Q&A with Painting with a Twist Houston Lead Artist Stäcy Smith

Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 4.34.50 PMAt Painting with a Twist we carefully selects some of the most talented and creative artist in the city. Everyone of our artist has a background in art and/or design. However, there is one artist in particular that is part of the PWAT team that goes above and beyond and has for years. Stäcy Smith is the lead artist for our Midtown, Sugar Land, Heights, Westheimer, Katy, Spring Valley, and Cypress studios.
Our lead artist, mom, freelance artist, and art teacher/instructor Stacy truly loves art of all kinds. Even her painting style is diverse and colorful. Her business/freelance art work “Art by Stacy” features paintings featuring themes of fantasy, surrealism, pop culture, and even her own personal dreams. Learn more about Stacy and how she stays inspired in her work below:
Q: When did you start working as a professional artist/painter and why? 
A: I started working professionally right out of High School in 1997.  I was one of the first students admitted into the AP Arts Program in Texas and found that I had a real talent for translating what a person could say or write into a 2D or 3D piece of Art.  I’ve always loved art, as a child I took my first trip to the Menil Collection somewhere around the time I was ten years old or so.  That’s where I fell in love with Surrealist art and painting in general.  My parents say that my talents go back even further, having won a rodeo art contest when I was in first grade, and the fact that I pretty much drew, doodled, colored (sometimes within the lines, sometimes not) as a constant from the time I could hold a pencil/crayon/marker–anything I could make a mark with.
Q: When did you start working at Painting with a Twist?
A: I came to Painting With a Twist after I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts-Painting Summa Cum Laude in the summer of 2013. Coincidentally I will be going on to earn my Masters of Fine Arts-Painting at HBU in the Fall. I did my research after graduation, I wanted to work some place that emphasized FUN, and we do, and I wanted a place where the art was relatively good and we have that, and I also wanted a place that might challenge me… I am so looking forward to playing with Rebeca Flotts Screen Art Paintings… just cannot wait!
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a Painting with a Twist artist/instructor?
A: I like working with people.  It’s always fun when they have that ah-ha moment and really understand that they can blend color or that they can draw a line.  
Q: What is your process when creating new art work & what is your favorite part of that process?
A: Oh no, can’t give away my secrets.  I actually have a piece in the top 25 for all time art work in PWAT. It’s all based on experience. I pay very close attention to what sells well and why it sells well.  
Q: What is your favorite style/favorite type of art to create?
A: I’m a practicing Surrealist, which means essentially that I paint my dreams.  I literally paint my dreams… a lot of them involve flying, floating, swimming, being transfixed in a space, almost frozen in a spot, but always with very very vibrant colors.  I’m pretty good about remembering my dreams and influencing them, another habit learned in childhood. I do occasionally dream in black and white and even on occasion I will smell and taste things in my dreams, but most of the time it involves my children and my work.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue art/being a professional artist but doesn’t know where to start?
A: Start with an education.  Read everything you can about the kind of art you love most, then expand your horizons, you don’t have to go to a fancy art school to be an artist.  Find a local artist whose technique you love and study with them, I do both of these things. I have a couple of ladies who cannot afford lessons, so we trade my knowledge for their help in maintaining my studio or social media stuff and then I also have private and group lessons to students who come to me to learn about art history, technical painting and color history.  That side of my life is more fine art, it’s fun, but it’s not the fun art that I do for PWAT. PWAT is more about creating a party atmosphere and making the painting as simple as possible. It allows me to relax too, which is great because it really does balance out my more serious studio time.
Q: What’s the most odd or unusual thing you’ve seen or experienced at a PWAT Class?
A:  I think the oddest thing was getting a phone call ,when I was a manager, from a group of nudists who wanted us to host a party for them… I really couldn’t wrap my head around the planning for what I would have had to do for that, though I thought the idea was really funny and I’m sure we would have gotten a lot of free advertising from it, haha.
Q: What’s the most romantic or heart warming thing you’ve seen or experienced at a PWAT class?
A: My first proposal was way back in 2013 when I worked at the Sugar Land location. Now I have seen proposals happen all over the city. With seven locations everyone has had at least one proposal except Spring Valley… but guess what… I know when one is happening and it just happens to be in one of my upcoming classes. I think more than though is the spirit of camaraderie that gets inspired in my classes, when people compliment each others work it really helps the new artist push through a lot of anxiety and enjoy the process of art making.
Q: What are some of your favorite PWAT art works?
Paris Under A Pink Moon is one of my favorites, it also happens to be mine in the top 25.  I really love teaching anything with a tree and stars,those are so much fun. Galactic Moonlight and Colors of the Moon are two of my absolute favorites to teach. I think I will enjoy the release of the Rebeca Flotts Screen Art, I’m already preparing my lecture and training for the rest of the staff on these new techniques.  I think they will offer something to our guests that no one else can even come close to and that makes me very happy.


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