Today we’d like to introduce you to Maureen Clark.
Hi Maureen, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My favorite story from my childhood is one that my parents love to tell. It is of finding me outside coloring on the side of the house. It was white siding and apparently, I saw it as a big huge canvas!
During my grade school and high school years I explored every art class I could find. This included a fashion design/sewing class, as well as looming and ceramics.
I attending Columbus State for a couple of years, studying Graphic Communications and Multi-Media Production. Eventually, I stepped away from college. As a visual learner with some learning difficulties, I found traditional schooling was not compatible with my way of thinking.
It was at this time I decided to find jobs that would be fun experiences and to travel. There was a solo backpacking experience in Ireland, a move to Philly, and working Irish Festivals across the U.S. I worked as a bartender, Administrative Assistant at the Aveda Institute, and a clerk of courts in the domestic division. However, the normal 9-5 pm career was never really for me.
After moving back home to Columbus, I rediscovered my art again. I was then introduced to the Franklinton Arts scene. Shortly after I was accepted into Urban Scrawl, a weekend mural painting festival here in Columbus. Followed by several years of renting a studio at 400 West Rich and Chromedge Studios.
During this time, I started teaching Paint & Pour classes, kid’s classes, private art lessons, and summer art camps. This was through my business SOMO Art Studio. I also taught at Powell Village Academy and through stem classes at various schools. At this time, I also volunteered art services at the Ronald McDonald House and the Faith Mission.
Through a lot of hard work, I was able to go full-time with my art, commissions, and side art gigs. This sustained me until 2020 and the start of the pandemic. During this time classes stopped, as well as open studios and gallery shows. I eventually moved my studio home at the beginning of 2021.
Currently, I am building back momentum as the world and arts open back up again.
It’s been a wild ride and I can’t wait for what’s next!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wouldn’t call it smooth. But I would call it worth it. It’s very unpredictable and it takes tough skin. There are disappointments, setbacks, and too many times where you want to give up. Not a lot of people talk about this, but it’s so much a part of the artist’s experience. You will get more emails telling you your art was not chosen than acceptance emails. I’ve learned to detach from my art after it’s made. That detachment helps me to sell the work as well. It’s out of my hands now and into the world.
I’m not making art to gain a lot financially, although that would be nice. It would be great to raise my prices. However, I find that I can get by on the income, while just enjoying doing something that I love. It’s very challenging, that’s just the truth. But in my opinion, it’s worth it and that’s why I don’t give up.
Also, the Columbus Arts scene is very supportive and there are resources if you look for them!
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a self-taught acrylic painter with a focus on landscapes, waterscapes, and nature. My intent is to produce work that inspires calm, joy, happiness and hope.
The work consists of canvas painting collections, commissions,s and mural work. Mostly out of the greater Columbus vicinity and Ohio at large. However, I have collectors all over the U.S., from west to east coast and deep down south.
My work I believe stands alone because of my style. I use a thick brush application, in my own style that has organically developed. It’s a sort of modern Impressionism if you have to place it somewhere. Even though I paint different scenes and themes, my style kind of keeps it all wrapped up nicely together.
I would say I’m most proud of how far I’ve gotten in my career as a self-taught independent artist. But I try not to think about that too much! Haha. There is always another hurdle or personal goal to focus on.
Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I find that being in the community is helpful. Just being around other artists, sharing ideas, and collaborating. Sometimes just sharing your thoughts out loud is everything. The Columbus Arts Council and Ohio Art League are great. Join an artist’s group, take a class or join a figure drawing event. Anything to meet other artist’s and network. Apply for all of the things, but also be mindful of your work and the artist’s call. Make sure you are applying to calls that align with your art and vision. Just getting out there, it’s the hardest step. Just have to do it. I say this to myself constantly as well!
- Website: https://www.maureeneclarkart.com/
- Instagram: @maureeneclark
- Facebook: Maureen E Clark Art
- Other: TikTok @maureeneclark