We had the good fortune of connecting with Seth Pitt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Seth, what role has risk played in your life or career?
As an artist, it’s important to be able to perpetually risk making work I’m not happy with in order to avoid the risk of missing out on some new growth. I try not to let the complicated concepts “good” or “bad” work keep me from having quality time in the studio. Make. Work. I can get to a point in approaching art where I fixate on a good final product. I always hope to keep that as a more secondary motivation because if you’re moving forward, you’ll get there. It’s always best for me to return to the joy of making, the simple act of showing up and a fierce dedication to the odd world of exploration.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I grew up thinking that I couldn’t be an artist. Not in a self-deprecating way or anything, it just seemed like a skill that folks were sort of born with or at least trained in from a young age. I couldn’t draw the shoe well and paints just seemed messy, so I wasn’t an artist. I didn’t start creating work until my mid twenties. In the first few years of pursuing art, I was really navigating creating with no real feeling of technical proficiency. It wasn’t until I stopped trying to make any particular kind of art and just made work that I related to, that I began to feel confident in my process. I think I lucked out early on to stumble across the realization that being “good” at art doesn’t really have any bearing on whether or not one has the capacity to become an artist. No matter your level of skill, it’s always going to be about showing up, exploring and learning about the types of creating that make you want to show up again the next day. I guess most of my work is still really steeped in that narrative. Finding ways to keep your focus on things that make living a celebratory thing and casting off pre-conceived notions of yourself and narrow views of the world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
To be perfectly honest, I’ve been trying to visit the city for years and still haven’t made it. My connection is the good folks at Space Montrose, the art-space that represents me there. I perpetually fawn over their lovely store from afar and can’t wait to visit. It’s the first place I’d go.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a really incredible community in my little town of Thomas, WV. I easily owe a ton of my success to the decision to be around people who inspire me. Being around folks who care for each other and the world at large, couldn’t be more important to getting me to the place I am.. My friends are beacons of how to move about in this world with some grace. At the end of the day I know that’s the impetus of all the work I make. More specifically, I have three wonderful humans who help me share my work with the world. Regardless of whatever art I create, there’s no way I’d be able to be to where I am now, without their help. Their names are Atrejui, Heather and Christine. You can have the best idea in the world and it’s only going to be successful if you have some good folks around you who think it’s a good idea to help you.