We had the good fortune of connecting with Tyler Hughes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tyler, how do you think about risk?
I’ll begin with a quote by David Bowie, “If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth.” Risk is what any creative pursuit is fundamentally rooted in. When sharing your work with the world, you have to put yourself out there and hope that others will respond well to what you’re expressing. It’s a very vulnerable place to be, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think that by choosing such a risky career choice, it keeps me motivated to try and succeed further along in my business so that I can maintain a consistent studio practice. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world like the old masters did, where art was among the things that were held in the highest regard. People like Leonardo and Michelangelo were brought up in the arts very young, and nurtured into creative geniuses. This emphasis on the arts has been widely replaced by advancing technology and safe office jobs, so any creative endeavor is a risky one in our times.
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.
I use painting as a way to record my life. I focus primarily on painting my friends and family; usually those who I am closest to at that particular time in my life. I have also had the pleasure of teaching at The Atelier at Flowerfield for about 2 years now, which has helped me grow tremendously as an artist. Every day that I got in to teach, I am learning something new from my students. This path has been a difficult one, however I think that I’ve been extremely lucky with the opportunities I’ve been given. I’ve worked very hard over the years to get to where I am today, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, and for that I am grateful.
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?
My favorite place in the world is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, so I would definitely start there. You can easily spend an entire day getting lost in the endless amount of artwork that is housed in that museum. I always find myself planning trips into the city to check out new museums, but always end up going to the Met. There is so much history there, it’s pure magic. There are also so many other things to do in the city, great restaurants, shows, and other museums. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, there are many local beaches and small hikes to go to on Long Island. I’ve been enjoying finding quiet spots on the beach to set up my paints to do some plein air studies.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout my family and friends for the unwavering support over the years, but specifically my parents and uncle Dave. My parents have never batted an eye at the thought of me pursuing an artistic career and have always encouraged my creativity since I was a kid. When I made the decision to dedicate my life to painting in college, the three of them were there encouraging me to focus my studies on painting and drawing, rather than going for something that would offer me financial stability right out of the gate.
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