We had the good fortune of connecting with Carol Santos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carol, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I had been working in the corporate world for almost 25 years. Marketing, advertising, communications. I had a degree, a masters, and I worked with what I had chosen for career. However, I had taken a few breaks along the way. I am married and I am a mom. The corporate world is not very forgiving of working moms. When I was pregnant with my third child, it was clear I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing anymore. I didn’t make enough money to justify day care/school, or a sitter, my work required travels, and I constantly felt I wasn’t doing anything in full.
The one thing I have always loved and kept with me through out life is art. I went to art school as a child and in my teenager years. I have always been creative. I started taking classes at a local art centers and after a while, I wanted more than they could offer. That’s when I decided to go back to school and get my Masters in Fine Arts.
I am currently at SCAD, taking classes and slowing making my way. I love the process. I’ve had a few exhibitions and I sell my paintings in my online store and at some small stores in Atlanta, Most is actually done through word of mouth.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work is an exploration of childhood memories in the form of color. I reflect on experiences and connections between past and present. It is seeing my young years through the lenses of my current self. I use acrylics and oils, sometimes mixing non traditional mediums, to create a story telling approach to each piece. I add multiple layers in each of my paintings, symbolizing a moment in my narrative. Sometimes these layers are peeled off, sanded down, or scraped off. Next they are built upon to give a sense of history.
Recently, I started to create short stories for each work. It helps to tell the story from a different perspective. The use of words often comes at the beginning stages of the creative process, guiding early decisions on format, size, medium and surface. Sometimes the words jump on to the canvas.
I am always in constant change. I used to paint mainly abstractly and felt I wasn’t getting my message out there. But I felt so tight in with the non representative style that I was frustrated,. I resisted it for so long, for no reason. Once I decided to remove the label that I was an abstract painter and try different approaches, things started to fall in place. I guess we need to be flexible. I forgot that I am in constant change, so my art can also change.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am originally from Brazil and have lived in the US since 1999. My husband was transferred by his work to a city just outside of Boston, where we lived for 4 years. We have been in Atlanta since 2003 and love exploring all it has to offer. The High for sure, Ponce City and the Belt Line is a nice end of day program. I love the Botanical Garden and the trails by the Chatahooche, our family loves going tubbing and paddle boarding there. If it is game day, we are definitely at the Mercedes Benz Stadium cheering for Atlanta United (pre covid).
We have stayed home since the pandemic started and luckily I love to cook. But prior we would go out and try different cuisines every weekend.For tacos, I love Bartaco. The Brickstore in Decatur is a must to try all kinds os beer and pretzels, if it is after 5pm you can have Shepards pie. Antico for pizza, I love their thin crust. Desta is an Ethiopian restaurant on Briarcliff that is amazing and great for sharing. We often go to Rumi’s for Persian (they have the best Old fashioned) and the Brazilian Bakery for a taste of home. We like sushi from Sushi Mito in Dunwoowdy, it is mostly Japanese street food and delicious. Restaurant Eugene is great for special occasions and great for wine pairing. We like to go to Cafe Vendome for coffee and some baked treats. The Jerusalem Bakery is another stop and so is Bufford Farmer’s Market, so we can collect goods for homemade meals.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh Gosh! I could not do any of this by myself. It takes a village and my village is amazing! My family is out of this world. My parents encouraged me to study art since I was a little child. I have an wonderful husband that is supportive and will do anything to give me the time in the studio. I have close friends that will jump right in whenever I need. Finally, there is someone that became a friend, Professor Philip Mosier, from Georgia State, who saw my work in the early days and believed in me. He gave me the opportunity for my first solo show and, for that, I am so grateful!
Facebook: carol Santos art
Dani Willig Photography