As you look at your career as an artist, do you notice how much you’ve grown and changed over the years? What led to the big moments of growth and change for you? It was a joy to sit down with my guest and fellow artist, Shana Levenson. In our conversation, Shana opens up about her experience as an art instructor, how her children have influenced her art, how she’s grown over the years, and much more. I know that artists like you will get a lot out of Shana’s helpful and unique perspective!
Who was it that helped you along in your growth as an artist? Did you have a family member who took special interest in your creative development? Were others in your family supportive of your creative and artistic pursuits? Following in her brother’s footsteps, Shana Levenson had wanted to pursue a career as an artist from a young age. As she slowly carved out time to go to art school over the years – Shana fell in love not only with art but also with teaching. Shana got into teaching as a necessity but found that she really enjoys empowering others as they develop creatively.
Parenting and painting
As she finished her Master’s degree, Shana was also dealing with the end of her marriage. Not only did Shana have to navigate the challenges of life as an artist, but she also had to figure out parenting and life as a single mother. Juggling both parenting and painting wasn’t easy for Shana – especially when her ex-husband said that she could not continue using their children in her artwork. I couldn’t imagine facing the challenges that Shana has faced as an artist and a parent – I hope artists who navigate both find Shana’s story inspiring!
Dealing with criticism
How do you respond to criticism and critique? Let’s face it, criticism and less than positive feedback are the worst part of putting something out there for the public to consume. In spite of the challenge that facing criticism can cause – doing so confidently is a key area of growth for most artists. Shana is the first to admit that she has had to strengthen her muscles over the years when it comes to dealing with criticism. Don’t assume that criticism won’t come – it will! You need to decide right now, how you plan to respond when negative feedback comes your way. What can you learn from Shana’s story?
Do you have a habit of pushing yourself creatively? Does a new challenge thrill and excite you or do you find yourself running in the opposite direction? As I got to know Shana over the course of our conversation, I really wanted to get to the heart of what makes her tick. Considering my question about her positive habits, Shana was quick to point out the fact that she loves to push herself beyond her limits. A good example of Shana’s desire to push herself is her desire to work with lace in her paintings – something she had never done before. You can find images of Shana’s artwork located in the resources section at the end of this post.
Outline of This Episode
- [0:40] I introduce my guest, Shana Levenson.
- [9:00] Shana talks about her experience as a teacher.
- [13:00] How Shana’s art changed after her divorce.
- [19:00] Pushing through difficulty and finding a new way forward.
- [23:00] Dealing with rejection.
- [28:00] Shana’s criteria for entering art competitions.
- [32:30] Negative and positive reactions to Shana’s artwork.
- [38:45] Shana talks about pushing herself beyond her limits.
- [49:00] How does Shana approach the canvas?
- [55:30] Closing thoughts.
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Other artists mentioned on this episode
Resources Mentioned on this episode
- Shana Levenson – Fine Art
- Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
- Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise