Augusta Wilson is a painter from Atlanta, Georgia. She studied painting at the University of Georgia (go dawgs!) and got her MFA in painting from SCAD! We loved hearing her answers, and we know you will too!
What’s your creative specialty?
How did you start?
I've been painting all of my life. It wasn't until I went to graduate school at SCAD that I started to hone in on abstract painting. To be honest, for the longest time I didn't GET IT. I didn't understand how you could have a successful painting without a recognizable subject. I didn't understand why something seemingly simple could hold so much weight in the art world.
So, I started studying abstract painting. I took courses on art theory, conceptual art, installation art. I started to really pay attention to the abstract expressionists and modernists. I started to play with my own work, and explore the whys of my marks, color choices and mediums. I began to understand, and grow confident in my ability to create work that was seemingly simple, beautiful, yet explored real concepts.
It wasn't until after graduate school that I started focusing entirely on abstract painting, which of course was due not only to my increasing passion and study of abstract work, but sales! A few years after I graduated I gained representation from a major gallery, and never looked back.
How do you gain/gather inspiration? What do you do to get recharged?
I read A LOT. I'm a forever student. I'm constantly studying art movements and different artists (of all movements and centuries). I'm a lover of all things design-- interior design and architecture especially. I pay close attention to current design trends and am fortunate to work closely with many interior designers. I'm always inspired by their spaces, and am immensely flattered when my work is included. There are few things more inspiring then when a designer includes my work in their space, especially when it's used in a way I never imagined my art to pair with other items.
I'm an extreme extrovert, so entertaining is the perfect marriage of socializing and design for me. It's my ultimate way to recharge. Making a beautiful tablescape, creating floral arrangements, trying new recipes, and decorating my home are creative outlets that fuel my work on the canvas.
I also love shopping for antiques. Hunting estate sales, flea markets and antique shops is yet another way I gain inspiration, work that creative muscle, and consider both the old and the new when it comes to design.
What’s your favorite thing about creating?
My favorite thing about creating is the physical, tactile nature of my work. My husband, who works in the corporate world, and I were talking the other day about how he wishes he could just go out and work with his hands. He commented on how few people get to do that.
I get to do that everyday. I work with my hands, taking my ideas from my imagination to the canvas.
In fact, I celebrate that physicality in my paintings by creating layers upon layers of paint and pastel, allowing for hidden spots of excitement. I believe that physicality, that celebration of the paint, is what allows my work to be loved for many years to come by it's owner. After all, art is an investment, and my pieces are ones that I want to owner to find new things to love about it, to discover, as the years (and decades!) go on.
What advice would you give your younger creative self?
Don't be afraid to say no.
In the beginning I said yes to everything. I wanted every opportunity. It took me a while to figure out that saying no not only protected my business model and brand, but gave me the space to work on projects I loved. Projects you love are the ones that allow for you to grow.
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