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

Hi Lydia, how do you think about risk?
I attended college for a year after high school and dropped out since I was dissatisfied with the curriculum and felt I was wasting my savings. For the next 7 year I worked a series of jobs that were not fulfilling. Deciding to go back to school at 26 was risky since I had financial obligations that forced me to work full time.

The degree I wanted to pursue (graphic design and fine art), was offered during the day so I had to work two jobs (part time night in the evenings and a full time day job) for a year to save money. This would help me attend school for a period of time and (hopefully) find another job that worked with my new schedule. I had to have faith in myself and my ability to make this career change happen. I remember being terrified as I drove to attend my first class, thinking I was making a big mistake!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After owning my own design business for 20 years I decided to rebalance my career. A desire to create a more personal vision led me back to fine art and making that more of a priority. The discipline of running my own business in design really helped me understand the business side of art— painting and drawing are only part of the equation.

It’s all hard work but extremely fulfilling to be involved in a creative field. As artists (and designers) we often say that you are only as good as your last creative endeavor and that’s what keeps me motivated to learn and grow. Also, to not get discouraged over being rejected. It’s all part of the process.

My impressionistic landscapes and figurative works help me explore my innate connection to the truth and beauty of the natural world. I am a passionate explorer, and often backpacks with my painting gear to discover intimate and inspiring scenes.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since I live very rural, (near Longmont/Lyons), heading to Denver is always a treat!  I would start by grabbing a bus to Union station. Then either visit the DAM or do a street art tour of RINO. After that I’d end up back at Union Station for a glass of wine lounging in the couches in the lobby. Maybe grab an Uber over to the Highlands and have dinner at Edible Beats/Root Down, have a delicious meal and Uber back to Union Station to catch the evening bus back north. If time allowed, I’d go to one of my favorite galleries, 1261 on Wazee before we headed back home.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I had several mentors in school. My drawing teacher, Craig Smith really nurtured and pushed me to be the best I could be. He nominated me for several academic scholarships which enabled me to afford tuition. The school I attended also had an amazing internship program. After 18 months I was able to secure a paid internship in graphics, which then led to a full-time job upon graduation. And luckily, I was able to blend my drawing and design skills in my jobs post-graduation.

Website: www.lydiapottofffineart.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lydia_pottoff/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaintVartist

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