We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandy Marvin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandy, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
For me, it wasn’t a matter of pursuing a career, but a path guided by my heart. I was always an artist and it has just been a matter of what form of art interested me and aligned with my particular strengths. And, of course, what opportunities became available to me. I studied calligraphy in college, along with many other art forms. Later, after a few years teaching art, I went back to calligraphy as something I could do in my living situation and that soothed my soul in a difficult time. I continued to practice and learn and deepen my knowledge. I continued learning because it was fascinating and fulfilling to me. Eventually it became my full-time work and livelihood.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I continue to learn and evolve as an artist. I am excited about finding new ways to express my appreciation for the beauty, poignancy and humor of the world. My work is informed by my love of the calligraphic stroke and my appreciation of simplicity of expression. Has it been easy? Yes and no. Yes, because I have done what I love, so it has been a pleasure. No, because making good art is hard. It requires constant work acquiring skills and challenge and frustration pushing the boundaries of those skills. It requires facing doubt and uncertainty and taking chances. Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. To put your work out in front of the world involves courage, risk of rejection and criticism. Sometimes you are rewarded by sales of work or awards and honors. My work will always be sincere and what I see and feel.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Presuming most places were open again – we would visit the Santa Fe Arts District, including SYNC Gallery, the Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, dine on the patio at el Noa Noa, have a drink at My Brother’s Bar, dinner at Cafe Brazil, take in a performance at Buntport Theater, go for a hike at White Ranch Park and spend a few days at my cabin in Beulah, Colorado.
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?
The late James Hayes, renowned American calligrapher and mentor. He encouraged me and shepherded the formation and growth of the Colorado calligraphers’ Guild. This organization grew to become one of the finest in the country and contributed to the education and development of many calligraphy enthusiasts. It was indispensable to my growth and improvement as a lettering artist. Thanks to this connection, I was able to meet, study with, and become friends with many of the best calligraphers in the world. When it became time for a change, due to changing technology and economics, I returned to teaching. Heritage High school in Littleton, Colorado took a chance on me and hired me as a high school art teacher. For that, I am tremendously grateful. Thanks to the staff, students and my teaching colleague, Wade Billeisen, I had a challenging and rewarding career teaching. And it led to a renewed interest in drawing and painting, which brings me to my current vocation as a pastel painter. I owe whatever success I have had to many excellent instructors, exhibitions mounted by the Pastel Society of Colorado and encouragement and support of my husband, Dave Hoskins. I am most grateful to my parents who encouraged and nurtured my love of creating, even while secretly biting their nails out of concern for the viability of a career in art. My friends and family have kept me going by believing in me and my work and becoming patrons. .
Facebook: Sandy Marvin Fine art
Artwork by Sandy Marvin, photographed by Dave Rosenberg