Today we have an interview with Dawn Star Wood, an artist in the Elk Grove/Sacramento area.
Me: So, when did you first start drawing and painting?
Dawn: Mm that is a bit of a tough one. If we’re going with when I first became interested in it, I would have to say when I was about 3 years of age when my family was stationed in Germany. While visiting one of the castles, an elderly woman who was one of the care takers of the location volunteered to watch over me while my parents were on a tour of the historical site. While in that short period of time under her care, she taught me how to draw and color. After that, I was hooked and wanted to know all I could. Professionally, I started my career a few months after graduating college in 2005.
Me: Did you always feel you were going to be an artist?
Dawn: I believe so. My earliest memories in school were teachers asking the various students what they wanted to be when they grew up. Of course there was the standard teacher/fire fighter/doctor/business owner type of responses but I was the only one who would say “I want to be an artist”. This would usually be followed by the typical “That’s nice but that’s not a job” or similar statements of “starving artist in an attic/basement” sort of things. Even in college, I was told that a person changes their major at least 5 times but I was determined to be an artist.
Me: Who were your biggest supporters in becoming an artist?
Dawn: I would say my parents were the biggest supporters of it, quickly followed by a handful of close friends.
Me: What are your standard mediums?
Dawn: My main medium is watercolors but over the years I have also started doing work in mixed media, ink, and color pencil.
Me: Why did you choose watercolor?
Dawn: To be honest, the original reason was because after college I was completely broke. At the time I wanted to experiment and discover my own style instead of what I was taught, didn’t have any money but had left over supplies from my classes. Slowly experimenting, I learned what worked for me and what didn’t.
Me: Do you have a favorite piece, or pieces?
Me: What’s it like running your own business?
Dawn: Challenging. Not only are you constantly producing pieces but with work commissioned by customers, you need to constantly make sure you and they are on the same page. There’s also the consideration of doing your own advertising, bookkeeping, keeping up on supplies, and keeping an eye on events. You’re basically doing the work of 5 or 7 different people as a single person. However, even with the constant highs and lows over the years, it’s a rewarding and ongoing learning experience.