The Creative Unconscious: What's your name and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Robert Deyber: Robert Deyber, Artist, Self-employed
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?
RD: I live in the Litchfield County section of Connecticut, often referred to as “The Hamptons in the Hills”. The area attracts many affluent New Yorkers and celebrities who purchase second homes in the area. My partner of fifteen years, Robert Graham and I, acquire real estate and refurbish the properties and turn them into state of the art eco-friendly homes.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
RD: Somehow over time I’ve become an over achiever, even though I’ve had a very successful art career I’m never satisfied! I always feel as though I have not accomplished enough. I try to pack as much as humanly possible into one day. I wake up very early and often go to bed late, when I’m done with my projects. I never stop moving…there’s always too much to do. It’s what I’m used to, it’s become a routine for me.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
RD: Most of my creativity happens in the middle of the night which can be difficult. It seems every other night I wake at 3AM and within a few minutes’ ideas are coming into my head. I keep a sketch pad under my bed in order to sketch these creative bursts. The time allowed for this can vary from fifteen minutes…a quick sketch and back to sleep... or I might not go back to sleep at all…3AM is the start of my day.
Another creative period is when I’m the passenger in a car. Invariably I see things that give me ideas; I try to sketch these creative ideas quickly so not lose them. The most productive part of my day is usually mid-morning, after a cup of coffee. But mostly it’s a very static thing, if I think of something that blows my mind I’ve been known to get in my car and drive 20 minted to my studio at 6AM on a Sunday morning.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
RD: I started my art career late in life. I was an airline executive until the events of 9/11 terminated my career. As a result, I decided to take my hobby of painting and turn it into a career. My creative goal has always been to create art that moves people emotionally. To me, there’s nothing better than to have someone tell me that they found my art when they were going through a particularly difficult period and found my work cathartic and uplifting.
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?
RD: My work is based on the visual interpretations of euphemisms, idioms and colloquial clichés. This theme is a double edged sword. In one regard, it is something that excites me and challenges me to be creative, however it also creates barriers as to where I’m allowed to go in order to stay within the borders of the theme.
My current obsession is a sub theme called “Painting by Numbers”. The idea for this is to recreate well known paintings from the 19th century and early 20th century and place numbers next to the important landmarks in the image. Currently I’m focused on both Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper work. The reception to this series has been positive so far.
TCU: What scares you?
RD: For some reason I’ve become afraid of not accomplishing all of the things I want with the amount of time I have left. I absolutely have to build a house which I’ve designed. I also am writing a book, I’m on chapter thirteen with a severe case of writers block…all of this has made me afraid of growing old, but for some reason I’m not afraid of dying.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
RD: I’m trying very hard to be happy with the success I’ve experienced. I’ve been fortunate enough to have two rewarding careers. My airline career allowed me to see and explore parts of the world. While my art career has allowed my work to be recognized and collected by over 25,000 people and numerous celebrities.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
RD: I love dogs.