We had the good fortune of connecting with Caitlyn Swift and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caitlyn, how do you think about risk?
Artists are risk takers: it’s the nature of the field. The term “starving artist” didn’t appear out of nowhere, and most artists you speak to would agree. It takes guts to go into the field, and it takes guts to put in the work. When I approach the canvas on a daily basis, there are questions I need to find the answers to, and risks I need to take to get there. Every piece of art that came to be today wouldn’t be here if an artist hadn’t rolled the dice. Risk was a topic discussed often during my undergraduate degree in fine arts. Some professors would even grade pieces based off of risk-taking. “Without risk factor, there won’t be improvement in the work. If necessary chances aren’t taken to create something memorable, you won’t be remembered,” a professor of mine once said. The fact of the matter is, hundreds of thousands of artists are striving to create original work in a world where nearly everything has been done. Risk is necessary in order to break through the noise and bring new things to light.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am only beginning on my creative journey, but I have always been an artist. I attended Pima Community College for the first two years of my undergraduate degree, where I was double majoring in American Sign Language (ASL) and Fine Art. After a year of studies, I began to realize my art was taking the back seat, so I doubled down and added a few more art classes to my schedule. I walked out of my first figure drawing class with Professor Michael Nolan, and dropped my second major in ASL. After seeing Professor Nolan, his work, and all he had accomplished, (as well as taking the best class I’d ever been in, only on the first day) I realized I was like him, and I could do it too. In May, I graduated from the University of Arizona with my Bachelors in Fine Art with an Emphasis in 2D Studies. Of course, this is around when the pandemic hit, so my focus has primarily been around my online shop where I sell my work, and my applications for graduate school.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When friends or family come to town, I generally take them to some of Tucson’s artsy treasures. I love walking 4th Avenue to visit places like PopCycle, grab a drink from Presta Coffee, and to scope out all the street art. Mercado San Augustine’s is another place I love to explore, where one of my favorite restaurants, Seis, is located amongst some other amazing shops like Mast and Bloom Haven. MOCA Tucson and Tucson Museum of Art are some places I may bring people to check out, especially when an exciting exhibition is on display. I also love hiking Sabino Canyon and adventuring through pop-up markets!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to my incredibly supportive family, professors Michael Nolan and David Christiana for teaching me all I know, and a few of my incredible friends within the creative community: Athena Solan, for always thinking of me, Perla Segovia, Gina Beca, Alexandra Lund, Paige Pflueger, and many more. I’d also love to dedicate this shoutout to the Drawing Studio, for being an incredible work place, a space for youth artists to express themselves, and an amazing addition to our community in Tucson.