I had a really good, hour-long interview this week with Jesse, a creative prototyper who is also a multidisciplinary artist, but I somehow only got 20 minutes of the voice recording. That was kind of disappointing and I was mad at myself. I tried to write down everything I could remember, so hopefully this transcript will be just as helpful as my other ones that went beyond 30 minutes. He really was the best — he gave me the contact info of 14 artists!
Besides this little mishap, another interviewee I had was with Mike. He was awesome and a very successful oil painter, mostly plein air. You might know him as Emma Chamberlain’s dad, and man, I got to see Emma’s baby pictures on his fridge! He talked about becoming a professional painter in his forties and having never been to college, which is a very different perspective because all my other interviewees went to art schools. He has a crazy studio with enormous easels and hundreds of frames and canvases!
One recurring theme during the interviews turned out to be the financial difficulty for artists to stay in the Bay Area. This is something I expected to come up, but hearing different stories about artists leaving this area and some people struggling to make it here is still a bit disheartening. However, as Jesse (the prototyper) said, who isn’t “struggling” in this valley besides the tech workers, doctors, and lawyers? At the end of the day, artists chose to become artists because they wouldn’t choose another life, and this is what makes them happy. Now, this is only an oversimplification of my findings, and I have a lot of analyzing to do in order to process all the precious information in my transcriptions. I’ll definitely talk more about my findings in the coming weeks as I finish the transcriptions and start coding (not literally, it’s a technique!) the content.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog!