Today’s YEDaily features surrealist oil painter Amelia Alcock-White, whose inspiration often comes from water and the West Coast. What’s the most challenging part of her day-to-day? Read on to find out…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
I am a contemporary painter from Vancouver. I create large oil paintings of a surrealistic quality. My upcoming show is a collection inspired by water and the West Coast. My work is collected and exhibited internationally.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
I was never contented to believe that life had no meaning, and was unable to accept truths based on ‘faith’. Therefore, social misfit (artist sounding slightly more acceptable) was the only reasonable job description.
My grandmother scoffed at the idea of being an artist, and believed we were nothing more than dust in the wind. She has returned to the earth, but in her memory, I am still trying to prove her wrong.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
A good day is to create at least one thing.
It can be dangerous work, which sometimes makes me feel as though I’m acting as a medium. You have the power to access the ‘heaven and hell’ within you so there are those days when hell appears vividly before my eyes. It’s my job to let it ebb and flow while maintaining a Zen-like rhythm.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
I’ll be five years further along the path of challenging myself with increasingly ambitious works. I foresee more frequent shows in North America and Europe.
What does success look like to you?
Success to me is to create a painting that pleases me and resonates with others. It’s when the hunt for ‘perfection’ is not all pervasive and when I can accept the imperfections and move on. (I have resolved not to burn unsuccessful pieces like my father did!) For me, a sense of achievement comes by gaining a sense of self-mastery and technical mastery of my craft.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
In a heartbeat, I quit a lucrative job and profession in order to follow my dream. I realized I was mortal and time was running out fast.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Stay young and fearless! Youthfulness and flexibility are irreplaceable, but be unyielding when it comes to your dreams. Life is the best classroom and learning never ceases.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Having children raised my awareness of education, environment, peace and social fabric. I contribute time, energy and art to numerous causes. Art has always offered a means for me to give back. At times, it’s difficult to make sense of the inexplicable disparities and injustices of life. I believe strongly in the power of art to promote peace, and understanding. In my upcoming show, the focus is on environmental conservation and awareness.
The list of organizations that are close to my heart, to name a few, are Shanti Uganda, Street Angels, Vancouver Aquarium, Multi-faith Action Society, OrcaLab, and Art for life.
What is Notable to you?
To live by love not fear.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Two tin cans and a piece of string? I must be the last Luddite in the city but I’m happier staring at a canvas than text messages.
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
The incessant chase of perfection. Finishing a painting only to realize there are ten more concepts and ways to be explored keeps me on my toes.
And my kids; they keep me hopping and are a constant reminder of what’s truly important.