Name: Chris Blackmon

Location: Sparta, Missouri

Sum up your creative process in one word/phrase, and explain why.

My creative process can be summed up as creating a short story. I see it that way because I usually begin every project with a “feeling” in mind- one that I would like to experience for myself, with any project participants, and for others who may see it. I usually begin with a creative photoshoot with the subject, then select the image I would like to recreate as a pencil drawing. The whole process is very collaborative and allows for the subject to take a creative license as well. All of these steps help to form new relationships and ultimately capture a moment in time artistically. This moment is a story that is being told.

Were you always an artist, even as a child? What was your path to becoming an artist?

Yes, I’ve been an artist since the age of 4. My interest in art would usually come in phases of every 6 to 7 years until 7 years ago when I decided to get serious about becoming a real artist and developing my business.

What is your medium of choice and what drew you to this particular medium?

My medium of choice is charcoal pencil. I enjoy this medium because it allows you to achieve really dark values. Charcoal can be very difficult to work with, which makes the reward of taming it even more worth it.

Is there any particular experience, person, place, or thing that inspires you to create? Tell us about that.

Life and my ability inspire me to create. I have days where I see or hear something that inspires me, but most days the sheer joy of being ABLE to create is what inspires me. I’m very fortunate to not have to wait to be inspired to take action. I appreciate my abilities and gifts to such a level, honoring them by using what God has given me.

What is it like showing your work to people and what do you hope people take away from it?

Showing my work to people is exhilarating. It’s a chance to explain the deepest levels of my work face to face, answer questions, and really connect other people to my work so they can have an experience as well. In sharing my work, I hope others see things on a deeper, more attentive level.

What did winning the Award for Excellence mean to you?

Winning the Award of Excellence meant many things to me. Mainly it meant other people are able to have the same experiences from seeing my work. Also, that every decision I had made for my art business until that point was a step in the right direction….be it good or not so good. The award was an honor to win, especially from such a first-class organization with great leadership at the helm.

What advice do you have for other artists who may be looking to get their work exhibited?

The most important thing I can encourage other artists to do with exhibiting their work is to believe honestly that it is WORTH sharing. We all have gifts and abilities that we are destined to share with the world. So believing in YOUR expression is a huge recommendation. Also, I would be very clear on who your target audience is and very selective about WHERE you show your work to ensure that the venue coordinators are on board with what you are trying to accomplish with your work.