As a way for you—our loyal followers and new fans alike—to get to know our artists better, we’ve started a weekly question and answer series to give you the inside scoop from our multi-talented resident artists. Although artists don’t often like to talk about themselves, I’m the lucky lady that gets to put them in the proverbial hot seat! So without further ado, I’m thrilled to kick off our “7 Questions with…” Q & A series with resident artist and photographer extraordinaire, Robert A. Hansen.
F & O Team: What advice would you give an artist starting to go public with their work?
Robert: Speak from your heart and let your career develop based on work that you are passionate about. In my case, I’m very fortunate that my commercial art pays my bills, but my fine art really feeds my soul. My own art is therapeutic, and about discovery of myself. For example, my travels through the Yucatan, were solely about finding myself and luckily, art came from that discovery and gorgeous inspiration. Bottom line: Don’t try to find your market—if you’re patient, it will find you.
F & O Team: Other than your own work, whose work do you admire?
Robert: I love modernist photographers like Paul Strand and Ed Weston; Strand was a master storyteller utilizing a large format camera and Weston truly lived his art. I also admire painters in general and try to cross-pollinate my photography with that medium. What’s really cool about Forest & Ocean Gallery is the mix of traditional art with new mixed media formats.
F & O Team: What do you love most about your medium?
Robert: I like the aspect of being a craftsman, in that I never work the same way on any given project and never really know what the end result will be. One shot can take me 4 minutes or 4 hours, and I would never know the difference in time. I literally get lost in my work.
F & O Team: How do you know when a work is finished?
Robert: I love this quote by Andrew Wyeth: “One’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.” I’d venture that a step further and include personal discovery. Sometimes I have moments of extreme, intense creativity and magic just happens. But really, you can only bring a piece so far without having discovery in your work as an artist. When you have discovery, it will finish itself.
F & O Team: If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
F & O Team: When you’re not creating art, what are you most likely doing?
Robert: I try very hard to take advantage of the California landscape we are so blessed to live with. I often meditate, and explore the coast on walks and hikes. It’s also very easy to find inspiration this way.
F & O Team: What is your favorite spot in Laguna Beach?
Robert: Hands down, Forest & Ocean Gallery!