We are delighted every day to see the work of so many bright and young up and coming artists. Charles Fazzino is asked all the time what kind of advice he might be able to give them. Below are a few of the most compelling gems he has shared over time.
Make It Your Own
“The most important thing for an artist to do is to do something different. It may sound simple, but you have to find something unique…something nobody else has done or seen before…and then just work at it and work at it and work at it.” – Charles Fazzino
Combining your unique visions, preferred styles, and personal experiences not only adds character to your artwork, but helps you find your artistic voice, style and vision. One of the greatest things about art is that there is no correct way to do something – your canvas has no limits!
Learn From the Past
Studying art is important. Paying attention to history is important. Studying various art styles and techniques, discussing art themes and even exploring the role that art has in our lives and cultures is all part of becoming a well-rounded artist. Aspiring artists, however, must remember there is a difference between studying art, finding inspiration from themes, and copying it.
“My experience studying art at the School of Visual Arts in New York City was priceless. The most important thing I learned there was that the room for creativity is infinite. I was immersed in so many different styles and techniques of art – some of which I didn’t even like but now, am grateful I experienced. One of my teachers, Susan Coe, pushed me particularly hard. She gave me a lot of challenging and motivating feedback, never letting me become too comfortable or satisfied – always trying to make me better and different. I’ll always be thankful for that.” -Charles Fazzino
Break the Mold
Incorporating honesty into each and every piece of art is a critical aspect of maintaining a unique style as an artist. Fazzino has always remained adamant about being true to himself. It takes a strong and passionate artist to know when art simply “isn’t them” and does not properly reflect his or her unique style.
Fazzino’s work is, and always has been, narrative, detailed, and maintains a strong storytelling quality. However, this doesn’t mean he doesn’t experiment with new methods and techniques. In fact, doing this solidifies Fazzino’s bold style and inspiration. Even his experiments stay within the parameters of what inspires him and makes his artwork truly one of a kind.
“After graduation, I was testing the waters. I was doing everything from needlepoint, flat paintings, and even painting toilet seats -all to find my own voice. It was a lot of trial and error. I remember my father asking me: “Why do you want to do 3D stuff?” He and several of my friends and family told me it was crazy…. but I stuck with it! I stayed true to myself.” – Charles Fazzino
Find Inspiration Wherever You Can
Set aside time for yourself every day to stop and look around you. Whether it is taking a different route to explore a new path, talking to a stranger, perusing through your favorite artist’s Instagram account, or having a critique session with your professor, it is important to soak in as much inspiration as possible.
Fazzino’s inspiration began during his youth. As a fan of pop-up books, Fazzino’s mother would often gift him with bright and bold pieces of literature that jumped off the page and captivated him. Since childhood, his fascination with the world around him has provided his greatest creative spark. And whenever a new idea pops into his head, Fazzino quickly writes it down, or sketches what is on his mind. Some of his greatest inspirations have been written on restaurant napkins.
“I have had inspiration strike at the most unusual times and I think I look at everything through the lens of being an artist. Just recently, I was looking up at the sky in New York City and the pattern of the clouds and the swirl of the lights all reminded me of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night painting. So I took that inspiration back to my studio the next day and painted a New York City scene that pays homage to the great master. I’ve painted New York hundreds if not thousands of times, but this one inspiration allowed me to paint it in a way I’ve never done before. Pay attention to everything around you and keep sketching and drawing. The possibilities for inspiration are endless.” – Charles Fazzino
Embrace the Ah-Ha Moments
Running with your most outrageous “ah-ha” moments are sometimes the breakthroughs that can lead to success.
“I realized right away that I was onto something when I showed my first 3D pieces at an art show in Florida. By chance, I happened into an art supply store where they were giving a class in paper tolling. I sat in and learned how to dip paper into paint, layer it, and create a 3D effect. I tried it with one of my flat paintings and I sold every one I made at my next show. I’ve been working at it and perfecting my technique ever since.” – Charles Fazzino
Accept Constructive Feedback
It’s important to appreciate the collaborative nature of art – which involves sharing ideas, finding inspiration in other pieces of art, and learning how to accept various forms of feedback.
Being receptive to different ideas and opinions help make you a better artist by helping you solidify your own vision and stretch your creative boundaries. It’s important to be able to see your own work from a different point of view. Only then can you grow and expand your reach.
“I have more than 70 artists who work with me to do the cutting and the gluing of all my artwork. They each bring something different and creative to the table and every time we come out with a new edition of artwork, I’m excited to see how different artists interpret it. I value their talents and sometimes I say that they even make the work look better than I ever could. And i have a very talented staff of artists in my studio with whom I consult all the time. We talk about how things might look best and we experiment together with new ideas and new techniques.” -Charles Fazzino
Practice Every Day
To become truly good at something, it takes practice. No matter what type of visual artist you are, carrying around a sketchbook or journal can be helpful for drawing up ideas and concepts. Taking the time each day to work on your skills and hone your craft is a critical part of the process for improving and finding your niche.
“Nothing can replace the time you put into your art. Just like any skill…you have to practice it. Basketball players spend hours, days, weeks, and years on the basketball court. If you want to make art your life, you have to do it…a LOT! Draw, paint, sketch, sculpt….whatever your craft. Just keep doing it over and over and over until you get where you want to go.” – Charles Fazzino
It’s Time to Get Creative: Go and Find Your Niche!
The 3D technique of art has given Charles Fazzino success as an artist, teacher, and creative mind. Many artists find their niche by sticking with a particular style, subject, or series of pieces. Consider your surroundings, personal experiences, admirable mentors, and likes as the most valuable sources of inspiration to aid in developing a vision that is truly unique to you!