Lynchburg Living Editor Shelley Basinger: When did you first start painting?
Sunshine Lewis: I started painting in 2008. I had been painting for fun alongside my close college roommate and friend. When she passed away later that year, I had such a deep loss and I kept at it. I realized it was a great outlet for me.
SB: Art is so healing. How did you end up where you are now?
SL: Art found me—I wasn’t looking for it. I believe creativity has the power to heal and is beneficial for everyone. I look back at my art and I’ve grown into my style. It has evolved and changed over time just like I have. It’s been a great tool and a gift to me. I’ve always loved texture and layers that build upon one another. The more I painted and the more mistakes I made, the more I learned. I figured out what worked for me and what I really love. At the urging of friends and family I reluctantly started to put myself out there more and started selling. The more I sold, the more confident I became. I realize art is subjective. Not everyone “gets” abstract art. And that’s ok. I have had people ask me, “What is this?” and I’ll reply, “Whatever you want it to be.”
SB: Do you enjoy doing commissions?
SL: Yes! But only if they allow me creative liberty to make most of my own decisions. I’m okay to ask them for a broad idea of colors and movement. But if there is a client who has too many specific ideas then I am not the artist for them.
SB: You also work closely with the interior design community. How has that helped you take your artistic career to another level?
SL: I decided to send emails to local interior designers whose work I’m drawn to. Eventually it paid off. I’m honored that they would want to use my work, it gives me another foothold in the market and exposure, too. They put my art in such beautiful spaces and it just comes alive.
SB: Your art is full of color and texture. What inspires you to create?
SL: I’m inspired by music, nature, old books, the texture of old brick walls, the sea, and traveling. I can find inspiration in many places and things.
SB: Aside from long days painting, what else keeps you busy?
SL: When I’m not painting, I’m hanging with my three boys and husband. We love to be outdoors at the lake and love to travel. I’m also a birth worker and come alongside families to help them prepare for birth and achieve their birth goals.
SB: Sounds like you don’t have a lot of free time on your hands! What’s next for you? Is there anything you want to accomplish in the coming years, either in your art or in life in general?
SL: I’m looking forward to focusing on a new collection and taking some time off to focus on filling up my online store.
More travel. More experiences. More inspiration.