We had the good fortune of connecting with Luna Skelton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Luna, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
Something that has been both a personal mantra of mine and one that drives my progress and resilience as an artist and human is “I am better than I was, I will be better than I am.” I have no idea where I first heard it, but it’s something I’ve clung on to for a long time.
Personal growth and doing better by yourself and others is something that means a lot to me.
It’s also driven me forward with my art – I’m no stranger to feeling discouraged about my art, looking at it and knowing I’m not as good as I want to be – but I’m better than I was, and I’ll keep getting better. It’s gotten me through periods of poor mental health, and it’s gotten me through rough patches creatively. It’s a reason to always keep going.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think I would only recently have started considering myself a professional artist. It wasn’t too long ago that it felt impossible to call myself that. I’ve had to overcome a lot of self doubt and feeling unworthy, and I still have to overcome that every day. It’s also been especially hard to build up an audience. I market myself primarily through social media, and it’s been a struggle. I still work a day job in retail as my main source of income because I’m not at that magical point yet where art is something I can support myself on. That’s still a dream for me, and sometimes it does honestly feel unattainable – but I am in a lucky position where I have the time to keep working at it.
I focus on digital painting and I’m quite proud of my work with portrait painting. There’s something about the human body, and face, that I love to capture. Recently, I’ve been branching out and trying more illustrative art, and while that’s something I want to keep working at, my first love will always be portraiture.
I started up a Patreon last year and that’s been a journey. I feel so happy that so many people want to support me, and it’s incredibly rewarding to produce work for them every month. I’ve been doing monthly prints for my supporters and mailing them out, I love to make things for other people. It’s taught me a lot about my art process and given me the structure I need to make sure I’m working every week. Having people rely on me has been instrumental in keeping myself motivated and disciplined.
I’ve also learned that creating and nurturing a community is essential. I’ve built an online group of artists supporting each other, and I’ve created space in my dayjob to appreciate the artists there. That’s been almost as rewarding as the art itself.
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.
I love 16th Street Mall downtown! It’s one of the first places I take friends when they’re visiting. Mellow Mushroom is a great pizza joint to stop for lunch or dinner after exploring. Antique row on Broadway makes fun a fun afternoon, I love to go from shop to shop looking at antiques and used books. I would also take them for at least a day trip up to Breckenridge, go hiking there or at Mount Evans.
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?
I honestly have to dedicate this shoutout to my aunt, Sandra Hicks. She was a huge inspiration to me from childhood into adulthood, always encouraging me in my creative pursuits, which ranged from writing, to eventually painting. She helped me learn how to nurture my creativity and always pursue where that creativity takes me. One of the last things we did together before she passed away in 2019 was paint together, a moment that still sticks with me. She continues to be a huge inspiration to me – the love and encouragement she poured into me when she was here is still there, I’m inspired by her life and all she taught me to keep going, to keep motivating myself, to have a healthy relationship with my creativity.