Courtney Minor only recently started painting again, but the hiatus from her artistry hasn’t stifled her creativity at all. In a short amount of time, what was initially a hobby has become another profession for the mixed media artist. Minor’s collages, made under the name Ronim Art, employ the use of multiple artistic mediums, including painting, embroidery, photography and doodling. The use of repeated images in her works like “Quiet, Anxious & Serene” create an almost haunting echo effect that sticks with the viewer long after they’ve seen her pieces. She wants to capture her subjects in moments where they’re truly vulnerable, baring the side of themselves they usually hide from the world.
“Quiet, Anxious & Serene” by Courtney Minor
“I wanted to be an architect as a kid. I would make sketches of every single house, building, tree, and different structure I saw.” she recalls, but her practice waned as she traversed the complicated waters that is adolescence to early adulthood, only picking up a paintbrush or sketchbook when she needed to destress.
Like many people who graduated during the recession, Minor picked a major that guaranteed financial stability for her and her family, but quickly realized she was too creative for a career in industrial engineering. She switched her major to market research, where she enjoys getting to the core of customers' personalities and interests as well. “I went into market research to fulfill the creative desires I didn't get from my engineering major. I love it because I love talking, listening, and examining other people. The market research I do is rooted in psychology and observing people's micro ticks and facial expressions; what they're not saying, so I feel like my passion and full time job are intertwined, because both require me to bring what’s under the surface to light.”
Kels The Warrior
Just because Minor loves both her careers doesn’t mean juggling the two can’t get complicated. She often finds herself multitasking. “Honestly, I don't sleep that much. I find that I get my best ideas, in the most obscure moments. Sometimes I’ll see somebody on the street, and stop and ask if I can take their picture, even when I’m out with my coworkers, they’ll be like ‘hey what are you doing?!’ But I tell them don't worry it'll take all of 10 mins. It seems like a lot, but it’s very fluid because I also paint when I want to relax at home. I try to make sure none of it conflicts with the other.”
Minor laughed when I asked her about time management, “I’m moderate at time management. I’m obsessed with using my calendar for managing conflicting schedules, because I’m very forgetful. What I’ve learned from work and my 10-year break from art is you can’t overbook yourself, or you'll burnout, but there’s always something that's gotta give. My rule is whether my artwork is taking off or my market research business is taking off, or if I can hire a full time person with the income I make from either of those two businesses, that's when I know I’ll be able to make that change. I just have too many family obligations to quit my job. I got bills!”
There’s an overarching belief that you must solely focus on a new passion to succeed, especially if you’re creative, but people have other pressing obligations that may pull them away from their craft from time to time. The journey to greatness isn’t linear, and no one understands this better than Courtney Minor.
You can catch her and her thought provoking artwork at her upcoming solo show at NiLu on November 14.
Author: Thahabu Gordon