Interview with Tampa Based Artist Evie Zimmer

Evie Zimmer is an American artist creating and teaching in Tampa, Florida. We were excited that she took time out of her busy schedule to talk to FameBooking about her career and the world of art!  

Your recent work ventures into the abstract, often using vibrant colors. What has been your progression as an artist to reach this style?

Years ago I mostly painted portraits. I thought about painting more colorful design based work but everyone around me loved my portraits and I felt, at the time, that I needed to please them. Then, about eight years ago, I went through what some might call an awakening. My way of thinking began to change and so did my art. I made a conscious decision to paint whatever I wanted and to paint it big. My love of color and design became the focus of my work. Since then my painting style has been evolving and becoming more refined. I began to add more floral elements, and even more recently, the floral elements have become the subject, although often abstracted.

When did you start thinking art was your passion?

Art has always been my passion. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do but life had other plans for me, for a while anyway. I sometimes wonder how different my life would be if I had pursued my passion for art earlier in my life. But then I remind myself to be grateful for today and what is happening now. I love being an artist.

Growing up who were your favorite artists? Did they change over time?

I didn’t have much exposure to art history or even contemporary artists when I was growing up. In middle school, my art teacher took us to visit the Salvador Dali museum and instantly Dali became my favorite artist. As I grew up, I fell in love with optical art and would gaze at works by Richard Anuszkiewicz, Julian Stanczak, and pop-artist James Rosenquist trying to figure out how they achieved such mesmerizing visual effects. I think these artists had the most profound impact on my artistic vision.

Many of your works have intricate mirror images. What is your process for planning a large oil painting? 

The key word there is planning. When doing a very large painting, you have to have a plan. Whether it’s on paper or a mental image, you have to know what you want your finished piece to look like before you start. With the symmetrical paintings I like to start with a grid. I want bother sides to look the same or similar so that makes it a little easier to create the initial sketch. Then, I work back and forth. Whatever I paint on one side I immediately paint on the other side.

When students ask you for advice on how to make art a career, what do you tell them?

Be unstoppable! If you want to be an artist, of course you need talent and passion, but that doesn’t get you all that far if you are not relentless in your quest to be successful. Learn everything you can. Seek out people who can help you. And get your artwork in front of as many eyes as possible. And always, always, be kind.

What’s your favorite art museum? 

I would have to say the Cleveland Museum of Art is my favorite museum. They have such a wide variety of work and the museum itself is gorgeous. It is like walking through an art history book. So much to see from every era.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever received was a quote by Chuck Close:

“Inspiration Is for Amateurs—The Rest of Us Just Show Up and Get to Work.” I really believe this is true. Too many artists waste time waiting for inspiration to strike. When in reality, it's the process of creating that leads to new thoughts and ideas.

What’s your favorite piece of advice to give?

See previous question! Get busy!

Tell us something about yourself, such as a talent or interest you have that most people don’t know.

Only my close friends know that I like to ride motorcycles. I don’t ride very often since there is little room for art supplies in the saddlebag.

I also have quite a collection of salt and pepper shakers.

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