Susanne Di Martino is a wonderful artist living in Switzerland. This incredible woman has 3 adult children. We feel greatful she agreed to be interviewed!
How would you describe yourself?
For some years now I am travelling more frequently and I am enthusiastic about the diversity of nature, cultures and people on our planet. At work I am a determined and diligent person. Openness, understanding, my empathy and perception usually allow me to look behind the facade of a person. This is very beneficial to my artistic expression. My personal spiritual and mental development is very important to me and has accompanied me for decades.
How would you describe your art?
We artists are asked this question very often and to explain it with words has not become easier today. Intuitive, theme-related painting with a focus on people? Sometimes I have a plan for a theme and subject, but how the finished work will look like remains open. I paint emotionally, I am spontaneous in my choice of colors and experiment with techniques and materials. With a basis, for example a spontaneous print or color gradient, I can enter the process more easily.
How would you describe your field?
More than 20 years ago I went to an artist with my drawing portfolio and received my first painting lessons. Figures, anatomy and faces are the easiest things for me to paint and I had this gift already as a child. Perspective drawing was one of my favourite subjects in primary school and also paved the way for my profession in architecture. At that time I was not allowed to attend art school. My working techniques are versatile, which I also teach in courses such as acrylic painting, watercolor painting, mixed media, printing, collages, as well as digital art works. I would like to practice sculptures and intaglio printing again in the near future.
What do you want to say through your art?
Since I paint intuitively, this question answers itself. I work from my feeling with ingredients that come from outside. The less I absolutely want to create something, the more fascinating the finished work becomes. Often I paint as if I am in a trance and when the painting is finished, I am totally surprised by the result – these are the most fulfilling moments in my artistic life. It always makes me very happy when the viewer of one of my works is emotionally touched and loses himself and rediscovers himself in the complexity of what he sees.
What / Who inspires you?
Life, nature, events and people, conversations, poems, music, dreams and much more. Through the flood of images on the Internet and the participation in the life of other people, you become a silent observer and a non-stop inspiration arises. The more I’m in the artistic work process and creatively active, the more ideas come to me. The topics go hand in hand with my life path and personal change of myself. I often lack the time to capture all my creative sparks on paper.
Does your work comment on your social or political issues?
My work is focused on beauty and should arouse emotions in the viewer, yet I am interested in many different social issues. Partly I let these flow into my artwork. However, it is more important to me to capture the emotional movement of a person, the beauty of a situation or a special mood and to reproduce it and bring it closer to the viewer through my artistic expression.
What obstacles have you faced?
At the beginning of my artwork I was very naive and had no idea about the art business. Because of my insecurity I let myself be guided by the opinions of others, such as clients and gallery owners. This may have been the reason why the success that surprised me quickly went beyond my head and slowed me down – from 100 to zero!
After a break of many years I started again from scratch. It wasn’t easy, because the art world keeps on turning and nobody is waiting for you. Now I approach the whole thing with more calmness and composure and select the requests from Switzerland and all over the world after careful consideration. Both sides, the gallery owner and the artist, want to profit and gain a benefit from it. That is why it is important to gain experience in this industry and to acquire a certain business sense. If necessary, one’s own strategy should be adapted and one should always try to remain true to oneself.
The following quote from Picasso has helped me a lot:
“It’s not me who decides what’s good, but the observer.”
What is the best advice you could give to someone entering the same industry as you?
If you feel the artist within you and follow the call of your soul, then structure in the daily routine, patience and perseverance are very helpful. A financial cushion would also be an advantage until success is achieved. When this comes, prepare for it, for example through coaching, a mentor or the experience of colleagues in creative professions!
On a more pragmatic level have you been supported during your project?
My family, sister and friends stand behind me and support me in smaller and larger undertakings. My partner and I come from the architecture business and have many common interests and the same philosophy of life. He advises me on presentation and design and, at my request, gives me his opinion on a work in progress, as does my daughter. My children help me with translations into English, with transport and when I have questions about trends in current youth topics. Whereby I also always inform myself and follow a lot on social media.
Some years ago I received an inquiry from two companies in Switzerland for a larger order of 12 pictures and a report in a business magazine. I was supported and financially carried by them in everything. This also ensured and preprogrammed my success.
And I would also like to thank all my sponsors, teachers and art colleagues who passed on their knowledge to me.