This week, we meet Cassandra Epalle, an American who has been living in France with her family for the past 25 years.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are your interests?
A: I signed up for the very first Sketchbook Skool course and I was one of the original true beginners! At that time my four children all still lived at home. I was looking for a way to learn a little bit everyday with the idea being that I could really use the practice!!! Now five years later we only have my youngest daughter living with us as she is still in school. I try and make the time to make art everyday. Recently I have been working with matte acrylic paints and some old books making collage papers. I also take a watercolor class on Thursday mornings, and occasionally I enjoy urban sketching.
Q: How did your creative journey start?
A: When my second son was in CM1 (which is 4th grade) they were doing an art project based on Edward Hopper and I had an old book that I let him take to class. I ended up speaking to his art teacher who told me that she also gave classes to adults and that anyone could come. Which really surprised me. And I decided to start taking a class when my last child was in middle school. So I started taking a class in January of 2012. It was great but I wanted to be able to do my own drawings and had bought Danny’s book The Creative License. I remember looking Danny up online and finding out about the creation of Sketchbook Skool. So after a bit of reflection I signed up!!! This is honestly one of the best decisions that I ever made.
Q: Tell us about the moment your creative habit “clicked” for you. What made you want to draw or create art?
A: I lived in Washington DC after graduating from college and one Sunday morning I was visiting the Smithsonian and stumbled upon the Helga works by Andrew Wyeth. This was definitely the first time I had ever seen anything like this. I bought the book about the exhibition and then later bought a few books including my book about Edward Hopper as he was one of the artists who had influenced Andrew Wyeth.
Q: What has your creative practice taught you?
A: To trust myself and the decisions that I make. One thing always leads to another!
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to a brand new artist or someone who’s just recently joined SBS, what would it be?
A: Give yourself time to truly practice. A little bit everyday really adds up.
We like Cassandra’s advice and approach to making art and trusting her own process. We are so pleased she has been a part of our community for so long!