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

Hi Janet, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
When I consider my business and how it helps the community and the world I return to my two-fold purpose: Firstly, to honor the desire, passion and need in me to create and Secondly, to honor others by sharing my works of art with them. It is my belief that every person possesses an ability to create. Some create laughter, others healing, while more people create homes, food, buildings, music and everything around us. When I am teaching and coaching it is my goal to encourage each person I come in contact with to develop and share their own unique creations. That is how we better our communities and world. By sharing both my artworks and my teaching I believe that I am helping individuals throughout the world.

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.
In my experience, trusting oneself to follow the creative vibration and energy in their own person is one of the most challenging things to overcome. From an early age many of us are taught to conform and are labeled or compartmentalized within our cultural systems thus suffocating, or at best suppressing, our creative tendencies. It has taken me years to unlearn lessons and rules that don’t support my intuitive practice. I have learned many processes and techniques that are most helpful. Here I am referring more to “right and wrong” creative actions. When I was in Kindergarten we were working on a holiday color sheet of Santa Claus and a fireplace and chimney. I was coloring my fireplace bricks with a rainbow of colors. (Imagine that!) My teacher stood over me and instructed me to color my bricks all the same color, brown or red. While they likely had the best intentions, that is how our joy and excitement at freely creating can be shut down. Further down the road, I went to University to study art. I lasted one semester! I was miserable and completely lost. I am grateful to have not given up and continued to practice, grow and develop the creative fire in myself. One of the most often asked questions I receive is, “How did you develop your own style?”. I’ll share the answer here… WORK! Endless hours of painting, drawing, coloring and whatever else caught my attention. In doing that I found my unique and recognizable style that sets me apart.
Along the way I’ve learnt that social media is a tool and must be kept in the toolbox and not allowed to run the show. It has created wonderful opportunities to connect with people around the world; however, it can also become the meter by which an artist judges their work. I believe that is a false standard and unhealthy both mentally and emotionally. Social media breaks and time limits are a non-negotiable in my world.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
What a lovely thought to imagine a week long trip with a best friend! First off I would want to find an Air BnB or locally run lodgings in which to stay. I would check out and plan visits to any National or State Parks in the area for some day hikes, nature walks, enjoying the native flora and fauna and wildlife. Restaurants would be next on my list and I’d want recommendations from the locals so we could enjoy authentic cuisine. I’d love to find some antique shops, a spa and of course, any local art galleries or flea markets! We’d also have to find the best coffee in town to enjoy each and every morning!

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?
First, it is important to say that I deeply appreciate the thousands of emails, messages, notes and calls I have received in support of my artwork and teaching. I never cease to be in awe of the lovely words of encouragement and heartfelt stories of how my workshops or artworks have helped others or brought them joy. I do want to give a special shoutout to my three sons and daughter (in-law). They have always been so incredibly supportive and encouraging. They’re also helpful in practical ways whether it’s technical issues (the bane of my existence!), wiring paintings, shipping, delivering and more! Their belief in me has grounded me when I’ve found myself without direction or inspiration. They all live creative lives and we share so many ideas, inspiration, laughter and messes! I am so grateful to have them in my world and love them beyond words.

Website: www.janetskates.com

Instagram: @janetskatesart

Facebook: Janet Skates Art

Youtube: Janet Skates Art

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