ve had to learn to take a deep breath, relax, and manage the various messages and tasks in smaller pieces.
My advice for starting artists is to be persistent and allow yourself to experiment with different ideas and mediums. Don’t give up, hold tight to those people who truly support you, and remember to take breaks when you get overwhelmed.
What do you prefer, single pieces or storytelling through a whole project? And what approach do you use in each case?
I prefer pieces that can stand on their own, but as I’ve created my collection of work, I can clearly see how many of the pieces are related. They seem to communicate and inform the design choices even across seemingly unconnected mediums.
Why do you use certain materials? What connects you with them, and makes you feel they are perfect for your art piece?
Most of my work is ceramic sculpture, but I also create paintings with watercolors and acrylics. The most alluring thing about ceramics, for me, is the way it transcends time. I’m awed by the ancient trinkets and figurines that have been unearthed, made by someone so long ago, and yet they still exist. I find the permanence of the material intriguing.
My paintings are more personal. I paint to meditate and calm my anxious mind.
What does ART, in general, mean to you?
To me, art is everything. It is so much a part of our world that we can’t separate it from being human. Even if you don’t make art of your own, you interact with it everyday. I sometimes feel that if I stop creating, I might cease to exist.
The FOURLINEdesign team would like to thank Starla Friend for sharing inspiring thoughts with our community.