We had the good fortune of connecting with Talia Swartz Parsell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Talia, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance is everything right now with Covid-19! Being a mama to two rambunctious little boys who have been home with me a lot since school has shut down means I have had to reconsider how to get my work time in while taking care of them. Having my art studio at home has both helped and hurt with this balance. Sometimes I feel as though my work life and home life need more separation so I can truly focus and get in the zone. But its also been great during Covid because I can jump in my studio and get some painting done anytime the boys are napping or when I can snag a sitter for a few hours. My personal and social time has also lessened and gotten weird with Covid-19 and its made me really evaluate my relationships and how I want to spend any free time I may have. Basically its all a lot to balance right now but my work and personal time are my self-care and maintaining this balance helps me be a better human and mom.
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.
I usually describe my work as contemporary geometric landscapes. I’m obsessed with clean lines so my paintings have a hard-edged, graphic, and illustrative quality to them. My paintings are inspired by so many things….a hike I took, a song I heard, a dream I had, a memory that replays in my head, a moment that has stayed with me. Sometimes I am inspired to paint landscapes that are threatened or have the potential to be threatened with the hope of bringing awareness to these places. I live in the city so I’m constantly craving nature which could be why my paintings are mostly vibrant or idealized landscapes. Professionally, I’m where I am today because I have had some really amazing gallery owners believe very strongly in my work. I’ve always been able to sell my work but have also been able to supplement my art sales with teaching. My first degree is in teaching visual art and that has been a huge part of my life as well. While I currently have a tutoring business (I teach private art classes and help students prepare a professional art portfolio and do interview prep for applying to art schools), I do sometimes miss the energy of a creative classroom filled with lots of artists! For now, my studio time is truly my sanity and respite from my two busy little boys and the chaotic and often depressing state of the world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Last time I had friends visit from out of town was before Covid-19 when the world was a much different place. We dined at Avanti and had drinks on the crowded rooftop. Nowadays, I would mostly hang out in my Berkeley neighborhood and grab take-out from some local favs like American Elm and Call to Arms, and head to a local park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This past year, I have been so lucky to be represented by Westward Gallery in Denver. The owner, Michelle Courier, has been such an amazing supporter of mine. She has been so gracious, kind, and always has uplifting things to say about all of her artists. She is such an inspiring female role model for me who embodies the best characteristics of an honest and driven businessperson and successful artist.