Hi there! Hey how have you been? I’m excited to finally get my website up in some form!
I think this is actually going to be a great place to start. If you’ve read some of my posts on kellipaternoster.blogspot.com you might have seen a couple of the interviews I did with professional creatives so far. I plan to continue posting interviews here starting with this interview with my beloved teachers from Vitruvian Studio in Chicago, David Jamieson and Melinda Whitmore. It’s hard to believe that two people can possess the multitude of talents that they do, but as you’ll see, they are not only unbelievable artists and instructors, they are just freakin awesome people on top of it.
At their studio where they teach, they emphasize that talent is merely a starting place, but hard work is what really moves your skills forward, and it is obvious they have both put in the hard work.
Both David and Mindy graduated from the New York Academy of Art receiving MFA’s Magna Cum Laude in painting. Although they both went to the same school, they attended at different times and didn’t meet until a few years later when they were both teaching in Chicago. They have both won esteemed awards for their work: Melinda won the top prize for The National Sculpture Society’s Figure Sculpture Competition in 2008. And in 2010, she was awarded the Agop Agopoff Memorial Prize for Classical Sculpture by the National Sculpture Society. She also sculpts anatomical models for some of the top anatomical supply companies in the country.
David was named a semi-finalist in the 2016 Outwin-Boochever Portrait Competition hosted by the Smithsonian and his work is also included in the collection of HRH The Prince of Wales, in the permanent collection of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and other private collections in Canada and the United States.
David and Mindy have each been teaching well over a decade to students in many backgrounds. From undergraduate, graduate students (both artists and medical students) in university to their own private students at Vitruvian as well as online in the subjects of drawing, painting, anatomy, as well as sculpting and perspective. I was reading through some of their student testimonials and I wanted to include one here, so you can see the value they really bring to their students:
“Thank you for the Portrait Drawing Course; it is incredible. The way everything is broken down and explained in such detail is a must for someone new to drawing, like myself. Needless to say, that’s not something that I’ve ever found available in this type of format. Even if it was, I wouldn’t want to think about how much it would cost. The amount of video and instruction available with this course is quite simply the best drawing tuition I’ve seen on the internet (at any price), and believe me, I’ve looked.”
“Thank you for making a product that is exactly what you say it was. I’ve seen your competitors claim things like, “complete portrait drawing lessons, from start to finish.” The actual content they offer is laughable compared to what is offered here. I’ve spent the last 8-9 months scouring the internet for exactly this kind of drawing tuition, but I simply did not believe that it was available; at any price. I hope you sell a million of these.”
– Sam, Knoxville, TN
Having been a student myself at Vitruvian Studio for three years studying anatomy, perspective, painting fundamentals, portrait painting and portrait drawing, I can attest to the quality of instruction David and Mindy provide. I was so delighted that they were willing to share their stories about how they became professional artists. I found the interview to be inspiring and I think you will too, even if you don’t intend to be a professional artist yourself. David mentions in the interview that painting was where he found “the hours just melted away” and that’s how he knew he was on to something. I think that is a magnificent way to discover what it is you really love to do!
*One small note, there is some “adult language”, I chose not to edit it out because I believe using profanity is a little like wearing hats- some people it suits perfectly well and it is actually an enhancement, then there are others who would do far better without ; ) Mindy happens to have the absolute perfect, I would even say appropriate, words to describe her thoughts. I certainly would not take the liberty of editing such perfection!
So please enjoy the interview!
In this interview we talk about:
- the different paths they each took to becoming professionals
- how they approach drawing and painting
- what they do in their free time
- how they like to spend their vacations: this was a fun topic because they like to embrace the challenges of traveling and actually let themselves get lost just to experience something new
Let me know what you think in the comments box. And feel free to suggest a professional creative you might know for a future interview.