Today we’d like to introduce you to Sydney Sweeney.
Sydney, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was nine years old, I started taking traditional art lessons with a classmate’s mom in their home. I would walk to their house after school once a week and learn art history and painting and drawing techniques.
I went to the art class until I got a job when I was 15. I started working for LA County parks and recreation at a local park in my community. I worked in summer camps, youth sports, special events, and created handmade posters and flyers for the park. I enjoy working with my community and am still currently working for parks and recreation.
My goal after high school was to eventually attend California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, but first I went to College of the Canyons and got my Associates degree in studio art.
After two years in community college, I applied to my dream school and got in! I was so excited but terrified that I wouldn’t be able to afford it. Fortunately, my great (and extremely cool) aunts live in the Bay Area and they invited me to stay with them in their home! I am so grateful to have lived with them. I met so many wonderful people and had great experiences.
I got my bachelor’s degree in painting and drawing from CCA. Since CCA was a small school, there was a tight-knit artist community. I learned so much about all art forms from all of my peers and faculty. While living in the Bay Area, I did a lot of city exploring. Everywhere I went, I had my sketchbook and was constantly painting, collaging, drawing, ripping, and gluing in it. They became little sculptures that I eventually displayed in my thesis show. In the studio, I created large mixed media drawing collages on paper. The materials included oil pastels, markers, fabrics, knitting, acrylic paint, watercolor, etc. I learned so much about myself as an artist.
I was in the Bay Area for two and a half years while in school and moved back to my hometown after I graduated. This is when I got the idea of ”Paint with Syd“, paint parties that come to your home! I cover all the supplies while the host covers a place to paint. It has been pretty successful in my community so far and am working to make it grow.
As well as a job and my side business, I have a studio practice. I spend a majority of my time in my studio, which is in the corner of my garage. I currently work primarily in acrylic paint and paint markers with minimal collage. My work is continuously evolving everyday as I learn from my process.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My college experience seemed like a dream. Even though I had a few bumps along the road, I was still loving my new way of living and going to school in a city. Things got a little rougher when I moved back home. I had just about no money and a ton of student loans. I had no idea what I was going to do next. I continued to work with parks and recreation and it seemed like that was it. I didn’t have much space to work on art since I had moved back with my parents and felt myself losing hope for my art career. I tried to work on as much art as I could but it wasn’t the same as when I was in school. I realized I needed to work on something I was passionate about. This is when “Paint with Syd” was created. Once I had a goal, it was easier for me to envision my future in art. I participated in a local art fair and made flyers to spread word of my new business. When I moved out of my parent’s house, I created my studio space in my new home and I’ve continued making art ever since. When I was in school, I was told to never stop making art. I love to make art for myself and with my community and will continue to do so.
Please tell us more about your art.
“Paint with Syd” is a paint party that I bring to your home. I cover all the supplies including tabletop easels, acrylic paint, brushes, canvas, and aprons, while the host of the party covers the place to paint, food, and drink. Before the party date, my client and I decide on a painting subject and I cover any questions they may have. I encourage my clients to choose something on the more simple side to create a more relaxing experience. I know painting can get stressful, so I make sure to mention I will be engaged and helpful along the way.
During a party, I come and set up in the designated area of their home while they arrive or hang out. I then lead a step by step, private class for about 6-12 people. I’ve done parties of children, teenagers, and adults. Every class is a little different based on skill level and age, but they’re all always fun and relaxing.
I started doing parties for my friends and family, then word spread and I was getting booked by all sorts of people within my community. I love helping people find their creative side. Every private class I’ve led had someone that doubts their abilities. I try my best to read the class and teach in a way that will reach them best. Everyone’s paintings come out uniquely different and beautiful. To me, that is the most important part.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was quiet and shy. I had a few close friends who had completely different interests than me. I was the artsy girl among jocks. I played sports that I only enjoyed because my friends were there. Although I was shy, I was always willing to try new things. I was in ASB in middle school, which was totally out of my comfort zone. I even took Polynesian dance classes. I was more of a follower than a leader until I graduated high school. Though I participated and a lot of different activities, I always knew I wanted to be an artist. My friends and family have always been supportive of me and my dreams.
I was always drawing. When my sister and I would watch cartoons, I’d pause the tv and practice drawing whatever was on the screen. My sister did not like that. I loved movies, James and the Giant Peach was my favorite. Movies have always inspired my art. I spent most of my time drawing and painting while watching movies. Being artistic has always been a part of my identity. Art certainly helped me find my voice.
- $25.00 per painter
- Phone: 6616449122
- Instagram: @paintwithsyd @sydneysweeney
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Paint-with-Syd-372049400168597/