Lucy Sharf an artist working with oil paint, clay and wood. She was born in England, raised in The United States, and currently lives in Israel with her family.
Her recent sculptural body of work is mostly constructed from her mind but is highly influenced and informed by the many years she spent working from live models and nature and by her engagement with art.
Carrie: When did you first realize the importance of art in your life?
Before my senior year of high school, a guidance counselor sat me down and took the time to look through my records and ask me what I actually enjoyed doing. The next year I ended up being signed up for advanced placement art, photography, ceramics, existential literature, and a couple of other low-level academic classes (I could actually pass).
It was the first year for as long as I could remember that I actually got good grades and was invested in my school work. I’m still proud of that report card. This was the beginning of art taking up a big part of my time and identity.
Carrie: How would you describe your art?
My sculptural pieces are figurative but are constructed from my heart and mind. I see them as moments of experience and emotion frozen in time.
Carrie: What does your workspace look like?
My workspace is just a large bedroom in our house that we converted into my studio. It’s nothing very special structurally. Although, when bodies of work pile up and my pieces multiply it always becomes more and more a place of refuge to me. Right now, as I work, I am surrounded by a great many little white figures of various positions and moods.
Carrie: Can you describe your artistic process to readers? For example, do you follow the same pattern and track when you develop an artwork from idea to product?
I usually work on one subject matter or theme at a time for many months or even years. Each new piece comes from an initial idea, usually inspired by something I saw or an experience I had. If the idea I started with isn’t working I try moving things around until I feel some kind of emotional resonance or familiarity with the piece. I like being surprised by what comes out.
Carrie: What do you hope viewers take from your artwork?
First and foremost I hope that people feel like they have seen something beautiful and honest walking away from my work. Also, because a lot of my work comes from a place of emotional hardship, I hope that people who see my work and relate to it can feel a sense of comfort and validation knowing that someone else understands their experience.
Carrie: What do you wish you knew that you now know about your creative process?
That I am much more flexible in terms of medium than I originally thought and that using new media can bring new inspiration and forms of expression.
Carrie: You work not only in 3D, but you also paint. How do you think working in multiple materials informs your practice?
Each medium informs the other. When I paint I do it from life in a very traditional observation-based way. This is how I was taught and it feels natural to me. My sculptures are made up, but are highly influenced and informed by the many years I spend observing and transcribing nature and live models.
Carrie: What strategies do you use to help yourself when you feel “stuck?”
Thankfully I haven’t been stuck for a while but when I need it, I give myself a non-judgmental “Netflix and my bed” day or two. Sometimes it feels necessary. I work hard on keeping myself balanced and energized with exercise, meditation, and whatever else I might need. Before implementing a lot of these habits I would fall into long periods of darkness and self-loathing which would take me out of my creative flow way too often.
Carrie: What has been one hurdle you’ve overcome as a creative and how did you navigate that problem?
I went to an excellent painting school in Jerusalem called the JSS. They taught me invaluable skills and lessons of which I will always refer to but for a long time I didn’t feel like I could find my own voice. I think this is natural after art school. It wasn’t planned but switching mediums helped me access different parts of myself and creativity in ways that feel distinctly my own.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
At the moment I am most inspired by ancient sculpture. Each ancient society had their own completely unique visual language which directly informs our understanding of their time periods and cultures. I humbly strive to do artwork that describes my own experiences and feelings in this world in such a clear and powerful way.
Carrie: What does the word artist mean to you?
It is hard to define but I believe it has to do with the pursuit of mastering something. The word practice comes to mind. A lot of it.
Additional Contact Info:
Lucy Sharf on facebook and @lucysharf on instagram
Lucy is spending less time on social media and more time on her art. Get monthly updates about her work by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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