Friday, May 13, 2016

Painting Parent - Casey Childs

Today Painting Parent Casey Childs talks about providing for family with his artwork. I met Casey and his wife at the Art of the Portrait Conference and they were both so nice.

"Flight" 20x30 Oil
How many children do you have? What are their ages?
We have 3 boys, ages 9, 7, and 3.

How did your artistic career begin?
All growing up I was known as the one who could draw, but never considered painting as a career until I was in college. After college I worked as a graphic designer for 11 years in an effort to have a “real job” until I decided to take the plunge 5 years ago and paint full-time; that's when my professional art career began.

"Afternoon Repose" 30x24oil
What is your Parenting/work/art situation?
I work out of the studio we built next to our home, and my wife stays at home with our kids. This situation works out well in that the studio is just far enough away from our house that I can step away and entirely focus on painting, but close enough to allow me to be involved with the family.

When do you make time to do your art and do you have a regular art routine?

My schedule is like any other full-time time job, I work Monday-Friday with the weekends off. Sometimes I'll work weekends if I've got a tight deadline. My daily routine is in the studio by 9am, a short break for lunch, and stop painting around dinnertime to come in to spend time with the family. Sometimes I'll head back out to the studio after the kids are in bed for a couple more hours.

Do your children get involved with your art?
They're always around the studio and see me working and they'll usually attend art shows/events with us. I show them what I'm working on in the studio and things like that. Sometimes they'll give me an impromptu critique, that usually sounds something like, “You still need to fill in that area that doesn't have paint on it.”

"Playlist" 30x20 Oil
Do they inspire aspects of your art?
Of course! My painting ideas come from the experiences around me. I've painted portraits of my boys and have used their activities as inspiration for other works.

How has having children changed your artwork?
Having to provide for my family affects several aspects of my artwork: how much I produce, subject matter, and sometimes even how long I work on a piece. I need to be willing to let them go in order to sell enough work make a living.

How does making time for artwork influence other household tasks?
It's all about balance, but so is life. I try to make time for other responsibilities around the home as well as get all the painting done I need to do. And some days I'm better at it than others. It's a constant struggle.

Light and Shadow 16x10 Oil
Have different ages of your children been more difficult to make time for artwork and in which ways?
I'm very lucky that my wife has been very protective of my time in the studio so I can get the work done that I need to do to provide for the family. Now that my boys are getting older there's more activities, ball games, karate, etc that takes me away from my work so I just have to focus more when I'm in the studio to get everything done.

How do you encourage your children to be artistic?
I think just by letting them express themselves, but that doesn't necessarily mean painting or drawing.  If they have that artistic inclination in them, it will come out as they are allowed a way to let it out. We go through lots of tape at our house. Lots.

Do you feel extra pressure as an artist to raise your children to be artistic?
Not really. I want my boys to be whatever they want to be. I always joke that I don't want my boys to be artists since we all know how tough it is to succeed as an artist.
"The Bookstore"24x15

In what ways does being an artist make being a parent harder or easier?
It's hard because you have to provide for your family and that puts a lot of stress on you as an artist. And a lot of artistic decisions have to be made with the almighty dollar in mind. I've been fortunate to be able to do the work I want to do as well as provide. I think it's easier because it can give you perspective--that painting isn't everything and all the success/failures aren't as important as what happens within the walls of your home.
Do you think being a parent affects the way you are perceived as an artist?

Being an artist, just by the nature of what's required to succeed, is a very selfish pursuit. I think its sometimes implied by those in the art field that you're not a true artist if you don't give up everything for the craft.

"Fallen" 21x11
Find Casey on

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this interview. I've always enjoyed Casey's work and got to meet him at a Portrait Conference recently, so it was fun to hear a little bit more about his juggling work and family life.