We had the good fortune of connecting with Linda Wandt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Linda, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
My current favorite quote is a recent discovery and is as follows; “If a man never contradicts himself, the reason must be that he virtually never says anything at all.” – Miguel de Unamuno I love this quote. To me, it punctuates growth. Self-introspection and growth over the years is a natural part of evolving that should only stop with death. Living life is a wonderful opportunity to read, to talk to others, to gain knowledge outside of your experience and to learn about the world we live in and to revel in its growing complexity. This quote is relevant also because it allows room for growth, and understands that we change even from moment to moment. People need space to change their minds, to develop new ideas, and it should be encouraged. To create art I must be ever changing, and embrace that, and it’s a positive message for everyone.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The work I make is about perseverance, even if you couldn’t tell that necessarily by looking at it at first glance. Much of what I make and the narrative I’m seeking to share is subtle – there’s a story for sure, but it’s open to interpretation since I use so much symbolism, and everyone’s story is so different. When pressed to say so, my art is about surviving hardship and flourishing despite or because of what was learned from that hardship. It’s about the conscious choice to build who you are through the choices you make, and its about what you choose to put out into the world. What you put out into the world matters. Each interaction you have matters, even if it feels like it doesn’t. Very often, my paintings depict a person who is holding something in their hands – this is an offering for the viewer. My professional life is still in an emerging phase for sure, and it’s felt like an uphill battle for nearly 15 years since what I make is challenging. I’ve met a lot of people in that time who appreciated me, my work and what I have to say, and plenty who have not. A huge part of success in an artistic practice is being comfortable with rejection and staying true to yourself through it. Finding the people who have supported me however is a success, a rise to the challenges, since as stated, no one does this alone. That said, part of the formula also is yourself. I’ve gotten as far as I have through working really, really hard, losing lots of sleep and shedding lots of tears. Some people might get lucky early on, but I have not been one of those people! Learning how to draw to the level I’m at now (and desire) has not been easy for me, and I’m still (and forever) learning that. Learning how to talk to people has been really hard since I’m so introverted, and it’s really the most important aspect of this business. At the end of the day what I want people to understand is that what I’m putting out into the world is encouragement and empowerment. We are not encouraged to question things and we are pressured to fit into these boxes and labels. My work tries to dig under the surface and asks the viewer to question what they are looking at and find comfort (or perhaps not!) in what is there, and to find that perseverance to expand. Also, perhaps, just check out how awesome bees are and how amazing the natural word is. 🙂
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in sunny Austin Texas, and my favorite places right now due to the pandemic are its many local parks and green spaces. I’ve spend a good chunk of my free time exploring parks so far simply in south Austin! You could explore a different park nearly every weekend of the year, and I’m not even talking about Zilker, the park and greenbelt Austin is known for. Imagining there’s no pandemic, there’s a bunch of places that are a must visit while here, and Zilker park and Barton Springs pool are two of them, as well as the hike and bike trail around Town Lake. Austin has an incredible restaurant scene, so depending on your budget I’d say check out Uchiko or Sway or maybe stop by Mueller park for The Thinkery, and the scenery, outdoor sculptures and Rebel Cheese for something different. Catch a craft cocktail at Irene’s or Garage Bar if possible, and don’t miss out on Justine’s on the east side. Take a walk around downtown and see what great tacos you can find on the east side! I honestly don’t even know half of the places here there’s so much to keep up with and I spend A LOT of time in my studio!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shout out goes to my mother for always encouraging me, my husband for always being there for me, to those who have inspired me, and to every single person who has supported me through this journey and will in the future – to every person who’s supported me emotionally, or financially, and I have needed a lot of both. Making art for money is a tough ambition and that is no secret. Some people have literally fed me, some have purchased work, or simply helped spread the word. I am so, so lucky to have had a couple of large commissions during the pandemic, one of which was from a friend. Thank you. Supporting your favorite local artists right now is an even bigger deal than it normally is. If no one connected to what I make, none of this would be possible, and I am grateful for and humbled by every connection made.