I was curious about her art and activism and how they intertwine. Here’s our delightful conversation.
Lindsay: Hi Stephanie. Tell us a bit about yourself—where do you live, what pathway(s) led you to become an artist?
Stephanie: Born and raised in the semi-desert of the Okanagan, I’m now based out of Nelson, BC.
I think I was born holding a crayon…and I used to get in trouble for staying up late at night to draw on the walls. For some strange reason I never thought of myself as an artist, or as someone who would make a career out of being an artist until I moved to the Slocan Valley in the fall/winter of 2009. On route to Winlaw, where I was only going to spend four months to teach myself how to paint, I was rear-ended, and got a pretty bad whiplash injury that caused me to get migraines multiple days a week and barely be able to bend over to tie my shoes. Now I had been a landscaper and yoga instructor before the accident, so to say that I was scared about my future employment situation was an understatement. Looking back I can see that life was encouraging me to really see my natural talents and to actually start using them, and I’m grateful for how things went. (I don’t even get the migraines anymore!)
Lindsay: What drives you to create?
Stephanie: Engaging my creative process is both therapeutic and magical, and it’s the space I most love to be in. When I haven’t created in a few days, I start to get grumpy and listless. Not even running seems to move what drawing or painting can for me. And when I combine my art with other parts of life that I’m deeply passionate about, like conservation and exploring ceremony or ritual, it gives my personal therapy a greater sense of meaning.
L: Is there a connection for you between art and activism?
S: I do cultivate a connection between my art and activism, particularly with wildlife/land conservation projects. I think art can be such a useful bridge between the heart and the mind, and between disparaging view points. In my own work, I use beauty and sweetness as doorways into more difficult topics.
L: What inspired you to donate a portion of your sales to Wildsight?
S: I’ve been watching the incredible work that Wildsight has been doing over the years in terms of protecting water and wildlife, and have known a few other friends who have worked in conjunction with the organization. I am not an educator nor a biologist, but I feel that donating a portion of sales of my wildlife art prints is the most authentic and helpful way I can contribute.
You can browse Stephanie’s wildlife art prints in her online store here. 40% of your purchases from November 1-8 will go towards Wildsight’s work to protect wildlife, water and wild places. Thank you Stephanie!