Saturday Oct 20

1 I keep bringing up the idea of how lucky I am to come in contact with some amazing men and women to feature in this column, and I mean it each time I say it. For the month of October I have a special artist who is so multi-talented that it took two months just to get this article ready for Connotation Press: An Online Artifact! I present to you Sue Beatrice, a woman with so much talent it makes me sick (in a good way)!

Beatrice is someone whose art you’ve probably seen at some point in your life without even realizing it. Through her company, Beatrice Designs, she does a ton of commercial sculpting for big-name companies such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., and the list goes on, not to mention that she is also the creative hands and mind behind the iconic clockwork fairy that you may or may not have seen floating throughout cyberspace. Beatrice is especially highly known for her unique cog sculptures and steampunk work, as well as her pumpkin carvings, sand sculptures and much, much more. I don’t think there’s anything art-related that she can’t do, and if there is, she didn’t tell me about it, and I wouldn’t have believed it anyway!

With talent comes responsibility. Beatrice is a very busy woman, and in just the past month she has been working behind the scenes on a TV show, a sand sculpting competition, and flying to and from China for work. I envy her life and her adventures.

And since it is October (and since Beatrice is a master sculptor), I figured I would mainly feature some of her incredible pumpkin carvings in this issue! Of course, if you are curious, I will link below to a few places where you can see much more of her creative work.

If you’d like to become more familiar with her work, please check out her Facebook page, All Natural Arts, or send her a friend request here. Be sure to give the interview below a little looksee, and I hope you all have a wonderful harvest month.

Sue Beatrice interview with Brittany Connolly

2 What is your favorite artistic medium to work with and why?

Lately I've been really enjoying working in sand. It's wonderful for working at a large scale relatively quickly. The poundup portion is a lot of work but there is no limit to what can be created other than the physics of the sand.

Many people rave about your steampunk work, but what do you consider your “claim to fame?”

My "claim to fame" used to be based on what clients I worked for. Initially, that was The Franklin Mint and later Disney and other major companies. Sometimes it was a well-known toy line, like when I was working on Cabbage Patch Kids 3 back in the 80's or more recently, a series of Harry Potter figures. Now It's based on my own work, and I try to keep it fresh and new so the pieces I am known for change frequently.

What was your first big, defining moment as an established artist?

My first big moment as an artist would have been when I was 15 and had a show of my paintings in The Congressional Offices. They were on display for a year.

What is your favorite piece of art that you’ve created?

8 The next one.

What is the most challenging medium to work with? The most effortless?

I find clients to be much more challenging than materials. Any medium has restrictions and predictable limitations. People, especially licensors, are never predictable.

4 What are some of your upcoming projects?

This fall I'm carving pumpkins all over the place. Most weekends I can be seen at the Bronx Zoo giving live demonstrations and at The Rise of the Jack-O-Lanterns at Westbury Gardens in NY with Pumpkin Sculpt USA. I'll also be carving at The New York Botanical Gardens with Villafane Studios and I'll be appearing on Halloween Wars on the Food Network as well as a couple of well-known morning shows. I'll also be carving sand for Nintendo at Comic Con there are a few other sand jobs before the season comes to an end. After sand and pumpkin season ends I will be getting back to my backlog of steampunk watch sculpture commissions.

5 What was your dream job as a child/young person?

I'd always planned to be an artist. It just felt like it was what I was supposed to be.

You are quite obviously multifaceted. Is there anything you can’t do? Have you ever failed at something, and if you have, what did you learn from that experience?

Actually, the list of things I can't do is pretty extensive. No one does everything well. If you are creative and attempt new things, you will fail at them frequently. It's part of the process. Failure is not the enemy. Not trying is.

6 Where do you see yourself in five years?

Five years ago, I could not have imagined where I am now. I don't try to visualize where I might be five years from now, I just try to remain open to new ideas and experiences and constantly work to improve my skills. The possibilities are endless.