Anastasia Smith began in the Black Hills. Her real 4-H animals included dairy goats and rabbits, her imaginary ones were horses.... And dragons (yes, Danaerys is awesome) These imaginary animals required her to learn to draw so she could have a physical piece of the animals sharing her life. Later on university painting and sculpture classes were a sideline to theater design because you can't make a living doing art....they said :(. Money and Art come together in Las Vegas theater, and backstage on dozens of different productions is a great way to make your way in life. The pinnacle of a stage tech/artist career is a decade at the Jubilee showgirl extravaganza as a crew member AND the lead scenic artist, so that is where she went.
Because a decade of running the same show night after night requires some really interesting hobbies, horses made a comeback. Gentle Joe and jousting horse Isabel led the way. Yes, the horses are real this time. Vaulting horses aren't quite dragons but they do prove, in an undeniable physical way, that barriers are meant to be broken. Learning acrobatics for the first time on the back of a moving horse challenges your boundaries.... A lot. Two years of lessons with Alethea and Comet from Big Horse Productions made the impossible an everyday occurrence.
Even with real horses, capturing the beauty of a moment requires art. As horses became a second career, drawing and painting were still a steady presence. Riding and equine massage brought concepts like boldness, confidence, subtlety, and communication into everyday use.
Oh, and dogs.
She began to share her life with dogs. High energy, intelligent, challenging dogs. Ways of understanding animals, people, and herself became more important. And what is art but communication? A way to reach out to people through shared aesthetics, then to see how the artist's viewpoint gets refracted through the viewer's. A brave new world, one where vague inspirations develop real world value. A world that cannot be entered without an audience.
Developing internal concepts like this naturally leads to a crisis point. The conquests of before had become a trap of false security. Art is, after all, a viable career choice. Not easy, but possible with support. So 2014 finds Anastasia succumbing to the siren call of the Black Hills and the comfort of family. Goals include sketching every day, respecting the limits of her body, and following inspirations. This means Kung Fu classes, naps, blogging, and podcasting and...lots of art. Refining and developing skills, finding new materials, and continuing to respect and follow inspiration. Another major goal is also to develop an audience that will give her different eyes, mindsets, and histories with which to view and develop her art. Join the audience for this art and help it to become what it was meant to be.