We had the good fortune of connecting with Inktuce and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Inktuce, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work life balance is the thing I struggle with the most. I work a full-time job in addition to my art business, so it is very important for me to reevaluate the balance as I go along. At first, making art in my free time was a way to create time for myself when I wasn’t at work or taking care of other responsibilities, as well as a creative outlet. I then became more focused on steadily creating more art and allocating more time to that endeavor. For me, because I don’t solely depend on my art to survive, I try to have healthy boundaries around it. There are many times that I don’t submit to an art show or participate in a market because I feel I would lose out on sleep or other necessary relaxation time in order to make it happen. I also don’t force art to happen. If I am too tired or uninspired after work, I allow myself to relax. This sounds simple, but it is very difficult for me to put into practice. I want to make sure that art stays fun for me, and doesn’t seem like a chore or an added stressor. Overall, I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish with my art while holding a full-time job, and I still get 8 hours of sleep every night!
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I have dabbled in art since I was a kid. I took several classes in college, and I founded I was pretty talented at oil painting. I always intended on getting something other than an art degree, but I still made art occasionally, and definitely scoped out art events wherever I was. At some point, I realized I wanted to get better at drawing. At the time, I could only draw from a reference photo, which is why I forced myself to create an original character that had no basis in reality. My character Stesso was formed, and many people related to him. I struggled finding a style, but I am happy to say that after several years of constant practice, people tell me they can recognize my work instantly.
I think the most important thing I have done as an artist, aside from creating the actual art, is networking. I am always talking with other artists, or followers of my social media, making connections and forming friendships. I have a lot to learn from others and I love when I can help people find events, vendors, mediums, etc. Networking has opened many doors from me that I wouldn’t have found if I kept to myself all the time.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would definitely go to 4th avenue. Get a bite to eat at Brooklyn Pizza and explore businesses like Pop Cycle, Tiny Town, and &Gallery. While we were in the downtown area, we would have to go to the Steinfeld Warehouse to see Untitled Gallery and Subspace, and stop by Womankraft gallery. For a downtown dinner, we would go to HUB restaurant, which also features an ice creamery. The Desert Museum is a must-see, and we would stop at Barista del Barrio on our way out for breakfast burritos and coffee, and on the way back from the Desert Museum, we would stop at Taqueria Aqui Con El Nene for Papanchas (Sonoran baked potatoes). I would also take them to a Bookmans location, so we could peruse many aisles of new and used books, games, movies, housewares, and more. We could take our books up to Mt. Lemmon and put up some hammocks. Oh, and you can’t visit Mt. Lemmon without stopping in at The Cookie Cabin! We would probably finish each day on my porch, because I have great views of the amazing Tucson sunsets!
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 doubt I would be making art if it weren’t for the encouragement of friends and fellow artists. I have met so many amazing artists, even before I started making art regularly, that inadvertently taught me what kind of artist I wanted to be. I learned how nice it felt when an artist went out of their way for me, and I wanted to do the same. It brings me such joy to meet other artists and support them at their events, and that is the kind of support I get in return. I have found that the Tucson art community, of which I am a part of, is always showing up for each other.