Today’s Creative People interview features Camilla Damsbo Brix. She is a watercolor artist of the magical sort, the kind who can transform a few wisps of color into a delicate flower. She lives in the Danish countryside right in the middle of her favorite inspiration: nature.
Her education was in the experience economy, but several years ago she did a U-turn and became an artist instead. I asked her about her creative path, and how she came to be the amazing artist and teacher she is today. Here is her story.
Four years ago I was working as a project manager with lots of responsibilities. It was so fun and I was driven like crazy to create the perfect project. I worked all day and by night I dreamt about the project. Then at the end of summer I went on vacation and the day I returned I could feel something was wrong. This did not work at all. I went home to cry and a couple of days later my doctor told me to stay home with stress. This was devastating. I’ve always worked hard and rarely stopped to look back. But now I had to stop for real. For a couple of weeks I just waited for time to fix it, but that becomes boring quite fast.
Then one day I had an epiphany. Under the sofa I had a box of my old art supplies. I used to draw and paint a lot when I was younger but after college, university, and finally jobs, that had all been stuffed under the sofa. When I did attempt to paint I would always discard it because it didn’t look great at first. But now I suddenly had all the time in the world. So I took out my brushes, paper, and paint and began.
That was four years ago.”
I did return to the job, but only to find out that I was pregnant. After the maternity leave, I never returned. I sensed that I had to do something else.
Now I am so lucky to teach students from all over the world painting and using art to relax and let loose.
And that is exactly what I want my lovely students to take away from my classes. I want them to realize that watercolor doesn’t have to be scary and perfect. I think that especially watercolors are the perfect medium when you need to just get into a creative flow and let the world be the world for a while.”
The biggest challenge and the biggest advantage I face as an artist is to combine my hobby with my professional life. Often my creativity can be affected by all the tasks I also have to do. Marketing, filming, editing, writing. All of this and more is super exciting but can take up a lot of time that maybe should have been spent painting. But then to do the one thing I’m the most passionate about as my job is just such a privilege that I would never complain for a second.
Creativity plays a big role in my job. Even when I’m not painting. I always have to think about new ways to find students and figure out how to cater to their needs. Also to find the path where it’s actually possible to not be the starving artist but be thriving instead. And that struggle is so worth the fight.”– Camilla Damsbo Brix
I suspect Camilla’s story resonates even more deeply these days – may we all use our newfound downtime to discover something wonderful.
You can find Camilla at her website, or follow her on Instagram at @camilla_damsbo_art .