We had the good fortune of connecting with Luke Watson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Luke, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
Developing multiple avenues of interest. My painting is my primary creative focus but even if you show up to the studio every day, it doesn’t mean you’ll get there ready to do your best work. Learning to be patient with completing work while redirecting my energy into alternative outlets when my interest and focus drops is a constant challenge, but when I find those several actions that satisfy my interest in different ways and moving between them creates a symbiosis that can amplify curiosity and productivity in your entire studio practice. For example, I have been teaching myself guitar, and have a few gardening projects in the works; when I’m in the studio I can work on a section and then take a rest by playing guitar for 20 minutes, when I’m home I can mess around outside and what I learn in the garden inspires and affects the work I make in the studio. Right now these three things are working really well to keep on rotation, they probably won’t always be but I try to remain a constant student so something else will develop with my interests.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My work is every increasingly exploring the Human-Nature relationship. There is a rift that civilization has cultured establishing humans as apart from the world, which is of course not the case – we are not only part of nature but cast a big shadow. Staying true to my interests while being open to new avenues of inquiry have kept me exploring these ideas of synthetics, organics, representation, and simulations. In other words, finding the conceptual lines of inquiry that have enough facinating niches to explore is what has allowed me to come back day after day and develop new ways to express those bridges and gaps between humans and the “natural” world.
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?
I’m big into the outdoors, so I would be eager to show them all the Sonoran desert has to offer. The Desert Botanical garden is one of my favorites (as well as the Arizona-Sonoran Desert History Museum in Tucson if we are up for a drive). I’m ever grateful for Phoenix mountain preserve an South Mountain for easy access to great hiking and mountain biking. Its on pause but the downtown small venue music scene is also a great time.
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?
Well right now ASU is impossible not to mention. I am currently in my second year working towards my MFA in their school of art. ASU has developed a really great program, fantastic faculty, facilities, and opportunities. I’m incredibly thankful to be part of it and working with amazing people all the time. I haven’t been able to see most of them in person because of Covid but the community has done a great job adapting and I’m happy to be part of it.
Luke B Watson