I’m so excited about my next feature⭐️✨🖼🐾🎨
This is going to be an interview like no other. The talent and creativity that my next guest displays will blow your mind!!!!!
Meet Kate Šotolová – Oil Painter + Creator
When I was introduced to Kate years ago, we were both part of a feature on “Quickk List” by Carol Prendergast and I fell in love with her work. What made me even more intrigued about Kate is, she is from Czech Republic (formerly known as Czechoslovakia) which is the exact place that my Great Grandparents came from before they migrated to Texas.
Thank you so much Kate for sharing with my community, blog and various platforms.
Please help me welcome Kate✍🏽💛✨
Oil Painter + Creator
Featured Entrepreneur: Kateřina Šotolová – Oil Painter + Creator
Interviewed by: Anna Světlík De La Rosa
MY INTERVIEW WITH KATEŘINA ŠOTOLOVÁ
Q1. What did you want to be growing up?
I think children talk about all kinds of future jobs and their opinions change quite frequently. I think I was just like that. But I don’t remember any specific ‘big dream job’ which I envisioned. On the other hand, I do remember thinking about the United States, flying there on an airplane during my teenage years. That seemed unfeasible in my mind, extremely far and unreachable. Also at that age, I believed I wouldn’t simply get a job after school and go to work every day to start my adult life; I thought I would be different somehow. I’m happy to say that these thoughts came true … I flew to the US at the age of 20 and had a blast there! I found a job at an art gallery at the age of 23 and I considered it a unique occupation and really enjoyed it. I became part of the community there – it was in the suburbs of Boston, MA. I’m so grateful and thankful to the owner of the gallery and the wonderful memories I experienced.
Q2. Tell us more about your spectacular art work?
Thank you so much!
I consider myself to be lucky that I ran an art gallery for so long (16.5 years to be exact). I was exposed to a lot of artwork, I was surrounded by many artists, and it encouraged me to start painting, as well.
First, I was brave enough to give my paintings as gifts to my friends, but it didn’t even cross my mind that I would sell my paintings in future. After I painted several dog portraits for close friends, I realized that such art appealed to people and I might be able to get a few commissions. It all made me proud and humble at the same time that my creations made people happy. When I reminisce about my beginnings, I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m so happy that people like the way I paint and want me to capture their beloved pet. I am also astounded, excited and grateful for the inquiries I receive.
I also started painting small still-life paintings of fruit or cakes which I love. I’ve always loved realistic paintings of single items so I try to paint them as well.
My Motto: “Paint what you love!”
Q3. Do you have some tips for those who are interested in painting?
It’s so true that everyone is creative in their own way, I believe that it’s never too late to start creating, nobody is too old to learn new things.
Do not compare yourself to anyone!!
Don’t make excuses like: “I don’t have a studio/space for painting!” or “I don’t know what to buy?!”.
I started painting in my tiny kitchen! And I ate at that table where I had my small easel set up, covered with plastic cover! Nowadays thanks to the Internet, there’s so much information online about painting for beginners, plus employees in art supply stores can always help.
Here’s an idea: I bring a small set of watercolors, small brushes and a small pad in a fanny pack around my waist when I go for a bike ride, because what if I find a beautiful quiet spot where I want to sit, enjoy the view and paint the scenery? I don’t create landscape masterpieces, but I do what I enjoy and when you think about it, isn’t this all that matters?
If you are interested in painting/drawing, start NOW!
Q4. What does success mean to you as an artist?
If people want to hang my painting on their wall at home and look at it every day, honestly, that is what I consider my success. I believe that all artists can find their admirers, but they also have to accept the fact that not everyone will love their art; art is very subjective. I think it’s important to communicate well with people, be open-minded and friendly, and show the passion in what you do.
Q5. Tell us about the process when preparing to paint a pet portrait?
I kindly request good quality photos from my clients. I think I am picky because what sometimes happens is people think they have a great photo, but I don’t see the important details in the eyes there, so we go through more photos to find the best one.
Then according to the photo, I suggest the size of the future painting. I don’t paint on regular sized boards, I cut my own hard boards and I gesso them – which is the proper preparation for oil painting, something like a prime paint.
Then I draw the most important shapes of the portrait with a pencil right on the white board. When I start painting the portrait, I see the photo on my laptop next to my board.
I usually start with the eyes, then nose, and then the face starts appearing. I work upside-down at the beginning because I fully concentrate on the true colors and shapes I see.
Q6. How do you process workload stress or personal stress or just too much coming at you all at one time?
At the moment, I really try to think with a calm mind what is the most important thing to take care of first.
I think to myself: “People will survive this. So what, they can wait a little.” With a friendly attitude and common sense I continue doing what needs to be done.
I tell myself the known quote –
‘we all make mistakes, nobody is perfect’.
When suddenly many things go wrong at the same time, I try to repeat to myself: “Don’t give in! It’s just Murphy’s law! It’s like the occasional ‘life test’, take one step at a time, you will be just fine. Just don’t give in and don’t feel sorry for yourself!”
I know that fresh air and deep breathing outdoors help so much. I love biking up and down hills in my region and seeing the fields and forests and villages in the distance. That totally makes me feel good.
Q7. If you could speak to one woman from history, who would it be?
I believe there have been many amazing women around the world but my answer to this question is humble. I would like to speak to my grandmother who I may resemble inside and out, as I was told. She passed away just a couple of days after I arrived in the United States in 1999, where I ended up living for twenty years.
She told me: “Don’t let people take advantage of you. You are too nice.” Now in my forties, I would love to have a chat with her.
Q8. Favorite brush to paint with?
I have a very specific answer to this question: it is the Princeton Filbert Grainer synthetic brush, it is perfect for painting animal fur and no other brush can do this magic!
Q9. Any exciting projects in the works this coming year?
I am happy to say that I was asked to have another solo show in my hometown this summer. It was more than a year ago when the mayor of my town suggested I have a solo show. I was so honored! The Town organized it in spring of 2022. This year, it will be on display for two full months – July and August – in a pretty area of my town where people hang out and tourists go as well. It makes me happy that ‘round two’ is coming up and I’m painting!
Q10. Where can we find you?
LinkedIn: Kateřina Šotolová