We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebecca Payne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rebecca, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I knew from a young age that I wanted to do something creative with my life. As a kid I preferred watching Bob Ross and cooking shows to cartoons and was very fortunate to have parents and teachers who nurtured those interest in me. I find nothing more satisfying than losing myself in the creation of something, be it in the studio, kitchen, or garden. The creative process taps into a part of the brain that feels stimulating and meditative all at once. It’s hard to describe, but to be honest, I don’t think I ever had a choice. I’ve worked in many creative fields in my life, from art education to film, as well as fashion and interior design, and find them all rewarding in different ways, but the ultimate goal has always been to support myself as an independent artist which is where I have put my focus for the past few years.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work is primarily figurative, as I love studying people, and have always been drawn to the human form. My earlier work was more realistic, but over time, I have simplified my shapes in an effort to capture emotion over likeness and speak about universal truths. It has taken me a long time to put my work out into the world, but I am proud to say that as of last year I have gallery representation and am selling work on a regular basis . One thing that I found intimidating is the pressure on artists, (of all genres), to find a “niche” and never waiver from it. I think this is partly a symptom of our mass market culture, but creative people, like everyone, are continuously evolving and shouldn’t be expected to rehash iterations of the same idea exhaustively. I get stuck sometimes worrying if a new body of work will be well received, but I remind myself that letting other’s expectations paralyze me is creative death. I would much rather have my work out in the world than collecting dust in the corner of the studio. That’s far more devastating than any negative feedback I could receive.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Atlanta is such a dynamic and diverse city with an incredible food scene. For a full day, I would suggest brunch at General Muir, a trip to the High followed by a stop at Highland Row and Youngblood Boutique. Then, an early evening stroll through Oakland Cemetery, oyster happy hour at Kimball House, followed with drinks at 8 Arm. Finally, if you really want to make it a night to remember, pop on over to the Clermont Lounge.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are countless people in my life who have impacted my creative journey. From primary school teachers who uplifted me with a kind word or simple acknowledgement, to fantastic professors in college who I still call on to this day. I am also blessed with incredible mentors in my adult life. Strong women who offer continuous guidance and encouragement, and of course, some amazing friends that have shown up to events and supported me by purchasing and sharing my art. I wish I could name them all, but the list would be quite long.