Jewelry Designer, Multimedia Artist - Walt Cassidy Studio
What did you want to become when you were a child?
I rode in rodeos while growing up on a farm in Missouri. After those years, most of my focus was on painting, which I studied in school, with an intent on moving to Africa.
I was drawn to rebellion and romance for as long as I can remember. This was stimulated and refined by a handful of cinematic references...Pippi Longstocking, The Blue Lagoon, The Black Stallion, Shogūn and Flashdance.
I always imagined myself pursuing an authentic and unique life, no matter what guise or setting it fell under.
How did your friends/family react when you told them you wanted to be an artist?
I was raised to be an artist, and it came quite naturally for me. My father wanted to be an artist, so always facilitated my creative development. Life, at times, distracted me from being an artist. Perhaps, I took it for granted, because it always felt easily available to me.
I don’t think anyone could imagine me being anything but an artist.
How long have you been doing jewelry for?
I started making jewelry about 3 years ago. It started as an art project to test materials on a small scale, and to provide more affordable objects for collectors interested in my work.
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far:
Professionally, within the past year, I have been profiled in VOGUE, ELLE, featured in The New York Times and my first cover for SEVENTEEN was just published. After many years of struggling, it is a fantastic reward to be acknowledged by these prestigious publications.
Personally, practicing daily meditation for the past 3 years has been my most profound and transformative accomplishment. It informs everything that I do.
Who inspires you in the industry?
I generally do not look to contemporary figures for inspiration. I am much more interested in historical figures...Alexander the Great, Rudolf Nureyev, Marlon Brando, Ernest Hemingway, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Robert Mapplethorpe, Yukio Mishima, Agnes Martin, Alice Neel and Contantin Brancusi.
What aspects of your job do you like best/least?
I love the communication and staging aspects of what I do, the exploration of new materials, problem solving, and the notions of resolution, transformation, and documentation.
I am extremely grateful to have a creative voice. It allows me to cultivate intimacy, tenderness and vulnerability, which I find incredibly nourishing.
The only thing I don’t like about my work, is running out of money and resources, especially when there are ideas that are in production.
Describe your style in terms of fashion:
Utilitarian - Elemental - Contrarian - Allegorical - Redemptive - Lived In
What makes you happy?
The person I wake up next to.
What brings you the greatest satisfaction?
Creativity, Intimacy, Spirituality and Discipline.
What is your favorite song at the moment, and of all time?
At the moment, “All In Love Is Fair” covered by Dionne Warwick.
Of all time, “The Song To The Siren” covered by This Mortal Coil.
What song will ALWAYS puts you in a good mood?
“I Put A Spell On You” - various versions
What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
I don’t feel guilt for pleasure.
Describe yourself in 5 words:
Purist, Renegade, Lover, Empath, Diarist
Which living person do you admire most?
What do you most value in people?
Honesty, Accountability and Loyalty
What do you wish to achieve in 2016?
I am currently casting prototypes in sterling silver, so I anticipate the release of that new series for 2016. I am thinking a lot about furniture, and would like to see something emerge from Walt Cassidy Studio in that realm. As my work stretches over a wide range of mediums already, I am starting to imagine a survey exhibition that could bring everything together and produce a book. One of the primary roots of my work is the concept of narrative. I consider myself a diarist. I am telling a story as I go along, and that aspect will become clear when all the works can be explored collectively in one setting.
Name 2 things people don't know about you:
My future, and how I will die.
What is your motto?
“Resolve to by thyself: and know that he who finds himself loses his misery.” - Matthew Arnold
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’d love to be in a committed relationship, and begin building a family close to the sea.
Professionally, I would like to expand my team at Walt Cassidy Studio, continue to do artwork and jewelry, but also explore furniture, interiors and architecture.
Any advice for those wanting to make a living as an artist?
Ask your heart what it wants, and follow what it tells you to do.
Any last words?
Climb a tree and swim in the sea.
Make sure to follow Walt;