Marcy Sperry is an artist who currently lives and works in South Slope, Brooklyn, where she is a development officer by day and an Artist by night. Marcy earned a Bachelors degree in Art and a Masters degree in Art Education yet is best known for her own vibrant, beautiful, beaded creations.Recently, she spoke about her experiences working as an artist and her hopes for the future.


Blasting News (BN): How and when did you decide to become an artist?

Marcy Sperry (MS): I’m surprised I ever made the decision to become an artist. Growing up, art and writing was what interested me, but unfortunately I was not exposed to a whole lot of either.

Years later, I discovered that you don’t have to wait around for someone to give you the education you need – you can take control of your own learning process. I became serious about art after high school and began taking on a studio practice that was conducted in a disciplined manner.

BN: Growing up, which artists/types of art interested you?

MS: I didn’t like too many highbrow things. I was into skateboarding and was fascinated with skate graphics. I liked low budget horror movies, psychedelic art, heavy metal bands - the gloomier, the better. Anything that had some trashy glamour to offer, like the films of John Waters. I always gravitated to things that were dark and edgy but still dared to have a sense of humor and a kind of joyful, maniacal quality that made you laugh.

I still like all those things and find them very inspiring.

BN: How would you describe your work and what inspires it?

MS: My work is based two things: the need to overcome challenges and limitations, and the need to fill up a space with a series of tiny marks or gestures. Beads are an ideal medium to create improvised patterns and achieve a kind of invented kind of space without limitations, with no beginning or end.The process is really simple – I glue them on panels one by one, using a tiny brush and matte medium as an adhesive.

They are not pre-strung, nor do I string them. I used to sew them onto a fabric backing, but that didn’t make the process any faster, as some people think. When you are dealing with beads, “fast” is never really part of the picture. The hard part is the requirement of patience. Thankfully, patience seems to be my superpower.

BN: How did you develop your eye-catching style?

MS: I think my style is colorful and bright in part because I don’t take myself too seriously. My art is a good time, like a good pop song. I want viewers to feel happiness and perhaps come away feeling inspired.

BN: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, which one and why?

MS: Definitely not. The only pieces I have close feelings to are the ones that happen to be in progress. I obsess about those. When a piece is completed, that feeling ends rather abruptly. I move on. I’m more addicted to the process and not the final product.


BN: What has been the most rewarding part of being an artist?

MS: I really like living and working in New York. My personal experience here is that when you work hard and put yourself out there, most likely something good will come of it.

Things may not happen as fast as I’d like, but I don’t feel like I’m making artwork and throwing it into a void, never to be seen again. I have felt that way earlier on in my career.

BN: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become an artist?

MS: Be prepared to invest considerable time and effort. You have to take on the enormous risk of putting yourself out there in some form or fashion. People are not ever going to come to you – you have to go to them. Don’t hide out and wait, that does not work.

BN: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events that you would like to mention?

MS: Yes, I’ll be at my studio at Trestle Projects 400 (3rd Ave, 2nd Floor) as part of the Gowanus Open Studios 2016 which will take place from October 14 -16, 2016.

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