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Birmingham Shines

A show about the makers, creators, and innovators of the Magic City: Birmingham, Alabama.
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Nov 20, 2015

This week’s guest is Susan Shoemaker, a Birmingham mixed media artist. You can find her work around Birmingham and online. Just search for pencilpress.

Susan markets her work as pencilpress, which explains originated with her college art studies in printmaking and her love of drawing. And she also presses hard with her pencil. Hence, pencilpress.

Susan is known for her animal-focused art and she explains how she conceives and creates animal drawings, paintings and other pieces of art.

In our conversation, we touch on the creative process, art in schools and what it’s like to pursue art while working a full-time day job.

Susan explains how she gave up art for some years after college, while she worked full time, and then returned when she found that art was something that she could not let go.

Susan also talks about a few of the challenges that artists are facing—and they might surprise you. One is the challenge of dealing with bad weather during an outdoor art show. Another stems from the frequent requests that artists receive to donate their work for fundraising events. These are two things the artist community, overall, is facing and working to address, collectively.

We also talk about the challenges of pricing and value and perceptions of price, time, value and quality in the context of art AND food.

Susan's website is http://pencilpress.org (not .com)

Thanks to Chris and Ana Newsome for letting me commandeer a corner table at Ollie Irene at 4 p.m. one recent Friday afternoon to record the interview and thanks to the house staff for being so accommodating with the request to turn down the background music a bit while we were recording our conversation.

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