Mel Gausden Q&A in Creators Vancouver

Off the trails of her successful debut at Art Toronto in 2017, Creators Vancouver's Elizabeth Newton sat down with painter Mel Gausden to learn which qualities makes one a successful painter. Read the whole Q&A here.

Mel's hotly anticipated exhibition 'Girls Gone Wild' opens Saturday, January 13th at Bau-Xi Vancouver. View the preview now.

Personal qualities that help me in my work are…
Stubbornness. My husband always tells me that I’m incredibly stubborn, and I think that it’s one of my strongest assets. No matter how many rejections, failed paintings or months where I couldn’t pay rent, I stuck with it. Being an introvert also helps. I spend most of my waking hours alone working and if I wasn’t an introvert I’m sure I would have gone a little crazy.

The greatest challenges around doing this work are…
Constant discipline. For the most part as an artist you’re not accountable to anyone else and it’s a lot of work to discipline yourself and be consistent about it. On most days I spend at least seven hours in the studio painting and that’s not including the administrative tasks like writing grants or proposals, or stretching canvas. Creating art is easy when you’re feeling inspired, but you have to put in the time even when you’re not and just keep working.

The biggest myth about this type of work is…
The biggest myth around being an artist is that most people see it as being easy. Because I enjoy painting, people don’t realize that it’s also a job. You have to put in a lot of time to even stay afloat. I don’t actually spend my days sleeping in, and going to coffee shops – I work ALL the time. Even when you’re falling asleep your brain is trying to figure out how to fix that painting you’ve been stuck on. You’re always on.

Read the rest of the Q&A at Creators Vancouver


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