The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Shawn Huckins: Shawn Huckins, 32, Artist (Painter)
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
SH: I love playing and building fiddles. It allows me to still work with my hands, but it completely makes me forget about my studio work which I think is healthy. When I get back into the studio, I have a razor sharp mind ready for the day’s tasks.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
SH: My professional career is my personal work, so all the work that leaves the studio floor, I’m proud of. That’s not to say that I’ve created numerous horrible paintings that never see the light of day. I’m also pretty good at shutting off that creative part of my brain during off hours, so I can focus on my other interests.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
SH: The most productive are mornings. I like to keep my routines and having my cup of Earl Grey alongside the easel is the best way to start the day. I’m really focused. The creative process is a bit different. I wouldn’t say that there’s a time of day when it happens…it just happens. I do, however, find right when I wake up that an idea will manifest. Maybe it’s because I’m coming off a dream or an old idea is getting new light.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
SH: I don’t know if it’s a creative goal per se, but I’d love a new studio space that’s wide and open. My studio is quite small, so it’s difficult to create larger work. I feel, also, with a large space, there’s more freedom to let loose and experiment more.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
SH: I’m starting to love and get back into painting landscapes. When I first started painting and using oil pastels years and years ago, I would paint landscapes and I absolutely loved doing it. It allowed me to be more loose and I was able to use lots of color. After doing portraits for the last 5-6 years, which uses a lot of umbers and ochres, I’m feeling the need for color and light going forward. So, right now, I’m in an experimental phase getting my hand back into landscape and we’ll see where it takes me.
TCU: What scares you?
SH: Not being able to produce work that you are proud of on a continuing basis. Sometimes those creative walls are hard to get by and can hinder your production (not to mention a dent in your mental well-being as well.)
TCU: What does success mean to you?
SH: Being able to do what you love for a living. Money is important, but is second chair compared to a career you love.