Interview with Schim Schimmel

We sat down to chat with artist Schim Schimmel to learn about how he became an artist, what inspires him and how he stays creative…

What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

My father was a well-known water-colourist in the U.S., and I was fortunate to grow up with a father as an artist. He taught me the fundamentals of landscape painting, first in watercolour, and then later in oil. I eventually started painting in acrylic and sold my first painting out of a gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona at the age of 18. I have been a full-time artist since my late twenties.

How would you describe your own work?

Mostly I paint wild animals, but I also enjoy painting domestic animals as well. Thematically, my goal is to remind us all that we share this planet with its wonderful wildlife. It’s important to remember that all of earth’s animals, humans and ecosystems are interconnected.

Who are your biggest influences?

I am influenced greatly by both past and contemporary landscape painters. The paintings of Albert Bierstadt, as well as the Hudson River School landscape painters are particularly inspirational to me.

Where do you seek inspiration?

I am an avid hiker and spend most weekends hiking. In winter I visit the Arizona desert, and its forests in the summer. Spending time outdoors and in the wilderness is one of my greatest inspirations.

What keeps you creative?

We are all born with different brains and their propensities. I can’t do math to save my life, but I have always been a creative person. A musician, a writer, an artist, even a hobbyist. Living life for me is about actively pursuing creative endeavours.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

One of the greatest honours for me has been enriching people’s lives through my work. On more than one occasion, a fan has told me that my artwork helped lift them out of severe depression. Others have said that my work has inspired them to pursue their own passions and creative goals. To connect with another human being through my own creative passion is one of life’s greatest rewards.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

Now in my older age, I wish I could go back and visit my younger self and instil the confidence, appreciation, and gratitude for the opportunity to live a fortunate life here on this planet. It’s harder in today’s world, but if you have a dream, if you have a passion, I’d say do your best to pursue it with all you’ve got.

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