Interview: Terry Cervantes

Terry in studio March 2015

Hi, my name is Terry Cervantes. I live in Palmdale, California, which is in the Mojave Desert, one of the largest deserts in California, if not the United States.

I am an artist/potter. Why do I say this? I combine my love for drawing and painting with ceramics. Most everyone knows me for doing pottery, that is whimsical and nature inspired. Not everyone knows that I am a traditional yet surrealist artist as well. But once they find out, they start to understand why I create the ceramics that I do.

I received my Bachelors of Arts in Drawing and Painting with an emphasis on Illustration. I got through this by being a production potter. Being a production potter paid for some of my tuition. I, then, started as an art teacher in the Los Angeles County Jail System in California. I taught pottery and ceramics, and a drawing and painting for over twenty years in the jails. Upon my retirement, I found out about Etsy and started an online shop selling my paintings and drawings and prints. I then added ceramics, as I was always good at selling my pottery items. After receiving some online advice that I paid for to critique my shop, I took my drawings and paintings out and just sold my ceramics. I just wanted to focus on making my ceramics stand out artistically and be uniquely functional.

My influence in art has always been surrealism, with nature inspired tendencies, laced with children’s fantasies of fantastical creatures. Native American and European folklore has always intrigued me. I didn’t even realize I was using this in my art until recently when someone asked me to describe my art. I have a sarcastic sense of humor, and this somehow weaves in and out of my art as well.

I sell my art online mostly, in my Etsy Shop. Social Media marketing is one of the hardest things I have learned. That, and taking photographs of my artwork. I am self-taught in both fields! If you are a person who preservers, then this is for you! I have put in much time in making my Etsy Shop profitable. You need a lot of patience as well. And, one more sage of advice…Never Give Up!

The other questions you asked…

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
The most important thing in my studio, for me, well, is my love of music. I listen to music while I create. It really motivates me and inspires me. I listen to everything and what I listen to will depend on my mood at the time.

What is your favorite film?
I love to watch movies more than anything else on TV. My most favorite genre is science fiction fantasy. I have always loved pure science fiction, and read a lot of this as well.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
Funny, who would I invite to dinner? And why? Why my friends, of course. I feel most comfortable with my family and friends. Upon retirement, I have made a lot of new friends that are artists. I enjoy their company immensely!

How do you like to spoil yourself?
I spoil myself by travelling or eating out with my friends or family. My husband and I make a point of dining out frequently. I still have memories of a trip to Italy I made with my mom and daughter that left me wanting more of Europe.

Tell us about your dream project.
My dream project would be to create an art pieces in ceramics that people would finally accept as fine art. That is my goal, to make my ceramics reach the level of fine art.

The absurdity of life and dreams inspires me to create. I think that life is surreal, just take a look at Magritte or Dali, and you know you have had that dream, at least I have….or watch the movie, Life is Beautiful. He created a beautiful world for his child, yet the reality was quite different. That is how I think about my art, make it seem beautiful though it is different in reality.

I know that life is hard; I create the fantasy of that life and then try to bring it to life. Through a smirky moon bowl come to life, or a mask that expresses disdain or amusement. My drawing and paintings do the same. Somehow it leaves you to wonder what is that art piece really trying to say. Just give it a minute…

Follow Terry on Twitter
Visit her website
Check out her shop at Etsy

I am also, on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, StumbleUpon and many other sites and use my business name, tjCervantesArt.

Woman Faces Alfredo-one-of-my-students artwork Moon Bowl Moon cups Raven Mask just finished

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