Q + A with Paige Smith

Paige Smith is a Boston based artist focusing on bright botanicals. Paige is a New Jersey native, and received her BFA in painting from the University of New Hampshire in 2013. She loves poodles, iced coffee, and bagels! 

I make brightly colored paintings for one simple reason: it makes me happy!
— Paige Smith
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1.) You specialize in botanicals using such bright and vibrant colors! What inspired you to break outside of the box?

I paint with funky bright colors because for me personally as an artist, it creates an overall feeling of happiness. When I mix together a super fun pink, yellow, or magenta I get overly excited and filled with so much joy.  

I make brightly colored paintings for one simple reason: it makes me happy! Whenever I am feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, I just start to create something and all of those stressors disappear like magic. 

I want people to see my work as a positive feeling, something that can brighten their day and put them in a better mood. That is exactly how I feel when I paint flowers and plants with super “extra” colors and hues! 

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2.) What is your creative process?

I am such a morning person because I feel like I can accomplish so much more all before lunch. I am that person that cannot sleep in past 7:30am on the weekends because there is so much I want to check off my to do list before the rest of Boston wakes up!

I usually start my day with barre or yoga, and a very large cold brew. When I sit down at my little art desk, I browse through garden books, Pinterest, and magazines of various flowers and plants I would like to paint. Once I have a rough idea of what I am painting, I move on to figuring out what colors patterns I would like to incorporate into my painting. I do a little more browsing through books, Pinterest, and magazines, and then I get to work!

Creating a mini sketch before I start on the actual painting helps me with color choices, sizing, and overall composition. Once the small sketch it complete, I work on a larger version of the sketch which will end up being the final product. If I find myself getting frustrated or annoyed with whatever I am creating on my paper or canvas, I take a break. I go for a walk, read, or take a few deep breaths in order to help clear my mind. When I feel cool, calm, and collected, I get back to painting. For me, taking small breaks while I paint helps me find a way to take whatever I don’t like about my work and turn that weird color, or strange shape into something that really works.

When I feel like my painting is coming to an end, I put that painting aside, let it hang out on my desk for a day, and revisit it again in the morning. If I still feel like my painting is done the next morning, that means the painting is officially complete (yay!). If I look at my painting and feel like something is missing, that is when I add a few more layers of color, and a few more lines.

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3.) What do you struggle with the most as an artist?

Time! I really wish sleep wasn’t a necessity in my day to day life because I could accomplish so much in 24 hours. 

I have a full-time job in addition to my art business. At times, it can be difficult to juggle both. After a long work day, my body wants dinner, Netflix, and bed. However, my mind tells me to utilize those 5-6 hours after work to focus on painting, updating my website, sending emails, engaging on Instagram; all of the things that benefit Paige Lindsey Design. 

Some days I am a super human and make productivity my bitch with my full-time job and Paige Lindsey Design. Other days I am just a normal human and crave the couch and a binge worthy Netflix show.

4.) You combine a lot of mediums together when creating. What is this process like for you?

The process of combining mediums can be exciting and a lot of fun at times, and at other times it can be a complete disaster and super frustrating. I like to think of it as one big experiment. I like to play around with ink, chalk, pastels, watercolors, acrylic, and markers. When I figure out what materials work well together, I just kind of run with it until I find another medium to experiment with!

5.) What art trends are you currently interested in?

I love how knitting and embroidery has made a come back! I used to knit all the time, but kind of lost touch with it because I have been focused on my painting. However, after seeing a bunch of artists experiment with knitting and embroidery, they have definitely inspired me to dust of my knitting needles!

Another trend that I am seeing and am absolutely falling in love with is collage and glass painting. I see a lot of artists use collage and glass as a new and fun way to express themselves, which I think would be an awesome thing to experiment with in my own artistic practice.

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6.) What's next for you in 2018?

I am currently preparing for the SoWa, which is a big open market that is held every Sunday in the South End of Boston through October. In addition to getting my work out in the Boston community, I really want to create a YouTube channel where I can teach various painting tutorials, connect with other artists, and portray who I am as a person and artist through video. 

Learn more about Paige here

Jessie Reyna