Confidence takes practice, but you need it if you want to be successful and thrive.
Psychology has been a major theme throughout the career of New York artist Colette Robbins. “Understanding how our brains function, why we react to certain stimuli the way we do, and especially how we are always trying to make meaning out of abstract things is my passion,” she says. “As humans, we’re always seeking to understand, because we’re meaning-making machines,” she says. Art, she believes, is just another way to find meaning in our lives. “Ultimately, art is a manifestation of a person’s extreme curiosity about the world outside of them and trying to put that into something solid,” she explains.
Higher education didn’t teach Colette how to be creative. She wholeheartedly believes it’s not something that has to be taught. But, higher education did expose her to a community of like-minded people, and she urges all people with a creative dream to find their community. “Finding the right people around you to give you really honest feedback, the kind that’s going to strengthen your vision, is so important.” If curiosity and community are the cornerstones of her creative practice, the third point of the triangle is confidence. “It’s extremely important to just trust that you are worth being out there, while still respecting your inner critic. There should be a nice balance of trust and pushing, and trust and pushing, and those are the things in life that take practice. Confidence takes practice, but you need it if you want to be successful and thrive.”
Stories & Surroundings
"I am building a wall of Rorschach inspired inkblots and this is one of many. I placed an old painting of refracted light from a prism on top of the inkblots. My projects may change over the years, but sometimes there is an aspect of a past project that I still want to come back to eventually, so I make sure it is present in my studio."
"I share my studio with my husband. Most of the time, we are in our separate corners. But, when we are having a chat, I like to playfully sketch him on the doorway with the remaining paint on my brush. In a way, it is like doing comfortable stretches in between working on my current projects."
"Many of my drawings and paintings depict sculptural objects and textures. They act as references for certain textures in my work. These were little head studies that I could take with me into different natural environments and photograph. These were photographed in sand, underwater and in other landscapes."
"Gardening is my hobby and sometimes the textures from my indoor gardening enter into my work. For a while, I was creating drawings that depicted heads buried in dirt. I used Styrofoam mannequin heads as models for the source photos. I love placing different odd things in my terrarium garden for my own amusement."
"The idea of exploring the world in a submarine excites me. I found this image in a Jacques Cousteau book and I loved the idea of someone seeing such sublime underwater scenes framed in a circular window. The reason why they make boat and submarine windows circular is because that is the strongest window because it has no edges."
Photography by Agnes Thor Written by Caroline Ryder Directed by Alex Amoling