Mark A. Rue [markrue]
What do you do? How do you define yourself as an artist?
I'm a painter. Painting is my way of honoring Mother Nature by calling attention to Her wondrous designs. I want to make people to look at nature in a different way – to focus on the eccentric shapes, the colors and textures; to see not just fascinating creatures and plants, but the incredible designs within them.
What is your message?
I want people to take notice and respond to the incredible designs found in nature.
Your biography in four lines.
For more than 25 years I served in various creative positions in graphic design studios and advertising agencies in Dallas and San Antonio. In 2003 I left my position as a partner in San Antonio’s largest graphic design firm to focus on my art full-time.
Do you upload your work to the web? If so, where could we see it?
How is an idea born? For you, what is inspiration?
Studying nature. Inspiration is everywhere. I can be inspired by a dead moth on my studio floor, a leaf on the ground or the fish in our aquarium.
What role does technology play in your creative process?
Though the viewer wouldn't know it, I often use digital photography and imaging software to help me plan paintings,
What is art?
Creating something that didn't exist before.
When do you get your best ideas?
When I least expect it.
How do you evaluate whether an idea is good or not?
I think time is the best indicator if an idea has merit or not. Often I will wait months to start a new series after I've planned it out.
When and how did you begin to see yourself as an artist?
As one of five children, I discovered very early on that I could get my parents’ attention and approval by making art. My father, a semi-professional artist, taught me to draw as a young child. I remember drawing and painting the cartoon characters as I watched television. Funny, but I can't remember a day when I didn't sketch, paint or design something.
Why do so many artists and creators have such volatile personalities?
Creative-types are generally very passionate people.
Do you consider yourself postmodern?
I don't like to put labels on myself or my work.
How should a work of art be evaluated?
1. Concept 2. Composition 3. Execution.
Must an artist reinvent him/herself everyday?
I don't think so. They must enjoy the process and see where the work takes them.
What do you think about public funding for the arts?
I'm all for it, as long as it's in good taste.
Is art necessary?
Absolutely. Imagine a world without it.
Does it pain you to let go of a piece you have sold?
No, I always take good photos of the work before selling it.
Is a work of art purchased, or is it better said, that it is the artist who is bought?
I believe people respond to art on a gut l level. So when people respond to a work of art, they're actually responding to the artist.
In art, there is no guide. How do you know what the next step is?
I ask myself what's working and what's not working. Then I try to make what's not working work.
How do you feel about the fact that the pieces exhibited in contemporary art museums are often of artists already deceased?
It depends on how the word is defined. According to Webster - the first definition of contemporary is "living or occurring in the same period". So, if contemporary art is seen as a "period", then I think it's fine. I think the meaning of the word contemporary has become warped by people using it when they mean post-modern.
What role have the figures of art dealer, gallery owners, representatives, and intermediaries in general played in your career?
They've been a huge help to me.
What advice would you give to those just beginning?
Listen to your gut and just keep going. Don't give up.
Mark A. Rue
San Antonio, Texas, USA