Interview with Sara Golish

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As promised, here is my interview with visual artist, Sara Golish. I recently discovered her beautiful work and also had the chance to interview Sara. We talked about her work, her passion for music and colours, creativity and other interesting stuff. Enjoy!

When was your starting point as an artist?

I’ve always drawn and painted ever since I could pick up a pencil and draw a stick figure. 
I was the shy, quiet girl in kindergarten that would paint and draw by myself any chance 
I had. I could never get enough and I never wanted to stop. I memorized all the colours and the correct order of the rainbow I believe by the time I was five. I became very upset when anyone [including illustrations in books and on TV] placed the colours out of order. 
I remember for years kids my class would come up to me to ask me the rainbow order and colours. I was always very happy to help out and share my knowledge. It even went as far as arguing with my grade 9 science teacher about the prism colours.Luckily, I think he liked me and thought it was amusing!

Talking about colour, what is the importance of colour to you?

Colour has always played an important part of my work, although I’d say that usually goes for most visual artists. From my rainbow obsessed days as a child until now, no matter how bright and colourful, or muted and subtle, colours move me much in the same way music does. I can be stopped in my tracks by the richest red-orange that demands your attention, or by a strange and unpalatable to some, hue of a dingy yellow-brown, and stand there mesmerized by it’s beauty. Colours can evoke emotion, take you to another place, or  simply make you feel good. When I see a colour I really like, I take a minute to truly look at it, and it puts a big dorky smile on my face.

How have you grown and evolved, and how different is it now compared to when you first started?

I’ve grown and evolved collectively through years of my personal and varying experiences and interests. Through trial and error, new ideas, techniques and critiques. Though, the heart of what I do and what I love - women, hasn’t changed at all since I was a child. The women have changed and my skills have improved but my work today still continues to evolve and develop as I move forward. I’m always coming up with so many new ideas and always filled with inspiration, that I still haven’t got around to creating paintings I came up with years ago. Even my most recent work has probably been a good 6 years in the making.

What is the most important factor to you when working on a project.

Quality/wow factor. I’m not about pumping out a ton of poorly executed paintings in the name of making money - although money is always good - my main concern is creating pieces of high calibre. I’m not going to put something out there I’m not happy with, proud of, or wouldn’t want to buy myself. Quality over quantity for sure!

What is your perfect working mode like?

Music on always. I prefer to work outdoors when possible and during natural sunlight hours, however I am a night owl at heart and end up doing most of my work later in the day and late at night. Not good on the eyes or for colour matching ! However, my absolute ideal scenario would be to work in my future greenhouse-like studio in my backyard, next to the ocean, in my tropical paradise. I would need a really good sound system to listen to music all the while. I don’t think I would ever stop working, other than to take a dip in the ocean !

How do you pick your subjects.

I almost feel as though my subjects pick me in a sense. I see someone and for whatever reason, I’m drawn to them. Could be their style, their profile, their skin tone, their facial structure, I don’t always know but for whatever reason I find them intriguing.
I’ve approached models on the street, on transit, in stores, at various events and even on social media. I always hope I don’t weird people out, though I’m pretty certain I have with those that never get back to me.

What is the average time you spend on a project?

It’s very hard to gauge, as they range in detail and scale, but definitely no less than 20 hours per piece. That is not including research, ideas, sketches and canvas or panel prep time. I’ve spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours alone just on research and organizing my reference material over the years.

Most challenging project so far?

I’d have to say a painting I’m currently working on. It’s one of, what I would consider, my more simpler pieces. Yet there have been many mistakes, multiple re-dos and proportion issues, when I typically don’t have so many. And for the life of me, I can’t quite figure out why I’m having such a difficult time on her. I’m happy to say she’s finally getting there though... 

Reading your bio, you recently completed graphic & web design development, you are also a decorative painter and have done a lot of artistic projects. You also moved to Toronto to seek artistic challenge.
It seems you have thirst for expanding your horizon, how important is it to you and how do you enlighten yourself to achieve your goals?

I’m always looking at ways I can improve as an artist. I believe in the importance of constantly pushing myself to do all that I am interested in. I love the idea of being a type of Renaissance woman and anything new I try, I want to exceed at. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t compare myself to others. Character flaw? Perhaps. But I find that by seeing someone who I feel is more skilled than I in a particular aspect, pushes me to try harder and excel. It could also be, the possibly not so long lost perfectionist in me. 

Besides art what else are you passionate about?

Music is on par with visual art, possibly more, surprisingly enough. If I didn’t think visual art was my calling, I would definitely be doing something music wise. I’m also very passionate about eating healthy and being environmentally conscious. I care about what I put into my body and how we treat this planet we all share - and that is definitely the hippy in me.

Last great song stuck in your head.

I don’t tend to have songs stuck in my head, as I’m always listening to music, however, the most recent one I can think of would be Pete Rock’s “That’s what I’m talking about” featuring Rell.

In your opinion how will you define creativity.

That’s a tough one. We live in a world where everyone seems to appropriate from everyone else or our past histories, with this age of the internet and easy access to just about anything. We are bombarded every day by images and concepts and can easily seek those things ourselves for inspiration. So I suppose creativity is harnessing those elements and deriving something as unique as possible. Developing new ideas, when it seems as though everything has already been done. Or that could just be what I consider my own personal creativity to be.

Top 3 visually inspiring films.

Where is your favorite spot in Toronto?

In the summer months, the Harbourfront. I love being by open water and there are always great festivals and shows happening there as well.
During the winter/colder months, anywhere indoors that’s playing good music and has a nice vibe.

What do you like most about what you do?

Working for myself; making my own hours and working on my time, but ultimately doing something I love and am very passionate about.

Sara Golish :