We had the good fortune of connecting with Kara Marshall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kara, how do you think about risk?
I think risks are necessary. It wasn’t until recently, when I retired early from my job to become a full-time Artist, that I saw myself as someone who takes risks. I started my Art journey about 5 years ago when an injury could have taken me out of work. I thought, what if I cannot go back? That is when I decided to pick up the paint brush and begin to chip away the fear and doubt that was instilled in me. It was about a year ago, when I found myself in a situation that left me with no other choice than to leave my job. I thought to myself, there’s a pattern here. I believe it is important for us to be happy. We get caught in the rat race and hamster wheel of life. We forget we are given a gift to share. It’s when we tap into our gift and take a leap of faith that things really change and really start to open up. These opportunities aren’t handed to us on a silver platter, and when they are, we get caught up and our expectations do not match our actions. The cycle begins all over again and then, 20 years down the road we feel lost and wonder where all the time went. I continue to ask myself every day, what’s one thing I can do that takes me out of my comfort zone? I then choose to do it and if I do not? I realize down the road that I find myself stuck and the race begins. Without all the risks, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I take risks to keep me on my toes. Little did I realize, I have been doing it my whole life. It’s probably what got me into the most trouble growing up. I always liked to go against the norm. Suits me well as an Artist. I wish this freedom for everyone.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Because I did not attend an Art school, I am able to play and experiment with all the different media and develop my own style. Art was my favorite subject growing up so I do have what background was given to me and learned the elements and principles then and when I taught art for 2 years. I get to improve upon these skills in my own time and learn from what works and making mistakes. I make my own rules. And I learn from other artists. It has not been an easy road. I knew I was meant to be an Artist. And as most know, it is not always considered the best career path. I had to overcome the programming that I wasn’t good enough to go to Art school, and you can’t make money as an artist. These are some strong limiting beliefs. I had to overcome these even to step up to the blank page and canvas. I conquer these challenges by putting one foot in front of the other. Every mark I make brings me closer to success. I want the world to understand that Art is a real career. I can guarantee everyone has some type of art hanging on their wall or have used it in their own life. It takes years of practice and learning to accomplish one small idea. Artists are worthy of being given the recognition they deserve from the hard work put in.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First Friday Art Walk in Downtown Phoenix is a must do! So many galleries and artwork to take in, not to mention the great restaurants, breweries and other venues that line Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue. There has been so much development in the area in the last 5-10 years, and it’s still growing. Even in outlying areas you will find so many galleries!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center has become a pillar in my life. With my injury, I found myself alone and no where else to turn except God. The messages by Reverend Richard Maraj and Reverend Richard Rogers gave me the understanding and wisdom needed to follow my dream. It brought me back to the time I was in the Youth Group in high school in Michigan at Unity. It brought me back home. When I retired, I was given the time and opportunity to give back. I now volunteer with the Youth of Unity, something that I never realized was missing in my life and was not able to do with my other jobs. The students really encourage me and inspire me to keep going as well. I would not be where I am today without this wonderful community.
Rachael Buffett (photo of artist)