We had the good fortune of connecting with Linda Mitchell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Linda, what makes you happy? Why?
Making art that permits me to escape the confines of my quotidian adult life makes me supremely happy. I often explore an artistic tangent that relates to activities I enjoyed as a child. For instance, I never really cared for Barbie or baby dolls, but give me a little tiny animal to play with, and I would be happy making an imaginary world all day…digging little caves under the trees and making them tiny homes. As an adult, I have taken this idea on the road with my “Tiny Traveling Animals” series of photographs of my 1 inch tall friends. Another happy childhood endeavor was making and decorating animal shaped cookies. I believed they had a secret life after I ate them. This transformed into “The Secret Life of Cookies” photographs, in which I explore this absurd concept of their adventures. And lately, with the quarantine spurring an earlier idea into something new, I’ve been using my long time sketchbook practice of writing tiny sentences around the images to journal out my thoughts and feelings. These are my “Quarantine Journal” pages which I have been creating on fabric pressed onto various papers. All of these activities engage my inner child and make for a splendid time!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I often hear that my work is original, and not like anyone else’s. I love hearing that! My work is a personal exploration and journey into my own psyche, which reflects whatever I am going through and responding to in the world. It is an individual journey and I take inspiration from wherever I find it, whether conventional or not. It has not been an easy journey, but I have learn to let go of expectations and the need for outside validation which could affect the work. I’ve realized after many years that the most important aspect of being artist is not fame or money, but a life-long practice of finding joy in my many artistic endeavors.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love showing people the Tanyard Creek Beltline near my home. It feels like a bucolic breath of fresh country air in the middle of the city. I would take them to Bell Street Burrito for the best guac in town. Maybe a trip to the High Museum and the Botanical Gardens, both of which I am a member.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I always am thankful for my family, who understands that this creative life is not as easy as it looks.