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Meet Cutter Cutshaw

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cutter Cutshaw.

Cutter, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always had a creative eye and drive. Even as a young child back in Michigan (Detroit area) I was always creating some kind of art project… it was my escape from my older brother who was always bullying me. I didn’t get serious with my art till well after college. I had gone to film school and began working as a video editor and motion graphics artist straight after graduating from Full Sail down in Florida.

When I moved to LA in 1999, I was working full time at Warner Bros and was getting bored with my daily editing and graphic work and needed another, more rewarding, creative outlet. Digital SLR photography was just coming into the scene around this time, so I bought a camera and went to town shooting anything I could. I developed a good eye for fashion photography and tried my hand at that, but it still wasn’t rewarding enough for me, and my intuition was pulling me in another direction. I’ve always wanted to create art that people would want to hang in their homes to add some life to their walls.

So I started playing around with digital painting in Photoshop with some of my fashion images and other more abstract photos I’ve taken over the years, and before I knew it, I had created some pretty cool art that I was very proud of. I showed what I had to some friends, and they encouraged me to get it out there in galleries. So I submitted a few pieces to the James Grey Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, and before I knew it, I had my first show booked! That show forced me to create more work and sparked my entire art career.

For years, I created only digital paintings, but again was getting complacent and wanted to try my hands at the more traditional aspects of painting. So I started picking up brushes and pallet knives and applying paint onto paper and canvas. Relying only on my instincts to guide me was a difficult and scary challenge. I no longer had an undo button that I could use (like on my digital art pieces), I had to trust myself, my intuition and my talent on a completely different level, which wasn’t easy at first.

Once I felt comfortable in this new medium, I made it my mission to become a master at it. I recently ended my first gallery exhibition showing only my new acrylic mixed medium pieces at the Gloria Delson Contemporary Arts Gallery in Los Angeles. I can’t tell you how much that show proved to me that I had the talent I was always searching for in myself. Being a self-tonight artist, that was a big deal to me.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Well, the biggest struggle (besides my before mentioned struggle with learning and mastering my abstract mixed media acrylic work), would be finding the time to create and paint. Having a full-time family and being a full time freelance graphic designer takes up a lot of my time.

I try to get into my studio at least on the weekends. The other struggle is just getting my pieces/work and my name out there to the world. There are so many avenues for artists these days but not all are great, and I’ve worked too hard to just throw caution to the wind and see what sticks.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Well, plain and simply I’m an artist. I’m blessed enough to specialize in a few different mediums… digital art, photography, and acrylic mixed media. I think I’m best known for my digital paintings as I’ve been creating those the longest, but my goal is to get myself known as more of an acrylic mixed media artist.

I’m most proud of the fact that I continue to push the envelope of my talent and that I’ve been able to literally put the fun and peace I feel while creating into my pieces. I’ve been told many times that my work evokes a sense of serenity and joy… I love that people get lost in my work and find something new in a piece each time they view it.

I’m not sure what sets me apart from others… maybe the fact that I create my art for myself, but at the same time I have a good sense of what is trending, what sells, so I think I’m fortunate to create my way but still feel current and timeless.

If you had to start over, what would you have done differently?
I would have started creating art and getting it out there to the world much, much sooner! And even maybe gone to art school, although being a self-taught artist may have given me an advantage I’m unaware of.

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