Recently I have been asked by quite a few people to do interviews about my art. I always do it of course, and usually it is a positive experience. I also never talk about these interviews before they are published.
However, I am going to break that rule to talk about a phone interview I did with an extremely sweet young woman. Bless her heart. She was a young journalist trying to pitch a series of “profiles of southern artists” to a national magazine.
Sweet as she was, I knew this interview was not going to go well with her first question: “What are some of the more exotic places you have traveled to in order to find inspiration for your work?” I laughed when she said it – which I think confused her a bit. I explained to her that most of my inspiration came from the countryside in Mississippi where I grew up. I could hear a note of disappointment in her voice.
She quickly moved on to her next question: “I understand you have sold pieces to celebrities and sports figures. Is that exciting for you?” Again my response failed to impress. “Well yes, but they just buy things from me, it’s not like we hang out or anything. Actually, I still get excited every time I sell a painting no matter who buys it.” She was starting to get annoyed. She asked me many more questions, searching for something glamorous about me. Part of me wanted to try to exaggerate things, paint myself with a little more color, but that is just not me.
I have been very fortunate in my life to go to some pretty fancy places, to meet and know some very fancy people, and let’s just say I don’t really freak out anymore if someone serves me a $190 bottle of wine (though, I would still freak out if I had to pay for it). I also like having beautiful things around me in my home. All that being said, I wouldn’t call myself a fancy person, and I think those who know me would agree.
Finally, out of what must have been sheer desperation, she said me “New Orleans is such a great food town with fabulous restaurants. I’ll bet you’ve had some great dining experiences.” “I have,” I replied. Then she asked “What is your favorite food?” When I told her that if I was being honest that my favorite food was purple hull peas and cornbread, I could tell the interview was over.
I doubt you will ever see it in print.