We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Pascavis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha, why did you pursue a creative career?
It may be cliché, but art allows me a form of expression. My intention is to express myself to my own self through the process of creating an image, as art acts as a sort of stream of consciousness exercise that allows me to examine what’s mulling about in my mind and spirit. It’s when I make the most profound realizations about my thoughts and behaviors, when I am truly at my most self-aware and when the way forward is made most obvious. The image may not be a literal representation that communicates to the viewer an identifiable struggle, joy or thought, but people see these things in themselves and recognize the expression through the visual elements. To others, it is just a pretty deer and that’s okay too.
Creating is also just plain fun and was an activity I was naturally drawn to, like most, as a young child. I was unable to think and feel about the circumstances of my childhood in a thorough and productive manner, so I look back and see now that drawing was a sort of escape from what I was developmentally unable to understand. It eventually progressed to be my major source of expression and reflection, which was particularly necessary when I became a teenager experiencing all the characteristic angst.
Aside from how creativity inadvertently became a coping mechanism, I absolutely love the process of creating. Each piece is a new challenge with its own set of visual and conceptual problems, and I like a good challenge. I get to examine and explore other interests, and I get a happy flutter in my chest when I get to the detailing stage. I see a neat little carving in the sidewalk downtown and my mind immediately pictures how I might use that in developing the visual aesthetic for a world I’m currently building, or I see a ball of yarn with a color combination that I just have to paint something in. Creativity has become the lens through which I see the world, and its pursuit brings me fulfillment like few other things do.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Probably the most relevant lesson I’ve learned is that your journey as a creative or what your brand is and so on is not a linear line from Point A to Point B, there is no pre-determined formula for how to be successful. It takes time, practice and consistent evaluation to figure out how you’re going to get yourself where you want to be. I’m often overwhelmed by the possibilities of all the things I’m interested in, and taking the time to figure out what I gravitate towards is still something I’m working through. I’ve discovered a love of writing that has greatly enhanced my artistic imagination and has made me realize that I love world-building. Had I stuck to this image I had of the paths of others’ successes, I might never have given the then small desire to write a second thought. It is helpful to look at others and see what you can learn from them, whether that’s a technique or a new method of study, but keep in mind that everyone’s life is different. Maybe one person had really supportive parents and they thrived artistically as they grew up, or maybe something happened to halt your pursuit of art and now you’re back in it. You can still get there, no matter how you started and what has transpired in the past.
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’d take them to Deer Creek Canyon or Deer Creek Trail for some hiking and birdwatching that’s still real close to the city. Jewell Park is a small but strangely remote feeling park in Aurora that has a great abundance of wildlife (I call it Turtle Park to my friends because I always see tons of turtles) and is a nice place to take a calm walk or sit and draw. I grew up in Loveland, so I often want to show people the Devil’s Backbone or the sculpture parks I’d visit as a kid, or drive up the Poudre Canyon and stop at little spots of interest on the way. I’m a big Thai food fan, so I would take them to either US Thai Cafe in Edgewater or Beyond Thai in Littleton. El Tejado on Broadway in Englewood has wonderful food and strong margaritas. Though most big cities have their own art and nature museums or zoos, I’d still want to show my friend what ours have to offer because I just love going there no matter how many times I’ve seen them.
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’m blessed to have few, but incredibly awesome, friends that have supported me throughout the years. My friend Julie Kitzes is always willing to help me by bringing opportunities to my attention, taking the time to give me detailed and honest feedback as I work and talk to me about the different struggles of making my art-making into a business. My friend Wade is great to bounce ideas off of and get a perspective on concepts or themes from someone; even though he claims that he doesn’t understand art and constantly insists that his color-blindness makes him ill-suited for giving feedback, he tries his best regardless. My sister Erika, is always enthusiastic about the art I make, and as an avid reader herself, she has been a great help in my newfound interest in writing and world-building. All of the above people are willing to have talks with me about whatever I feel I need, and they all genuinely love what I do and want the best for me.