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Conversations with Landon Carter

Today we’d like to introduce you to Landon Carter.

Hi Landon, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I have been creating for as long as I can remember.

The parts of life I have found the most meaningful are those where language fails us. Aphonic moments where we find a deeper sense of knowing. I find that I communicate my thoughts best through these mediums, whether it is through a paintbrush, musical instruments, or more.

When I was 2 years old, my mother passed away from cancer. My family and home life became very complicated after that, moving around to different places, getting a new stepmother, and numerous other overwhelming changes. I started creating out of a need to express emotions that I didn’t and at the time couldn’t understand. I drew the things I wanted, places I wanted to be, and people I wanted to be with. I drew imaginary landscapes, inventions, abstract expressions, everything. Gaining the connection with expressing myself with creativity over the years made it inevitable to end up where I am currently.

Having such an early brush with death has made me realize just how short life is, and so 2 years ago in the middle of the pandemic when I was given lots of time to myself in quarantine I decided to commit to becoming an artist. I developed my current proprietary technique of layering and sculpting resin and acrylics. The first series of 10 sold out within a week and I have stuck with it since.

Creating art is what has gotten me through the biggest hardships and victories of my life. It helps me communicate, gives me a sense of accomplishment, and teaches me life lessons in ways that I could not have anticipated. I am lucky to have this focus now on continuing to develop my medium and artistic vision

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
NOT AT ALL lmaooo.

Yeah no, I’ve had just about every failure in the book. I’ve gotten taken to school by the art gods haha. I have had people return a commission, shows where I sold 1 item, a gallery I was in that went out of business, and the works. This is all a part of the process though. You have to keep a positive attitude in creating art and only compare yourself to yourself.

The biggest failure I had I now look back and laugh on… I was creating a complicated resin-casted piano bench for a client and just about everything went wrong. both of my molds experienced gallons and gallons of resin leaks, in one layer the resin overheated and had to be removed and started over, and worst of all, I was using my apartment bathroom to do this large commission because I needed a small room I could get really cold, and all of these problems wrecked the tile floor… did not get back that security deposit haha.

I wanted to quit, but I didn’t, it took 2 months longer than I anticipated, but now that piano bench is one of the proudest accomplishments of my life. Every failure is a learning opportunity. It’s valid to feel sad or disappointed if something doesn’t work out for you, but you have to keep going.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
My work is a combination of painting and sculpture…

I create 3D paintings using layers of resin and acrylic paint. I paint Ideas that have interested, frightened, and intrigued me since I was a child. To me, the surreal manipulation of images of nature, humanity, and the universe at large represents the interconnectedness of life as well as the visual and metaphysical associations of my own memories and beliefs. The goal of my work is to connect individuals. To show that we share many common beliefs, aspirations, and trauma and are not alone or really that different from one another. I want to share what painting and creating art has done for me.

Painting on multiple formed layers of resin and acrylic paint, allows me to create true 3D compositions that I feel best express how I visualize mentally. It also allows me to explore endless combinations of subject matter and the form of the pieces themselves. So to me, this unconventional technique has endless inspiration.

On top of creating art, I also teach and organize art lessons and camps for kids. I have taught at Blair Center For the Art, the Children’s Museum of the Low Country, and volunteered for the organization Bridges of Hope SC. I eventually would love to open a nonprofit art therapy-based organization for children and young adults in order to raise awareness of the therapeutic power of art

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Finding a mentor is a tricky thing in art. I have learned about art and the art world from multiple people over several years. I sometimes like to compare it to a video game like GTA or something haha. You have to go out into the world, go to show openings, say hello, and be social.

Make connections, follow up with people and start relationships with the art community in your town. If you’re a musician, it’s the same deal, you go to local gigs, have conversations with bands and others, get contacts and become a familiar face. Eventually invites to shows, hangouts, and other places where business happens will come.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but you have to ask questions or for help, and be social whether that is online or in person. I learned little bits of information that added up over a few years to a lot and the journey over those years influenced my narrative of my art as well.

You also have to make an enemy of envy. It is very very hard to be successful as an artist. Often times it seems like those who have been accepted by the art world was chosen at random, and it can seem like a shot in the dark.

Sometimes that breeds jealousy, but you must keep an open mind if you want to be successful. Assume that everyone has some bit of knowledge to share and that you can always learn something new.

Make an enemy of envy.

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