Over the next few months, we’ll be showcasing entrepreneurs that are doing some pretty awesome things on the Internet and in their local communities. This interview is a part of that series.
An Interview with Carol Griffin, Sculptor & Painter
1. Tell us a little about yourself, your company and your passion.
I came to New York City almost 22 years ago to model. After about eleven years of that, including some time spent in Paris and Germany, I was literally driven from within to begin creating with my hands. I started with stone sculpture, and have been carving stone pieces since 1999. About eight years ago I had an opportunity to study color and painting, and now I’m in love with color as well. I guess you could say that my passions are natural stone and color – and beauty!
2. What is your start-up story?
I knew I wanted to create, but I didn’t know where or how to begin. I’d visit art stores and look at the various tools and paints and wish I knew how to use them. At that time, I wasn’t able to attend art school. Then one day at Pearl Paint, a large art supply store in New York City, a sign posted on the bulletin board described stone carving classes for beginners. My heart did a flip-flop, and I continue to feel the same excitement about sculpture today. Through studying stone carving, I came into contact with others in the art field, and one thing has led to another.
3. What motivates you to get up and do what you do every single day?
There are times when it’s difficult to sleep, because I’m excited to begin a new project, or I’m thinking of a way to solve a technical problem with my work – and I HAVE to get out of bed! Actually, I need to motivate myself to go to sleep, because I’d really like to work all the time!
4. What is your definition of success?
Success, to me, is enjoying what you do, being able to work each day, excited about the possibilities for that day. It’s also having others appreciate and benefit from what you do. The world has enough in it that isn’t beautiful; this creates within me a desire, a need, to counteract some of the ugliness of the world with beauty.
Whenever someone tells me how much he appreciates one of my paintings or sculptures, I feel that I have been successful in enriching someone else’s life in some way. I made a bust of my late grandfather and gave it to my grandmother several years ago. She cried when she received it. Her deep appreciation, for me, was the essence of success.
5. Who has been your biggest influencer?
Artistically, the person who has influenced me the most is the sculptor Lorrie Goulet. I studied with her in New York several years ago and have kept in touch. Her philosophy, work ethic, and esthetic really resonate with me. She’s eighty-five years old now, and still carving stone and wood almost every day!
6. What has been your greatest business achievement to date?
I’d have to say that it’s been the forging of meaningful relationships: with galleries, framers, art suppliers, fabricators . . . It’s easy for me to interact and become friendly with people, and I really enjoy meeting and working with others. This ability has proven to be an asset time and time again.
7. What are you working on right now that the world should know about?
I’m working on a series of figurative sculptures with an eye toward having a solo show in two to three years (it takes a long time to carve a stone sculpture!). I’m also working on incorporating more patterns into my abstract paintings, using the colors of natural stone as well as the colors of home décor and fashion. I’m finding all this . . . well, plain old fun!
8. If people want to find you, where is the best place for them to do so?
My email address is email@example.com, and my telephone number is (646) 770-2746. My Facebook “Like” page is http://bit.ly/cYwlFB. I’m also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CarolCGriffin. As you know, I’m overhauling my website, and that should be completed within the next month; that address is http://www.carolcgriffin.com.