We had the good fortune of connecting with Corinna Sayward and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Corinna, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued an artistic career because, creating art was something I was doing every day and has always been a huge part of my life. I knew I wanted to figure out a way to spend more of my time painting and creating art. Gearing myself towards becoming a full time artist felt like a natural progression, especially with all of the support I have/had around me. Being able to use my creativity to support myself brings me immense happiness daily.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets me aside from others is how open, raw and transparent I am in my work in order to prioritize and achieve human connection without judgement. I put myself out there, to show empathy is alive and well and speak on some of the things we go through in the human experience. I am most proud of allowing myself to create abstract pieces (The Chaos Study series) without worry if anyone will appreciate them, then watching those pieces get appreciated and well received. I am also proud of the companies I can say I’ve worked with and the fact I took the leap to approach them confidently.
I got where I am today by being incredibly persistent and carrying myself with confidence, even when I felt a little unsure. I would say it wasn’t exactly easy. I was brand new to a state I had never lived in at 21 and really didn’t know anyone. As far as getting into the creative community goes, I would go to local events, I would ask questions all the time, get involved whenever I could. But once I found the amazing network of artists here in VB( Virginia Beach) I felt right at home. I started creating daily. Once I decided I wanted to paint murals and really go for it full time as an artist It took a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice in my personal life. I was, and still am sometimes, faced with situations I had never experienced before. One thing about becoming a professional creative is- all we want to really do is create but you have to handle your finances, schedule, social media- all of it. It’s hard work. I overcome my challenges by never giving up, and that’s why having a great support system matters along with believing in yourself and your work strongly.
Couple of lessons I have learned. Pleasant interactions and keeping the human aspect in your business encounters will go a long way. Always have a contract, or at least a written agreement. Authenticity will get you far. No one else can create how you do, and that is what makes your work worth it.
I want the world to know that I run by one important motto: having purpose and meaning behind what you do (that you’re passionate about) gives your work a powerful drive.

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.
As a self proclaimed tour guide for Virginia Beach, I could go on for a long time answering this question’! But I’ll keep it short (ish) for this.. Of course the first place we would go is the ViBe district! Covered in beautiful murals (I’ve been lucky enough to paint a few!) and filled with some of my favorite spots including Three Ships Coffee. I love the fact they use local fruits to sweeten their fresh coffee, beans roasted in house. Virginia Beach is heaven for foodies. We have a spot called The Pink Dinghy that has some extreme tasty dishes and veggie options which, as a vegetarian I love. Finishing the day off- all within 4 minutes of each other- I’d grab a beer at Vibrant Shore Brewing. The environment is perfect for catching up with a friend and the beer is tasty. We would also have to hit up The Back Deck for an orange crush on Shore drive because, you cannot beat sitting right on the water and watching the sun set over the bay. I would then have to take my friend to Lost Planet which is a really unique walk through experience filled with stations set up to take fun photos and hand painted artwork done by local artists covers every inch. Walk down the street and you’ve got one of my favorite spots around, Flipper McCoy’s. I will always love playing skee-ball and air hockey at this arcade.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many people were a part of my success. I need to take a moment to shoutout my friends. Without my friends encouraging me and pushing me to chase my passions, I’m not sure that I would be as successful and motivated as I have been. My dad inspired me to pursue artwork since I was a child, I want to give an extra special shoutout to my mother. Most people can say their parents like to brag about their work but, my mom takes that to the next level. I can literally say, I wouldn’t have some very important connections in my life without her so thank you mom!
Thank you Rosemarie Spracklin for teaching me how to paint my very first mural and thank you John Gamble for providing the walls to apply that mural on!

Website: corinnasaywardartworks.com

Instagram: @corinna.elise

Facebook: Facebook.com/CorinnaSArtworks

Image Credits
Pic credits to Jason Brown and Dustin Furlow

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.