We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Altieri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, what do you want people to remember about you?
To use Maya Angelou’s quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I think about this a lot. Whether someone has purchased one of my paintings, taken one of my classes or participated in one of my creative events, I would most like to be remembered for helping people to ignite their moments of creative contentment. There are so many people who believe that they are not creative. But when they take a class or participate in one of my creative events, and they are visibly unquestionably elated when they have energized their creativity, when I think about moments that are most significant to me, that is what comes to mind. Tugging someone out of his/her/their comfort zone, kindling their creativity and then seeing their pure joy and surprise is priceless. To be remembered for helping to create those moments is, for me, what matters the most.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Not long ago, I was asked to complete a values exercise, to choose six cards from a deck of over 50 cards. Each card contained values, and my task was to choose those that were most important to me. I chose optimism, inclusion, individuality, kindness, empathy and creativity. It was through that exercise that helped me to recognize why I exist as an artist. Prior to that exercise, I equated success as an artist from a revenue perspective. From that perspective, I was failing. But, I no longer view success through that lens. This has been my most overwhelming challenge. As a result of overcoming this, I now recognize that my focus needs to be on increasing confidence and igniting joy in others through creative experiences, that creating colorful experiences, literally and figuratively, through the incorporation of the six values, is the most authentic definition of who I am as an artist. These values have defined the type of work that I do, where I’m going and provide the richest experience not only for myself, but more importantly, for others.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A public art tour would definitely make the list, but the hiking trails in Arizona are unlike any other hiking experience! Any visitor would appreciate the unique desert vistas, and the fact that you can go hiking any time of year. Phoenix offers very rare finds such as the Mystery Castle, which is a great way to spend a few hours. The Desert Botanical Garden would also be worth checking out, but there are also some in addition to some great day trips to check out unique spots like Jerome.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My spouse has relentlessly provided support and encouragement. Over the years, I’ve talked myself out of art and the pursuit of creativity more than I’ve talked myself into it. However, her unwavering reassurance has helped me to remember that being and artist is first and foremost.