How did you get started and then develop your career?
Philippe Gandiol: My grandfather was a businessman and also an artist/bohemian in his own fashion. He had a strong influence on me very early in my life. The seed was planted. I wanted to be an artist. Art classes in high school were exciting. In college along my major, I studied acting and art. I moved from France to California right after that and kept taking college classes including art.
In order to provide for my family, I worked for a large music distribution and production company and for a while art went on the back burner. I met wonderful musicians, music lovers and bit by bit the strong urge to make art once again took over. I started to hang my paintings on my office walls and co-workers bought some of them. I took workshops and classes with professional artists that I admired. When this very successful company suddenly fell apart, I decided to take the leap and be a full-time artist. I never looked back.
At that same time, I started to paint in plein air, and along with figure drawing/painting the combination was a tremendous force in my development and growth. Then it all came along: participation in plein air events, shows in galleries, teaching.
How do you describe success?
When you discover beauty in everything from a dramatic sunset to a back alley, a shiny rose to a broken glass, a radiant smile to a silhouette lost in the fog.
When struggles, failures and rejections are just opportunities to learn, grow and shine.
When painting is a thrill regardless of the outcome, when time stops, and I am one with it all.
When your heart and soul is open to all possibilities, and you find the courage to express it.
When someone says, “Thank you for what you do and bring to the world.”
When you can pay the bills.
It is success!
How do you find inspiration?
At first, I searched hard for inspiration and could barely find it. Then when I started to paint day in and day out, squeezed the oils on the palette and dipped my brush in to bring them to the canvas, inspiration came into play. That is how I found out that the act of painting IS the inspiration. It is everywhere and in everything. Also looking at other artists work, reading about them is always a rich and fabulous experience.
What is the best thing about being an artist?
In my case it is the freedom to find and express oneself. It is to belong to this wonderful artists’ community which is a constant source of inspiration, who you learn from, have fun with and share meaningful moments. Also, when you paint anything anywhere, you are instantly part of it and make deep connections with the people, the place and the time. It is so rich. I am living the dream.
Who do you collect?
I collect artists close to me and who I admire and love: friends, students, members of the tribe.
To see more of Philippe’s work, visit: www.philippegandiol.com