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The power of love

Interview with Lon Levin

The theme in my art? Well, it can come from anywhere. It often starts as a fleeting thought or a scribbled note on a napkin, sometimes even from an inspiration strike while I’m staring at another artist’s work, wondering how they managed to create such magic. Then it either grows into a fully fleshed-out concept or stubbornly stays static, like my dog April refusing to budge from a sunny spot.

 

My worldview is positively optimistic, a deliberate stance amidst the chaos and negativity that seems to permeate our daily lives. I believe that the more positive imagery we can put out into the world, the better. Whether my work is a vivid celebration of the natural resources we share on this planet or an exploration of romance and love, I always strive to leave viewers with a sense of the positive possibilities life holds. After all, in a world where doomscrolling is a hobby, a little bit of beauty and hope can go a long way.



1.     Please tell us something about your background and your art journey so far.

My art life is my life since I was a boy. I’ve always thought in terms of images. When I was younger it was about developing my skills trying to master the different tools offered. However, my parents and teachers noticed I seemed to be in my own world not paying full attention to schoolwork. The only other  interest I had was playing sports, which was a bit more acceptable. So other than drawing on the walls of my closet I played baseball and basketball. I reached a high level of ability during my school years which push my interest in art to the background.  It was in college that my love of art was rekindled. And drawing and painting was  my main focus. I became enveloped in the art world and everything took a backseat. I achieved two degrees, graduating from UCLA Fine Arts and Art Center College of  Design in Illustration/Advertising. My education prepared me to become a working illustrator art director and designer. Over a few decades I reached a level of achievement that paid well and brought accolades. Unfortunately my focus on my art and career took a toll on my private life. I was divorced twice Fortunately my salvation was my art.  I had to accept the fact that I lived in my own creative world and few partners could handle the lack of attention to our relationships and their feelings. I left the commercial at world and started to exhibit my own work. I also did a lot of thinking and reflection about my relationships and I became more thoughtful about other people’s feelings. I met my current wife 14 years ago and our personalities fit each other beautifully. Out of our love for another and my understanding of how to become a better person, artist and partner our relationship has flourished. A certain balance has been achieved and out of it my art has reached a level of mastery  I am happy with.

 

2.     Could you share any difficulties and hardships you had to face in life and how or  if you managed/overcame them?

I believe any artist is responsible for whether they are lonely or not. With so many ways to stay connected these days, there's really no excuse. Sure, creating art means you're often alone, but that doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. I make it a point to take breaks throughout the day—grabbing coffee with friends, strolling into town, or driving to different parts of the city to explore what's happening locally.

Over the years, I realized it would be all too easy to just stay home working and never make contact with anyone. Or worse, sit on the couch and binge-watch TV all day. So, I pushed myself to be more outgoing, to talk and meet with friends, and even to engage with other artists about art and technology. I stay active and constantly challenge myself to be a better friend, a better artist, and a better human being. This means interacting and not buying into the cliché of the lonely artist.

If I did that, I'd probably end up talking to my paintbrushes, and let me tell you, they're not great conversationalists.



3.     What are you working on at the moment and are there any upcoming events you would like to talk about?

I’m working on a series of paintings, drawings and digital art called "Celebración Romántica". "Celebración Romántica" is an exquisite series that delves into the enchanting realm of romance, capturing the profound and multifaceted nature of human connection. Each piece in this collection radiates the timeless elegance and emotional depth that define romantic experiences, from the thrill of new love to the comfort of enduring partnerships. Through a masterful blend of traditional tools and digital techniques, the artwork evokes the intimate moments and grand gestures that make romance a uniquely human celebration.

 

In "Celebración Romántica," the tactile essence of colored pencils, the rich vibrancy of oils, and the intricate details of digital artistry coalesce to create a visual symphony. This series not only portrays the beauty of romantic relationships but also reflects the artist's deep-seated conviction in the power of love to transcend time and circumstance. With every stroke and pixel, the series invites viewers to immerse themselves in the poetic dance of romance, to feel the warmth and passion that connect us all, and to celebrate the enduring magic of love.



4.     Describe what a normal day looks like as an artist.

Normal day? Seriously? No such thing. Now, scheduling work and play—that’s another story. From my years as a creative director, I learned that nothing gets done unless it’s scheduled. I used to have to account for every 15 minutes of work and attribute it to a specific project. That way, we could assess how much we were spending on a project and if it was cost-effective. I am certainly glad I don't have to do that anymore.

These days, I loosely schedule my own work so projects don’t linger like unwanted house guests. To successfully create work, you need to commit to a timeline, especially if you want to work with galleries or museums like I do. Another benefit of finishing work on schedule is that you can move on to new ideas instead of letting them fester like last week's leftovers.

So, a normal day for me? If I must confess, it starts with feeding my two dogs and letting them run around the backyard to do their business. Then I do about 10-15 minutes of stretching. Anyone over fifty knows this is vital pain management. Next, a fresh cup of coffee—a double shot of espresso rocks my world—and I watch some news.

Around ten, I start to review notes, emails, etc. After that, I dive into creating: painting, drawing, working on the computer, or whatever is on the menu for the day. After a few hours, I stop to exercise at the gym or take a long walk.

Back at the studio, it's time for my afternoon creative session. Maybe I even contact a few galleries to let them know I’m still kicking. Afterwards, it's family time. We enjoy each other’s company, the dogs, my wife, and I take another walk, appreciating our good fortune to live in a friendly and beautiful community.

It’s a mix of work and play, a dance between structure and spontaneity. And yes, it’s a bit like herding cats, but it works for me.


Instagram:  @lon_levin_art

 

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