Sarah Gallina is a visual artist and AVVAY Pro from Old Hickory, Tennessee. Originally from New York City, Gallina works in photography, video, stop motion animation, sculpture and installation. Read more about her journey as an artist in the blog below.
“I have always been an artist. Though I didn’t always know what to call it. When I was two, I painted my mother’s white rug with pink chapstick. That was the first day of my career.”
What/who are your creative influences?
Agnes Varda, Sophie Calle, Patti Smith, Claes Oldenburg, Věra Chytilová, Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois, Claude Monet, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Ragnar Kjartansson, Mika Rottenberg, Caryl Churchill, Julie Taymor, Diane Arbus, Yayoi Kusama, Ray Johnson…. It is hard to stop this list short! I hope someone who reads this list encounters a name they haven’t heard. I would love to be the person to introduce you to any of these people.
How/when did you start in your professional career?
I have always been an artist. Though I didn’t always know what to call it. When I was two, I painted my mother’s white rug with pink chapstick. That was the first day of my career.
If you weren’t working as a creative, what would you be doing?
There is nothing else! This is it.
How do you avoid creative burn out?
On the one hand, creative burn out is part of the process. When I finish a project, there needs to be time to to grieve and die a little before I birth a new one. On the other hand, if I am taking in new experiences and information, I never run out of the desire to make. I think that balance is important so the burn out doesn’t turn into a full on depression.
For me, the work of an artist is like the work of a translator. I am translating my experience of the world into a new language. If I am just in my studio by myself with only my distant memories to go on, everything becomes so boring! Carved into the creative process, there should be time to passively digest and not make anything at all. That is hard. There is not much societal support for it. We’re supposed to always be producing.
What stigma about your profession would you like to change?
That it is only “fun” or “not a real job.” It is incredibly hard work, you work all the time. Also, that there is value to art making outside of monetary value.
When/where do you come up with your best ideas?
On a train, in a cafe, in a conversation
At the moment, what is the biggest goal you are trying to achieve in your creative career?
It’s a secret!
What do you hope that your work does for other people?
I hope it gives hope, actually. I want to catalyze new perspectives and wake people from their own slumbering depressions so they want to make things too & do all the things that make them feel alive.