We had the good fortune of connecting with Newt Grover and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Newt, why did you pursue a creative career?
I wanted as much freedom to do my own thing as much as possible and I wanted to make a living for myself. The ability to mold what I am doing to do what I wanted. I started with Jewelry and that taught me how to become an excellent technician and work with my hands. That got me into custom jewelry which was amazing because it was much more challenging and taught me to use all the skills I had learned. It also allowed me to create my own art and that gave me a sense of freedom. I also got into art because it was challenging I am not having a good time unless I am being challenged. I now do glass art full-time since that is my true passion. Glass art really spoke to me because it made me feel for free and creative more than any other art. Glass blowing gave me so much to learn and an endless palate for my art. My dream is to make cool stuff and glass blowing allows me to make cool and creative stuff every day.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have a willingness to try things I have never done before. I don’t ever want to get stuck doing the same thing. I always want to change it up and make something different. I am also versatile and able to work on large or small pieces as well as technical pieces such as lighting and other home fixtures. You are always getting something new with my art. I am most proud of the fact that I am busy. I get to make really cool pieces that my customers love and that is an amazing feeling.
I got my start because I wanted to do glass blowing. It was not easy I had to learn to blow glass as well as learn how to build my own studio. It took years to refine my craft and figure out what I wanted to do with it. It is hard work but I was persistent and was always looking to evolve in my craft.
One of the lessons to learn is artists need to more aggressively move forward. I should have been bolder at the start of my career. It would have gotten me farther quicker and it would have pushed me more. I was a little tentative at the start of my career because glass blowing has evolved tons. I held myself back a bit and now I don’t do that at all.
What I really like about my artwork is that I am very customer-oriented. I want people to love what I make so I use my talents to make something I love and really take their input seriously. Art for the sake of art is not always the best use of talent. I want to make something spectacular that someone in their home can enjoy every day.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love downtown Phoenix on First Friday. The spectacle is amazing and there is so much great art going on in the area. Fishing on Saguaro Lake or the Salt River is one of my favorite pass times. Working on cars is something I love to do when I have time off. I like anything that will give me a good focus on something and makes the nosiness of the world go away. I also love meditation as a way to self-reflect. I love to cook so I don’t go out to eat a lot.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife’s support. She was integral in running this business and allowing me to focus on art and creativity. I also want to thank my patrons. They take a leap of faith when they commission me for a piece. I am always grateful that they believe in my work.