Member of the Month – Kamloops Arts Council
Full Name: Carly Schmidt
Medium: I am known for my acrylic portraits and wildlife paintings however I am also highly skilled in mixed media, sketching, pastels, pottery, watercolour and slip-casting ceramics.
How long have you been doing your art: A lifetime, 35 years. My mom tells me my first painting was at 9 months old when I decided to “paint” a mural with diaper cream. After high school, I decided to pursue a career in the arts and became a full-time artist selling around the world. In 2017 I decided to get out of the basement and into the community and started Kamloops Art Party which has grown into a hands-on art studio with a team of 10 artists who are just as passionate of sharing their love of art through kids’ classes and camps, paint and sips and an inclusive drop-in program running 6 days a week with many mediums to pick from.
What got you originally interested in the art you do: I couldn’t stop from a very young age. Being able to zone into a project was a really good way to help soothe a busy young mind. I was obsessed with learning new skills, challenging myself and honing in on my style. My passion for learning and science really came together with my art skill to be able to create portraits which only gets better as I continue to learn new skills and experiment with new mediums.
What is something you have learned about yourself through your art: I have learned so much through my journey of being an artist. It has taught me patience, the ability to stay fluid and roll with changes as well as how to overcome disappointment and failure. The way art is created, altered and enjoyed reflects so much on how I see the world.
What do you enjoy the most about your art: The thing I love most about my art and artistic skill is sharing it. I love when people see a commissioned piece for the first time, and I love sharing the experience of creating. When kids light up as they get to dive into their imagination and create, and the moment when people, especially those who do not think they are creative, finish a piece they like at Kamloops Art Party, is such a great feeling. It is a physical showcase of hard work and new skills built.
What is your favourite joke/quote: “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dalí. This is it, we all put so much pressure on ourselves to be “perfect” to have everything work out perfect. And that is not the case, art teaches us how to enjoy the journey and if you can accept nothing is ever going to be perfect it opens up an entire world.
What is something most people don’t know about you: I own the largest collection of slip-cast moulds in all of Canada with over 10,000 designs. It will take me at least 3 more years to finish cataloguing them.
If you could teach everyone one art medium or method, what would it be, why: Sketching! It is the foundation of so many skills. It is a lot easier to transition to new mediums when you have a base started. The bonus is, it is the most accessible form of art as you don’t need any special equipment.
What do you think makes art important: Art is a communication tool, a way to show your emotions, a way to connect and a way to share. It is so important for mental health to have a healthy outlet. It reduces stress and anxiety by promoting mindfulness and self-reflection. Art can foster a sense of well-being, empowerment and accomplishment, but most of all it is fun!
Why are you a member of the Kamloops Arts Council: Being a part of a connected community is as important to me as creating art. I have been involved in Art Exposed, Children’s Art Festival and Art in the Park as well as many other art events over my 12 years of being a member.
What are you looking forward to the most in this upcoming year (A special show or project you’re working on): I am so excited for this upcoming year. I am the director of a society called Art for All that after many years is having its kick off July 22nd at the Kamloops Northpaws game. Art for All Society is on a mission to make sure everyone has access to visual arts, music and performing arts, which is something I think our community really needs. We are currently looking for and accepting new members and sponsors to help create more amazing events and share more of the arts.