Each week we will introduce you to our (LYD) Live Your Dream Stars. These awesome women are living their dream. Through their stories, we hope to inspire you to live your dreams.
Cydney Ross is an artist from Kansas City, Missouri. This fall she began a Kickstarter Campaign to sponsor a trip to Kesckemét, Hungary where she will be an artist in residence at the International Ceramics Studio.
At what age did you first start sculpting and doing artwork?
My artistic endeavors began as soon as I could grasp a crayon. I would spend my time drawing on anything I could get my little hands on whether it was my mom’s figure drawings or the walls! The first sculptures I made were small paper animals. And I was first introduced to clay as an elementary student. I still have my first piece I ever sculpted, which was a cat with a little head and very long body.
What is your favorite type of work to create?
I’m fascinated with architecture; mainly buildings that have been torn down or are in the process of being built. There is something about seeing structures not being quite complete that gives off a feeling of potential. I tend to work in several mediums such as photography and drawing which ultimately lends itself to my sculptural, ceramic practice.
“Gallopin’ Twelfth Street Viaduct”, 2012, earthenware, 16”x19”x9”. Image by Vivien Farkas.
What is the one thing you most look forward to accomplishing on your trip to Hungary?
I am so excited about this trip! I went as a student years ago when I didn’t have a sculpting method to call my own nor a theme I focused on in my work. This time I feel I’ll be more prepared since I have a sense of direction. Ultimately I look forward to submerging myself in Hungarian culture, researching architecture and spending long nights working away in my studio with other artists.
What gave you the idea to do a Kickstarter campaign? What was your reaction to finding out you had been fully funded?
I’ve seen many artists launch successful fundraisers through Kickstarter. It’s a great venue for young artists to receive support for new ideas and projects. The fact that I’ve been fully funded is still astonishing to me and honestly hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I am immensely grateful and look forward to making artwork for my supporters.
“Structural Integrity”, 2013, earthenware and porcelain, 6”x3.5”x4”. Image by E.G Schempf.
What is the most difficult situation you have had to face so far in trying to accomplish your goals?
There are many obstacles that arise when you’re trying to accomplish something you’re passionate about. For me the most challenging situations have been emotionally and financially based. Sometimes it’s difficult to have conviction in your abilities and too easy to be filled with self-doubt when you’re putting yourself out there for the world to see and judge. What I’ve learned is that failure is one of the most important things to accept. In order to progress you need to understand what doesn’t work. From this you learn how to make your ideas come to fruition, no matter what odds are against you.
When it comes to struggling with money you get creative. You start problem solving and figuring out ways to find funding. We live in a society with endless resources and strong communities. A lot of times all you need to do is simply ask for help. You will be amazed how supportive people are of your ambitions.
Who has been the biggest inspiration for you living your dreams?
That is a difficult question to answer because there are so many people who have helped me realize my dreams. I would have to say my college professors Cary Esser, George Timock and Paul Donnelly have been huge in helping me find my sense of discipline in my studio practice. On the other hand my college instructor, Aaron Blumenhein introduced me to the fantastical world of architecture and constantly refuels my imagination and desire to dig deeper. And of course there’s my mom, Pamela King and boyfriend, Daniel Sciara who have truly been the foundation of support for my creative endeavors. If it weren’t for these people I definitely wouldn’t be where I am now!
Tell an embarrassing or funny story!
In my spare time I like to sing parody songs about my cats! When people see my work they think of me as a very serious person, when in reality I’m also a very goofy individual. I love to make people smile and laugh!
If you could give young girls one piece of advice what would it be?
Aside from embracing your convictions and accepting failure as a tool to progress, I would say love yourself and all the oddities that make you the wonderful person that you are. And always empathize with others. We’re all in this world together and chances are you will cross paths with people you know at the most unexpected times. Be kind, humble and helpful to yourself and others.
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