From the historically expressive New Orleans, rich in it’s culturally defining regional work, comes awarded craftsperson and painter, Amy Schwartzmann Harvie. Lively and active in the local  scene. She is unafraid to venture into new domains showcasing her command over a multitude of disciplines. Her ceramics and jewellery range from the practical to the abstract functioning as accessories or furnishings as well as stand alone works for personal collections. Her paintings are characterized by smooth swirling colorfully arranged pieces whether subliminal and symbolic, or technical and natural. Her impact on the community is evident as her works permeate the city and maintains her presence  consistently supporting, attending, and participating in a wide variety of events.  Socially conscious in collaborations and product design she also uses her craftsmanship to raise awareness of social issues and funds for related.charitable cause.Naturally gifted without formal education this self taught artistic entrepreneur is in pursuit and clearly driven in her career.

 

Artistic Medium: Painting, Ceramics, Jewelry, Mixed Media

Years in Art: 29 years

Favourite Quote:

“Do what you can, and surprise yourself”  Coach Donnie Jarrell

 

[Q] How do you maintain balance between the creative world you pull from, and the physical world we live in?

As an artist, it is often very difficult to maintain a balance between the creative world and the physical world we live in. I am often torn between spending an evening creating in my studio, or going out with friends. The fact is, my friends and experiences are the material I need to create. If I did not make time for the joy and the laughs and ideas I share amongst great friends in beautiful spaces, then I would not have any fuel for my creative fire. My friends are constantly inspiring me with great ideas that push me to go just a little bit farther with my work.

Recently, I have been maintaining the balance by inviting these fantastic friends to bring their own ideas to fruition. We recently have been enjoying “crafts and cocktails” in my studio space. It is a Win Win Win situation; they are inspired and finally creating and I get to laugh and enjoy them while working on my own art!

  amy schwartzmann harvie ceramics vanichi

[Q] When and where do you feel most creative?

I believe having the space to be creative is absolutely essential to creating to one’s potential (which is why I am so happy to open my doors to those who do not have the space or the follow thru to get projects off the ground) My studio space is my creative mecca. I feel so lucky to have it and so pleased to have made it into a space that inspires me and inspires others.

I often spend my days in the office on the computer and phone- catching up with clients and marketing myself as best I can, but once that sun goes down, and the moon comes out, that is when I really get to work. My studio starts to call my name and once I am in there, I lose track of all time. I float between paintings, jewelry, ceramics, writing and mixed media works- giving all of my art forms a bit of my energy, and in return, they give me the energy to keep creating and bouncing back and forth between them.

 

[Q] What is your creative purpose as an artist?

My creative purpose as an artist, is to capture the beauty and the madness of this fantastic crazy world we live in. My paintings are a direct representation of the natural world we all experience. My mixed media pieces make time for the forgotten bits and pieces that most people don’t care about. To me, they represent the stories we hide from others…the things that embarrass us but make us who we are…these works encourage those untold stories. Mainly I hope to make the world more relatable, more enjoyable, and more beautiful.

 

[Q] Have you ever ventured from your comfort zone into a new genre of art? How did it go?

I absolutely love venturing from my comfort zone into new genres of art. I have always been creative but I started to take it more seriously while in college. In 2008 started painting Acrylics on canvas. From there, I met my [now] husband who was painting with Oils. He shared this form with me and I never went back. The oil colors are much more rich and strong than the acrylics I had used. Years later, I was given birch wood to paint on. I really enjoyed the way the wood drinks the paint- it is so much different than the way it behaves on canvas. After painting for years, I finally had an actual art space- this encouraged me to explore other passions. I started making jewelry which then got me soldering. Not long after that, I enrolled in a ceramics class. I was hooked. Since then, I have come to run my own ceramic studio. Next step is welding with large sculptures on the horizon!

amy schwartzmann harvie ceramics art

[Q] Why is creative expression important for a society and its people?

Creative expression has been an important documentation of humanity since before cave paintings. Art helps act as a time-marker; a way to share memories of a time, place, or space. But creativity is so much more than just art and paintings. All people are innately creative, whether they choose to realize it or not. Businesses would not exist without creative vision and society would not be where it is without businesses. It is for this reason that everyone must value their creative ideas. Catch them, hold them, and act on them! This world has been made more beautiful by the creative contributions of each and every human being.

 

[Q] What in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece?

Every step along the way! Forming an idea, getting the supplies together, putting the brush to the canvas, feeling like you messed up only to remember that it is impossible to mess up, knowing when to stop, and finally, convincing yourself it is indeed a masterpiece.