We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Sabey Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matthew, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision I ever had to make was choosing my own happiness. Many folks struggle with this concept on a daily basis and never end up choosing themselves in order to make others happy or to “please others.” But in the end, how in the world could you be happy if you yourself do not find happiness and fulfillment first? Therefore, as difficult as it may be, I choose my happiness first in order to be there for others because that way I have a full cup to pour from.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Whether or not to become a fine artist was never a question for me. Since I was young, creating artwork and exploring the outdoors were the driving passions that made me feel most alive. I had a lot of people tell me “you can’t make any money as an artist, you will starve” but I simply never listened. In college, I graduated with a studio art major and biology minor and spent the majority of my time working with charcoal and acrylics. While I loved to create just about every type of art I could think of, the pivotal moment in my life arrived when my father passed away. You see, my father was my role model, my confidant and my best friend. He introduced me to the outdoor lifestyle and loved the arts like I did. My father enjoyed artwork that involved nature, the mountains and wildlife. When he passed away it was as if his spirit molded with mine. When I began creating my first outdoor themed artworks, it was as if my father began working through me and inspired endless creativity. As time continued, I have felt as if my past ancestors now work through me and inspire much of my artwork. When I am creating I feel as if I simply become the vessel. While art has always been a passion of mine, it has evolved into more of a spiritual practice where I connect to my history, my “primal roots” if you will. The creative process is how I have become grounded in myself, and is now a way I can learn from those who have experienced this world before me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hands down head straight to Rice Paper downtown for a large Pho Dac Biet or across the street to Thai Recipe Bistro for some Tom Sapp Soup and Pineapple Curry with beef. Wonderful businesses and amazing food! Take my friends out for a good country swing dancing night up in Cave Creek after some bbq and Bull Riding at The Buffalo Chip. If they are adventurous I would take them for a hike in Sedona which isnt too far away, an overnight camping trip on some public land in Flagstaff or if they are feeling a drive, an overnight at the Mogollon Rim! And of course we cant forget taking them hunting and fishing over in Payson! Probably check out the Phoenix Art Museum (I love it there) and show off the sport stadiums for all our AZ teams. Then of course go for some nice small business restaurant touring down in Tucson for a day and walk around University of Arizona. For a more local tour, visit some of the galleries over in Old Town Scottsdale and stop for some tacos at Loco Patron. I would love to take them to the farmers market when it is in season over on bethany home near the church. And last but certainly not least, head over to one of the local health food stores (Natural Grocer, Sprouts, Whole Foods etc) and pick up a Goji Rose Wild Tonic Jun Kombucha which is made right in Cottonwood, AZ!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife is my rock. She is always there supporting me and is doing so much good for the world through her ModiYoga business and her coaching business Affirmations & Innovations LLC.
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