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Meet Suz Born

Today we’d like to introduce you to Suz Born.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m Suzanne which means lily, but my nickname is Suz. I picked it up at interior design school. When your work is critiqued (almost daily) a “crit list” of names goes up on the board for others to constructively pull apart your work and make you a better designer. My name got shortened to “Suz” and it stuck.

Design runs in my blood. My grandma Katherine was a draftsman in the 1940’s. She passed away at 94 and she had great style. I have several of her vintage treasures ~ clothes, accessories, and art ~ that remind me of her that I cherish. My mom Margot was a hardworking social worker for 25 years (now happily retired in AZ). I mention them because my trajectory has swung between work with helping people and creative endeavors.

I have worked at a homeless shelter for families and a top hospitality design firm. I’ve done freelance graphic design and been a pastor. I have done portrait photography and been a mentor. I have done doula work and worked on renovation projects, small and large, over three of my personal homes over the last 15 years. I have always been a sounding board for friends making design choices. I enjoy creating spaces that promote community and feel safe for people to relax and be known.

Currently, I’m living in Los Feliz, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, with my family Troy (sweet husband), Lucia (7), and Shepherd (2). We have recently moved into a home with an amazing rose garden that I’m learning to tend. Neighbors have told me the previous owners were avid gardeners and rose collectors and would travel all over California to collect vintage species. Their efforts paid off because the selection is beautiful.

My art practice is definitely inspired by these floral forms. I also create figurative and abstract pieces.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Everyone’s journeys are a beautiful mix of both suffering and celebration. Personally, having a close loved one with severe anxiety and depression was a sorrowful season. My own deepest pain is around losing a son when I was seven months pregnant. The loss happened five years ago but sometimes still feels fresh. I write a letter to him every year on what would have been his birthday to stay connected.

Please tell us more about your art.
My art practice is definitely inspired by my garden. There is beauty in all the stages of the flower’s life, from bud to bloom to the way it withers. I see a connection to the feminine. Trying to capture the skin like texture, curves, and vibrant gradient of colors throughout its life is a challenge and joy.

Figurative work is newer for me, I’m drawn to curves and skin tones like so many artists before me. The human body is such an incredible masterpiece that should be celebrated. I call these “lady lines” and am constantly sketching to capture empowered and peace-filled postures.

The last bit of art I like to make are smaller abstract pieces. These feel more intuitive to me and when I’m frustrated or stuck on a piece, I make them. The process is calming. I take a large basket and fill it with treasures I’ve collected over the years from my design work, flea markets, thrift shops and travel. Really, just any interesting shape or beautiful finish I find. I set these up to create a still life and then paint the lines.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
As an artist, I try to think cooperatively and celebrate other artist’s amazing work. Competition and comparison kill my creativity. Instagram is my favorite but I have to set a daily limit because I’ll get lost in the beautiful image avalanche. It’s definitely an amazing platform and tool but I try to create and share there before I get caught up in consumption overload.

I’m really proud of my style of mixed media floral and feminine forms that have a watercolor quality on linen canvas. I hope it feels distinct and that people connect with it.

Success for me is growing as an artist and finding people who love my work and want to hang it on their walls. In 2021, I’m really hoping to do more commission work. I absolutely love working with a person and space in mind! Please find the connect page on my website and reach out if you want to collaborate!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Photography: Tessa Reyes Benz; Makeup: Krystal Landazuri

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