What is the best thing that I love about my work? Making resonating connections with people through my artwork. It’s a wonderful exhilarating emotion to listen to the viewers stories, overhearing someone’s thoughts at an exhibit, or watching some of the viewers faces light up with wonder & magic in their eyes after pausing a bit to take a closer look at my work & holding their attention. Bringing out the inner child in everyone is my favorite part in most of the themes that I explore.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? More perfect moments with the ones that I love & getting lost in & inspired by nature.
What is my greatest fear? The corrupt side of human nature & disappointing my loved ones.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? My insecurities & I’m a worrywart.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? There are so many, too many to list, living artists are where I love to push the most support. I must say, though, that I greatly admire Mab Graves, her amazing work, her good business, her lovely personality, & her strength. Brian Froud, his illustrations & paintings greatly inspired me all throughout my childhood to this day.
What is my greatest extravagance? Camera equipment & motorcycles.
On what occasion would I lie? I greatly admire & prefer honesty, and I’ve been told that I’m brutally honest by others.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Business & self marketing side.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Now. After I complete each piece that I’m happiest with, watching my work progress with improving skills over the years.
If I could, what would I change about myself? My shyness & diminishing my self worth & my accompliments.
What is my greatest achievement in work? Telling a story visually, creating a magical moment for the viewer.
Where would I most like to live? I am quite happy where I’m at, in a small house in Northeast Ohio, surrounded by wonderful nature & the convenience to hop skip to a great live show, or stop at a terrific little shop or gallery. If I were to move again, it would need to be in a small cabin or cottage, surrounded by woods, & more animals.
What is my most treasured possession? Photographs of days long passed & particularly the photos of my mother & father. The photos with my father & myself are my favorites to look back to when I need extra strength.
What is my most marked characteristic? Empathy for life, determination, & sense of humor.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Nestled in Northeast Ohio, USA, there is a delicous mossy rooted ledge trail at Chapin Forest that heals me, I feel best when my mind is clear & my lungs are healthy from the fresh clean air & ears are full of the sounds of nature. One can almost see fae running alongside the chipmunks at play among the boulders & squirrels zipping through the old forest. The Ledges trail on a less busy trail day at Cuyahoga National Park is also a delightful experience that clears the mind, & heals, such an inspiring place, the waterfalls at CVNP also captivate, inspire, & fuel me. The Holden Arboteum gardens & some of their hiking trails a must stop for me. My daily walk around our own property, private trails, & watching & photographing wildlife, helps push me to create. Long motorcycle rides with twists & turns on gorgeous days, beautiful wooded roadsides, & the quick stop at a local park before coming home, fuels me, too. Local live theatre & good live music is also very inspiring for me as well. Home with a fluffy cat on my lap, & dog by my side or feet, smelling the amazing food cooking from my better half, while I sculpt, draw, or paint, also fuels my work & inspirations.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Home with my loved ones & friends, tabletop gaming at home with a group of friends & good food is one of my most favorite things.
What books influenced my life and how? There are so many loved books & stories I’ve read over the years, but I’ll list some of that greatly infuenced my artwork since childhood. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien, this epic adventure story opened my eyes early in life to the beauty of creating your own fantasy realm. Watership Down by Richard Adams, Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH, Redwall by Brian Jacques, & The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, the fascination of other sentient beings, besides humans, & the backstories of their lives always has fascinated & fueled my imagination. Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey, her worlds & stories were amazing, & unique, & such a delight to imagine. Faeries by Brian Froud, the worlds with light & dark fae, some tied from actual lore & the backstories of each one still fascinates me to this day.
Who are my favorite writers? Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Ursula K. Le Guin, Terry Pratchett, J.R.R.Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, & Jeff Strand.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Parsonfield, Skinny Puppy, & Adam Hurst.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Wonder Woman. I was mystified by her from childhood, watching reruns of Lynda Carter playing Wonder Woman on tv & I adored the comics.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My mother & father. My Dad especially made the biggest impact on me for who I am today. He taught me to get back up when I fell, the importance of honesty, & the value of how precious life truly is.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? I am a child at heart & perhaps that is why my favorite films to this day are still the beloved films from my childhood. The Dark Crystal hugely influenced me as an artist to this day. Sometimes I like to imagine what creatures would have been in that world, especially in the woods & create my fantasy pieces with that world in mind. Jim Henson & Brian Froud were one of the best magical teams ever dreamed up to work together. The Secret of NIMH is another film that greatly impacted me to this day, I still imagine the personalities & characters of the animals that I sculpt & paint due to that amazing world created in that film. Never Ending Story & Labyrinth, need I say more?
What role plays art in my life and work? It’s in everything & everywhere, creating helps keep me balanced. My soul would be crushed without it.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My parents were, but now it’s my fiance & perhaps some of my friends, too.
Whom would I like to work with in 2018? My goodness, why limit myself, I welcome someone to challenge me to do better work & together with someone. I love people, I honestly haven’t collaborated with many artists, I tend to usually work on my own & I’m probably the last person to initiate asking someone to work with me.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2018? The online artist friends that I have yet to meet in person.
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? Bigger projects. More exhibitions. More sculptures, printmaking, illustrations, & photography. Mastering & inventing new techniques & new mediums. There is so much more I’d like to add & enhance in my repetoire.
Where can you see me or my work in 2018? Sign up to my newsletter for latest news & you can check my calendar on my website, too. http://www.catswartz.com
May 19th, Art Fur Animals Fundraiser, I have a sculpture that will be auctioned in their private auction, & I will be in attendance. https://501auctions.com/artfuranimals
September 29th, House of Mews Rescue, Kitten Ka Noodle Fundraiser, I’ve donated some framed photographs for this fundraiser, this will be my second year donating work to this fundraiser & I will be in attendance. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-kitten-ka-noodle-fundraiser-for-house-of-mews-rescue-tickets-45076572241
I have some juried gallery art shows that I plan to enter throughout the year as I work at building my portfolio as well. Please look for announcements on social media & my website. If you follow me on social media sites, I also post sneak peeks, works in progress, & finished works. If you desire to be first to view my latest works & works in progress, you might like to check out my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/catswartz
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? My passion for art has never retired from childhood to present day, passion is a life force for anyone. I don’t want to think about retiring my passion for creating.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Stephanie Law, Octoplum, Marilyn Garrett, Anya Stone, Sam Crow, Kelly Kyv, Anita Collins, Annie Montgomerie, E. Ipolani, Gina Griffith