We had the good fortune of connecting with Justine Wollaston and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justine, what do you attribute your success to?
Consistent, enduring focus: I am either practicing my art, doing research for an idea, learning something new, proposing ideas, or working on a project/commission every single day.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Art offers endless possibility. It refuses to be confined by funds, education, technology, status, or circumstance. It is magic–and the job of the artist is to express that magic in a way that resonates with someone. I consider myself a ‘possibility explorer’ in my role as a professional creative. I use a variety of media in my endeavor to creatively connect people: sculpture, watercolor, murals, postcards, poetry, pottery, and film. I make art to express our shared human experience or to solve a creative problem. It’s an awfully difficult way to make a living, so I don’t recommend it. But those of us who make art do it because we simply must, so we figure out how to make ends meet and adapt ourselves to suit an adventurous roller-coaster-type-of-life. One minute you’re having a peak experience then the next you’re looking under the couch cushions for loose change. I am particularly adept at bringing someone’s idea to life. It is a kick helping a person express their own story. Our ‘story’ is ultimately the only thing of any significance: who did we love? how did we matter? Art is how we give voice to our stories, whether we are singing a song or designing a room. Art is mere frippery: it decorates our lives. Art is fundamental: it guides us to our truth. And art makes us immortal, which appeals dramatically to our egos.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In Dallas: For sure we would hit the Nasher and attend a concert at Symphony Hall. Northpark is a must because it’s an exceptional mall and of course there’s the art. Bishop Arts District for jazz and drinks. A day in the Design District to see some of the hottest trends, then some time in the country to cool the overloaded brain. Come out to my neck of the woods, Pilot Point, where you can have one of the best burgers anywhere at Power House burger (be sure to order the onion rings too), get a mixed drink from Shayla at Lowbrows, the local bar on the historic square, check out all the murals around town and in the distillery at Western Son Vodka, then take selfies at the crooked chapel out at Lizzy Gator…it is jaw-droppingly unique.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh gosh! So many folks deserve credit! Numerous clients and mentors have taken a chance over the years believing in me and what I do. They’ve purchased artwork, invested in one of my crazy ideas, or trusted me with their vision. To name just a few: Joey at Debris in the Design District (no longer there 🙁 ) who hosted one of my first shows, Gail Saxon with ‘Ask Me About Art”, Bob Albrecht of “Lowbrows: An Arthaus Comedy” fame, Jane and John Wright and the Golden Mural, patron Pearl Rankin, the wonderful artists in Wildfield Collective, and designer Brad Hatton and the work he was doing with Hermes Dallas.
All images Justine Wollaston