Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Curtiss.
Alex, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Creating art has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. From a very young age, my family and friends were very supportive of me and my artwork. My room at home was always my art studio with paint everywhere in sight. My parents allowed me to have as much creative freedom as I wanted growing up, and over time, I started moving from painting on a canvas to painting on my walls and making murals. I have made creating artwork a part of my every day for years because I believe it is something that takes practice; you will never be perfect but you can always improve if you put your mind and heart to it.
I am now a Registered Nurse at Cape Cod Hospital. I value my job as a nurse just as much as I value my job as an artist; for me, the two work hand in hand. My job as a nurse is the most rewarding kind of hard work, and my job as an artist is my relief, my form of therapy and my outlet to release all of the static in my brain that nursing can leave behind after a long day. I look at every day as a chance to teach myself new things when it comes to my artwork. I feel lucky and extremely grateful to have had so much support in the past few years and to be able to share what I love to do with others every day.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Like almost everything in life, growing as an artist can be a very rewarding yet frustrating experience during the learning process. It is easy to become impatient with yourself as an artist. There are so many times when your brain is telling your hand to do one thing yet whats coming out on the other end of the paintbrush is something totally different. In the past, I had only painted with acrylic paint and dreamt that one day I would be able to paint with oils with as much ease as acrylic painting brought me. I remember sitting in front of canvases for hours trying to wrap my brain around the ins and outs of how to move the oil paint around, how to blend it, how to become patient enough to wait for it to dry in between layers, how to use turpentine vs. water, etc. It was like I had to re-wire my brain to paint in a way that was so different than I ever had, and with time I was able to feel less uncomfortable and defeated by it. Instead, I became more and more excited to sit with a canvas and see what would happen.
If you are just starting your journey no matter what it is, it’s so important to have patience with yourself and confidence to know you can do it. It might take longer than anticipated, but with enough drive and desire to reach your goal you will eventually have something you’re proud of that was worth the effort and the wait.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into your business story. Tell us more about the business.
My style of art is constantly changing. Consistency in art has never appealed to me, as I am steadily evolving and shifting and therefore my art is too. I have never felt comfortable limiting myself to using only one medium; I usually explore with oil and acrylic paint, pen and ink and occasionally pencil.
Having been born and raised on Cape Cod, the ocean has always been a major part of my life. The ocean and marine life are often the subjects of my artwork, as I often paint things such as lobster, octopi, fish and water-like scenes. The ocean is such a beautiful place both above and below, and I believe it is so important to keep it healthy and alive. I have recently started to donate 10% of every piece of artwork I sell for ocean conservation because keeping the ocean clean is something I have come to feel very passionate about. Sharing my art with the world has been a very gratifying experience, and it is a good feeling to know that I can use my art in a constructive way to help the oceans and what is living in them.
Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Most of the networking that I have done has been through the use of social media such as Instagram and Facebook. I have met so many amazing and creative people through social media who I am now lucky enough to call my friends, all because of my artwork. Often times, people reach out to me on social media to be a part of their art show, to do a mural on their wall, to design jewelry charms for them, to design their tattoos, to do paintings for them as gifts – the list goes on and on. I am thankful that I am able to have that platform to not only share my artwork with other people but to also be able to see what other artists are doing and to gain inspiration from them.
- Website: www.alexcurtissdesigns.com
- Instagram: @alexcurtiss
- Facebook: Alex Curtiss