Recently, I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Sharon Teuscher, a Columbus-based artist whose vibrant work is incredibly influenced by the community around her. Our conversation, which is included below, covered her journey to becoming an artist, her process, and the intersection of art and nature, which we know to be similar to the space that food and community share. I hope you find some meaning and inspiration in Sharon’s insightful thoughts, because I sure did—Jake Fernberg
1) When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I knew I loved art from a very young age. My mother was involved in many of the arts—from vocal music, to theatre, dance, and fine art—throughout her life and immersed me in that when I was young. However, I don’t think I fully realized that art was what I wanted to pursue until I was about 15 years old. My high school art teachers were all so amazing and supportive. I also had the opportunity to be involved in a school for the arts program within my high school that allowed me to be involved in all of the arts I listed above, and an AP course for fine art, in addition to my standard coursework.
2) What’s your creative process?
This is actually a hard question. For me, it depends greatly on the type of project I’m working on. I was never good at establishing one form or technique of fine art that I preferred, though I would say I most enjoy painting. I wasn’t one to produce a collection of thumbnails in preparation for a project, I most often liked to dive in and force myself to be more intuitive. Later in my college career, that intuition really helped me to loosen up (in my own way). Typography projects can be much more mathematical. There can be a lot of trial and error depending on the scale or type of project I’m working on.
3) How do you collaborate with other creative folks?
When I think ‘creative’, I think of so many of the people around me, and what that word means to them. At the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD), I was surrounded by creative minds all the time. Working at Pistacia Vera following graduation, I was thrown into this amazing environment with such creativity built into the pastry, dessert and coffee. I think that other creative people are drawn to that environment as well. With my new job at The Buzz Maker! Public Relations I am able to tap into both hand drawn and digital design, as well as writing, and I have some plans coming up in collaboration with two writers I know as well!
4) Where do you find inspiration?
I find a lot of my inspiration in my relationship with nature and simply being in nature. There is so much circularity and interconnectivity between our human bodies and the land that we call home. We depend on each other. I think it’s sad that so many people don’t see it that way.
5) What do you love about rendering food and farming issues through art?
I love eating food, so of course I love rendering food in art! It’s a whole different way of examining a subject. In the instance of edible, it's the words of the writers that are so important. I only hope that the visuals I contribute will help attract readers to the underlying messages the authors are trying to address. This magazine does a really amazing job of creatively redirecting our focus towards sustainable living.
6) What’s your favorite local snack when you’re working on a creative project?
Oh gosh, that’s another hard one! All I can say right now is that I can’t wait to head over to Brassica to try some fresh vegetarian goodness!
If seeing a few pieces of Sharon's art and hearing her discuss her thought process behind it interested you, you can view more of her work and contact her at www.sharonteuscher.com.