We had the good fortune of connecting with Liz Vaughn and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Liz , do you have any interesting experiences or advice related to making friends as an adult?
Open your heart, be honest and be genuine. The value of true friendship cannot be simply enumerated. Really, how do you measure the immeasurable? Friendship is not a currency that you can take to the bank, there are no balance sheets. This makes it one of life’s most treasured and valued gifts. The feelings that we broker in are visceral, a direct path to our heart. These friends, these confidants, have the best seat in the house. They wait patiently in the wings, watching our theatrical production called “Life”. We trust our friends with our secret defeats, our desires to succeed, and our most precious dreams. We ask our friends to take care of our heart as if it was their own. There is only one commodity in this life that is that precious: Love. I love you. Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for making my life full of possibilities and for loving me as much as I love you.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
There is a passionate fire that drives us to create as artists. When you are in “the moment” and so sure of what you are creating, the feeling is euphoric. Being self-assured is not one of our strong points as artists. The path to this euphoria is elusive and challenging every step of the way. As creative’s we question everything. Am I authentic enough? Is my work good enough? How will my work be received? The only certainty is that we must create, and so we do. This is our greatest love: creating. Each painting is a lesson, a step forward or sometimes a step backward. As we learn to trust our creative process, we find there is no right or wrong way. We grow, we learn, we create. Then we begin again. “Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable than you imagine.”

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Assuredly we would visit a favorite local restaurant. Catch a new art exhibit or stop by artists studio. When you are in good company, everything else is fades away. Sitting outside on the patio can become the destination and the star attraction is your amazing friend.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would be remiss if I did not begin this answer with a nod to Alfred Quiroz, UA Professor of Art, and Gallery owner Steve Murray. Professor Quiroz taught me that there is always a choice in painting. Don’t be afraid to modify and reinvent the piece. If it isn’t flowing, paint over it. Sage advice! Gallery owner Steve Murray understood the dark artist angst, and always knew how to make the sun come out on a cloudy day. I cannot close this answer without a mention my friend and fellow artist David Tineo. “Tineo” as he is often referred to, is a local icon. He would generously share any trade secrets on painting, take the time to critique your work, and make you feel like you were Picasso. Priceless. My first glorious moment of artist recognition happened when I met established artist Luon St. Pierre. She lives a life true to her work, and is one of the most authentic artists I have ever met. First and foremost, she got me. She understood my creative process, and pushed me to reach for the stars – artistically and professionally. Admittedly, my work has progressed and evolved in those 18 years since we first met, but Luon was the spark that allowed me to move forward in every aspect. Assuredly my heart would still be an adolescent without Luon, Luon introduced me to Tana Kelch, owner and proprietor of Bohemia Artistan Gifts & Emporium. I could not have imagined the next level of artistic confidence I would find once I became a “Bohemian” artist. Bohema was described as a local shop where fine art and craft met funky kitsch. As an artist, you would describe Bohemia as a space that made your heart happy, a space where you resided and created as a community. I found my artistic voice growing strong while I was embracing new creative processes and finding that artist footing. Tana’s support and mentorship will forever be an integral part of my artistic growth and ultimately part of the foundation that I now proudly stand on. Lastly, I feel blessed to have fellow artists and collectors by my side during this journey. You make my heart happy, and inspire me to keep creating. Simply, I could not do it without you.

Website: https://www.lizvaughn.com Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/liz.vaughn Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liz.vaughn                          Other: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/lizgvaughn/liz-vaughn-original-paintings/ Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/lizvaughn

Image Credits
All images were taken by me, of my own work.