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Check Out Samantha Lesan’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Lesan.

Hi Samantha, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Abstract visual expression has been a growing obsession of mine since childhood; the desire to create and paint, to express myself in ways that words could not. For years into adulthood, I painted with my hands in dramatic strokes to express the colors and images in my mind which were often triggered by strong emotions or music. In 2017, I discovered fluid painting to be an additional outlet for self-expression and actively taught myself. This excitingly snowballed into my own art business.

But I want to back up a minute as art is not my only passion. I originally went to school to study psychology and love learning about the complexities of the human mind. I spent the next eight years supporting survivors of trauma within social and crisis services in Seattle, WA. These men and women inspired me as they shared their stories of escaping danger and allowed me to be present while they learned to create a life in which they are safe to pursue their dreams. Within this environment, I discovered that art could be used as a form of therapy and healing. This was more fascinating to me than creating solely for aesthetic purposes.

In 2019, I left my crisis work job in which I was severely burnt out and took a sabbatical to pursue personal healing. I created a lot of art during this time for personal fulfillment, and friends started to take an interest and ask if it was for sale. I realized that I could make this into a job if I wanted it to be. I began actively teaching myself how to manage a business. Now I create art which celebrates life, beauty and of course emotive expression.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Definitely not a smooth road!

I knew nothing about running a business, especially an art business which has its own unique challenges. I dove deep into researching various entrepreneur’s approaches on pricing, marketing, social media, etc. which ended up overwhelming me and drawing energy away from my creativity. I found it was most helpful to focus on only a few specific artists/entrepreneurs with whose style and business approach I felt most comfortable and tune out the rest in order to create focus and limit the overwhelm. In addition, I thoroughly researched creativity practices and learned mindset tools to keep me prioritizing the process of creation so that I could keep creating for the long haul. I feel I have tools to combat creative blocks as they arise. Now I put just as much effort into keeping the creativity flowing as running the business.

I’m always happy to share with other creatives the helpful resources I’ve found in regards to both business and creativity, one timeless resource being “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. Feel free to message me on my website for more!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I mostly create paintings of abstracts, landscapes and cloudscapes. Some small, some very large. I typically use acrylics on canvas but sometimes use ink, spray paint and water for additional effects. I create for myself and also love collaborating with clients to create custom artwork to fit their unique space.

The colors and images in my mind are often influenced by emotion, music and nature. I choose color based on the emotion I am currently feeling or desire to communicate. In addition, I am often inspired by the beautiful lines and patterns in nature, as well as philosophical ideas and spiritual experiences. The designs in which I move the paint are both intuitive and planned, a beautiful marriage of both control and spontaneity. I love the experience of painting fluidly and using gravity to flow and layer paint. There are endless possibilities to interact varying viscosities of pigment into unique outcomes that mimic the natural environment. I enjoy sharing my pieces and hope they foster a connection with you.

What does success mean to you?
Enjoying the process and continuing to develop my own unique expression.

I’ve had moments of getting caught up in the excitement of my pieces selling, and while this is fun, it is not a sufficient reason to create. I’ve realized that if I make sales a definition of success, it will buckle under the pressure to create product. It can also lead to trying to please others’ tastes which will lead down a forever rabbit hole away from your own unique style and tastes, which is the only thing that sets you apart from anyone else.

In the words of Andy Warhol: “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

So now, my constant reorientation is: Do I like what I’m making? Do I enjoy the process? How can I challenge myself to grow further?

And if you happen to like my work, I absolutely love talking about it and sharing it with you!

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