What is your name: Claudia Smalley
Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I received a BFA in Industrial Design at the University of Illinois in Champaign, then earned an MBA at the same university... a dual concentration in Marketing and General Management
What is the style of your pieces: abstract
What is the medium in which you work: watercolor and oil paint
What started you on your path as an artist: I've been drawing/painting/creating ever since I can remember, but more formally, I think it started with a box of 64 Crayola crayons that I received as a gift for my 4th birthday.
What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Calm. It is a true stress-reducer.
What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Architecture
Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: Yes - most are joint with my art partner, Magda Smolenska through a collective we created called "HOBOartlab" (see www.HOBOartlab.com). The events we hold are generally at wine bars or fundraising benefits. The showings differ from occasion to occasion, but are always enlightening and motivating.
Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: Not really - they just need to be comfortable.
What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? Art is very subjective. As an artist you have to know that not everyone will love your art. In my opinion, an artist should create whatever makes him/her happy.
What is your favorite sandwich of all time: It's a delicious breakfast sandwich made of over-easy egg, bacon & sauteed spinach/onion/mushroom on gluten free toast. I'm gluten intolerant.
Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: Yes, I recently moved back to Chicago from Los Angeles. Chicago is filled with so many art venues and museums, buildings known for their architecture, and so many galleries ... being in the midst of it all is inspiring!
Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Picasso
What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: La Pietà by Michelangelo - It was mesmerizing ... I could have stood in front of it for hours.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: Sure! On June 9, one of my works has been selected for donation for The Children's Place Association's "4 the Love of Art" auction/fundraiser. And for the months of September and October, my work will be displayed at the Chicago Public Library (Bezazian Branch).