Check out the full interview with Susan Respinger here!
Teensoul: How long have you been painting for?
Susan Respinger: Forever, since very little, all my family on my mom’s side were artists so I have just grown up with it.
Teensoul: Were you born with this talent or did you have to encourage it?
Susan Respinger: I didn’t paint anything like that when I was a baby (laughs) but I practiced and you have to keep practicing. When I was a teenager I just drew all the time and I think it developed into something more.
Teensoul: Did you do simple sketches?
Susan Respinger: When I was younger I used to look through magazines and copy photos that I saw and try to get it as realistic as I could. That was my practice.
Teensoul: Were you good at colouring books?
Susan Respinger: I was very neat in colouring books actually (laughs).
Teensoul: Do you look at real life people when you paint or do you make them up?
Susan Respinger: Yes sometimes I take real people, but usually I change them a bit. In my Shangri-la portrait, (see above) that’s actually from a photo that I took, so I guess they are real people. But usually I take someone and change them and stylise them.
Teensoul: What advice do you have for young artists?
Susan Respinger: If you want to start a career, you have to practice lots, and don’t be discouraged. When I was growing up I would see all these people doing so well at their arts really young, it used to discourage me a little. I was thinking “Oh I’m too old now, you got to do it when you’re young, you got to be good by the time you’re 14”. So don’t give up and you can do it.
Teensoul: I saw on your website that you suffered from depression, has this had an influence on your work?
Susan Respinger: Yeah, I think so. I don’t like doing really deep meaningful dark stuff because when you wake up in the morning, you don’t want to wake up and see something that makes you want to shoot yourself. I do stuff that really brightens my day. I wake up and see it and feel happier. So hopefully that makes other people feel happy.
Teensoul: Do you have any advice for teenagers suffering from anxiety or depression?
Susan Respinger: There is light at the end of the tunnel. And if it is really bad, it is just a chemical imbalance. Just see your doctor because it makes a world of difference, and you can be “normal” (laughs).
Many thanks to Susan for her time!
Discover her entire portfolio here: http://susanrespinger.com/
Some limited edition prints are available!