Suzanne Gibbs spotlight student

Student Spotlight: Suzanne Gibbs


Suzanne Gibbs lives and works in tiny coastal farming town in Oregon that has more cows, sheep, and windy days than people

Suzanne, where do you make your art?

My studio is eight steps from my front door. I work in a 10 x 20 foot custom built space. I have a view of nature and a lake, it’s a dream and it is real.

How is the art part of your daily life?

I wake each morning and write for 15 minutes to a half hour. This clears my head to be ready for a creative day. After the writing, I walk my dogs, the distance we travel together varies. Then I eat and get to work on making art or writing about my art on my blog or social media. I work towards completing new paintings or realizing new ideas nearly every day.

Suzanne Gibbs artwork

Related to Skechbook Skool, I have a personal goal to fill a sketchbook and make a page-turner video of the pages each month. To me, this is more motivating than a 100 day project or A Drawing A Day. The sketchbooks are a place where anything goes! Anything! Some days I just paint a page, or ten, a solid color.

Sometimes I collage scraps of paper, older art, magazines, or used books, into my sketchbook. Sometimes I create a sketchbook with “rules” for example, only use a fountain pen on every page or I make patterns.

I often do not use my sketchbook pages sequentially, if a lavender page I painted 3 days ago looks interesting, I will go to that page and make something there! The videos of my sketchbooks can be found in my blog.

Suzanne Gibbs

I also have a personal goal to draw in public one day a week—sometimes I only draw for 10 minutes! But every moment working towards any goal counts. SBS has been instrumental in helping me to actually reach this goal.

I host sketch meetups regularly to help keep myself accountable! I am looking forward to this new social platform so that I can find people to draw with while I travel.

Suzanne Gibbs art

How do you stay motivated?

I don’t need to “stay motivated.” If I am not doing some form of writing, drawing, collage, or painting on a regular basis I become a true monster! All of my family members and closest friends will call me on it—when’s the last time you painted something, they’ll ask. That’s my clue! The monster me has emerged!

But in all seriousness, having taught art for 20+ years, and been a maker for most of my 54 years, the motivation is that life is too short! I still have goals and projects for myself—always too many ideas—that I want to make and see out in the world.

Suzanne has been a student with us since 2014 and in that time, we have seen her grow so much as an artist (you can see more of her stuff here!). She lives a creative life and makes art with an intention we all admire. [You can see more of her art on her website:

3 mins

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