Q&A: Katherine Simdon, Artist and Owner of Overt Space
We can’t get enough of hearing fellow creators’ stories.
The moments that define us, the decisions that we made in order to get to where we are now - they’re all so varied, so special, so individual. We almost can’t believe that they all led up to this, our ability to do what we love and share it with others.
But, hindsight is 20/20. We digress.
Today, we’re taking a look into the life of Katherine Simdon, an artist and owner of Overt Space, whose art is currently featured at Dune Gift + Home. We’re obsessed with her abstract work and mixed media pieces, and we can’t wait for some of you to start hanging them in your homes.
Now, meet the artist behind the masterpieces. Let’s jump in with Katherine.
How did you get to where you are now?
In AP Studio Art in high school, I developed a passion for photography. That led me to Missoula, MT where I attended Rocky Mountain School of Photography. I was so inspired by the printing process that I started a fine art print lab called Paper & Ink Studio. With the printer in hand, I started to experiment with printing on different materials - homemade paper, weed barrier fabric, metal, clear film, basically anything I could run through my wide-format printer. After I sold this business, I began to explore other mediums.
For about a year now I have been painting, which was another hobby I pursued in high school. I love that I don’t need to be in front of my computer, like I did with photography or printing. The paint can sometimes be unforgiving if it falls where you don’t want it, but it can also make happy mistakes. I now use my printer to print out different colored transparencies, which I use to place over the paintings to give it another layer. I am starting to make some sculptures with layered transparencies and acrylic...but that’s for another blog post. ;)
What made you want to start your business?
I am an entrepreneur. It’s in my nature to start things. I have started two successful businesses and sold one. I am so passionate about making art, but until recently, I didn't think I could make it a career. My new art business will be my third.
Who is your art for?
This is a tough question. I’m an expressive artist and I put my emotions into each piece. My artwork shows how I am feeling at that moment or it may reflect a specific time I want to remember. If you feel something from its energy, then it’s for you.
What are your plans for your business next year? In the next 5 years?
Right now, I am applying to a lot of shows and galleries, but I have no definite plans for how it will roll out. I am just working hard and putting myself out there and taking on new opportunities as they come. It’s the first time that I've had no idea where I could go with my business. This is one of the things that excites me so much about starting on this journey.
What’s inspiring you right now?
Vulnerable humans, the movement of birds, lavender plants and lavender oil, the color of the sun when I close my eyes, and stairs.
Can you walk us through your work routine? What helps you prepare to make art?
As an artist I am creative, but I also have a side of me that needs to be organized. I usually plan my week on Sunday night, listing the top three things I need to achieve each day. I wake up early and start my day. I typically only paint for about 2 hours at a time to keep my creativity fresh. A lot of work I do is on the computer: emailing, ordering, editing images, research, applying for shows and galleries, bookkeeping, etc.
How would you describe your style?
Minimalist, abstract, and intuitive.
What is your favorite scent?
The crisp fall air in the morning.
What is your favorite item in your home?
My Sonos speakers. I love it loud all throughout my house. I'm convinced that life without music would be extremely boring and lame.
Do you think there’s an item that every home should have?
Art. Not only art that you understand 100% but also art that makes you think deeper. I believe that good art expands the mind, and it makes you a more open and well-rounded person.
Do you have a personal motto?
“Be a sponge.” It’s what my mom would always say to me and my sister as she dropped us off for school. It means to soak in all of the knowledge like a sponge soaks up liquid.
Any advice for small business owners or artists?
This question should be “and” not “or”. Artists are also running a business. Your art is a product, which means you have to showcase your work, market it, get the high quality material to make it last so people want to invest in your work.
I suggest reading business books. A couple of books that stick out to me are Art/Work by Heather Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber and The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. I also recommend taking some online classes. CreativeLive was a great resource for me. I am passionate about the business side of being an artist almost as much as making the art.
If you have questions, I would love to chat about the business of being an artist. You can reach me by email at email@example.com.