Shoshanna Bauer is a watercolorist who creates vibrantly colored, inspirational and thought-provoking paintings. Locally, Bauer has shown at venues including Artists Against AIDS, Heartland Art Gallery and Madeline’s Confectionary Arts Studio. Tonight, she opens her art exhibition, “Dandelion Wishes,” at the indi go artist co-op in conjunction with this weekend’s Boneyard Arts Festival (her show continues through Sunday, April 18). Born in Colorado, Bauer moved to Champaign-Urbana when she was eight. She has called the twin cities her home ever since and continues to live there with her husband, daughter and four cats.
See why we think Shoshanna Bauer is a chambana mom to know.
Q: What are you looking forward to about your show this week at indi go artist co-op?
I’m really looking forward to connecting with new and old fans of my work that I’ve met through social media Web sites like Facebook and Twitter. Creating the art is fun but the most rewarding part is getting to share it with the world.
Q: When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve known I wanted to be an artist from the time I was 5 years old. It was only reinforced the older I got. In the third grade I would even refer to myself in the third person as “The Famous Artist”. I laugh about that now but I think my third grade self could really see it.
Q: Being an artist is your full-time job. What are the advantages and disadvantages of that in terms of work-life balance?
There are definitely both advantages and disadvantages. Right now in my career, I don’t think I could be doing what I do without the support (both financial and emotional) from my husband. I wish that wasn’t the case and that I could be fully self-sustainable but as with any entrepreneurship there is a growth period and I’m still in it. The advantage to being self-employed is that I am able to care for my daughter. Picking her up from school and helping her with homework. We get to spend a lot more quality time together. Having a flexible schedule also allows me to volunteer my time with her school or other organizations as well. I always try to let people know that I’m a full-time artist and that my creative skills are available in many different ways. And of course the advantage to being self-employed is that my energies for creating aren’t being sapped by working a regular 9-5. I can completely focus on my art and my business when I need to.
Q: Do you have any recommendations or suggestions as to how parents can help foster their children’s creativity?
Absolutely! You don’t have to just put their artwork on the fridge. Go to the frame shop with them and get it professionally framed! I feel it sends a really strong positive message to the child about how the parent sees their work when it’s in a frame. Another thing a parent can do is model. Do art with them. Even if it’s just coloring in coloring books. If you nurture your own creativity then you allow children to blossom in their own creativity. I feel that ALL people are born creative but that at some point we are told that it’s not valuable or useful. Sign up for parent/kid art classes. It’s never too late to learn to draw or paint. I tell my students who take lessons from me that drawing is a skill like playing tennis. Not everyone goes to Wimbledon but everyone can learn to play tennis. Drawing and painting are the same way.
Q: How can we as parents expose children to art in our local community?
There are lots of opportunities within the park district here in town that allow parents to expose their kids to art. Their are also festivals such as the Boneyard Arts Festival (this weekend), Downtown Festival of the Arts and the Art Hooha that parents can take their kids to.
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