He is a self-taught painter who dropped out of art school. His name is Sage Barnes and his works speak of identity and finding out who we are beyond what society tells us we are. He goes beyond just acrylic on canvas. With his recent works featuring fake flowers, concrete-like textures, and more.
– What are some hobbies you have outside of art?
I like music a lot, listening or playing. I taught myself how to play the guitar and the piano like 7 years ago. Still waiting to get good. I also like playing sports during breaks. For me, painting requires a lot of sitting in one place for long hours so it’s a nice change of pace.
– Do you have any favorite tv shows or films at the moment?
I’m kind of weird when it comes to tv/movies. I rarely give myself time to sit down and watch things, so it’s mostly background noise while I work. I’ve watched The Godfather probably 4-5 times in the last month and enjoy it. Also pretty much any scary movies I’ll watch.
– What about any favorite musical artist or groups?
I’m one of those “I like all types of music” people. So it just depends on the mood or occasion I guess. I like The 1975, Drake, Kings of Leon, James Bay, Post Malone, Borns, and like older music. Earth, Wind and Fire, Mase, Michael Jackson, Guns n Roses, and Biggie. It’s really just all over the place.
– Growing up what is a memory that stands out to you that shaped the way you think and the way you work?
Watching my dad go to work every day, he was a roofer and eventually opened his own roofing company. That probably sounds weird but I would accredit my work ethic to the example he set. In the line of work I’m in, it doesn’t really take much desire to spend long hours but I think its more about showing up with an open mind day after day.
– At what age did you start making art?
I’ve drawn all of my life. I really wanted to be an athletic shoe designer for the longest time. But I just picked up a paintbrush a few years ago. Haven’t managed to put it down yet.
– What do you gain inspiration from?
Mostly emotions and experiences. At the end of the day no matter who we are, we all have the same emotions. We may have different experiences that bring them out or some struggles may be harder than others but I think we’re all connected in that way.
– Do you feel where you are from has affected the art you make?
I don’t really think so. I’m from the Midwest in the US and compared to bigger cities, art as a career is not common at all.
– What finally made you drop out of school to begin this art career?
I like to do my own thing and have full control over it. It’s how I’ve always been and you can’t do that in school. The week I dropped out I think we spent a week drawing a fucking apple. A week. Do you know how much more you can get done in a week?!
– If you hated school so much why did you choose to enroll in the first place?
At the time it was just the thing to do. I went to a Catholic high school. Almost everyone went to college. At 18 I didn’t really have any other ideas on what to do with my life and going to college was almost like regular procedure.
– How has your work evolved over the years in your opinion? Do you feel more open to experimenting with new ideas and concepts them before?
I think it’s evolved a lot. I taught myself how to paint from day one. Definitely a trial and error process but as frustrating as it was it was also really rewarding. I’m a lot more open-minded and receptive now, but with a greater sense of identity.
– When did you start to post your art on Instagram?
Around 2013 I’d post just small drawings, I hadn’t started painting yet so just mostly experiments or random projects.
– How has Instagram Benefited your career?
It’s helped a lot. Showing your work isn’t the easiest thing to do because you never know what people will say. Especially on the internet. It can be way more intimidating because people are really weird on the internet. So it has also thickened my skin a little bit I guess. It’s also helped me tap into the business side of art, marketing, interacting with supporters/businesses/clients and just teaching you how to represent yourself.
– Is there any artist you would like to work with?
At the moment I’m not sure if there’s anyone I would 100%. I’m sure that sounds bad but to collaborate in art you really have to connect with the other person and just because you love someone’s work doesn’t mean it will fit with yours the way you want it to.
– When you have trouble coming up with new ideas what do you do to get the creative juices flowing again?
Do something else. Literally anything else. I hate rushing ideas and forcing things. I usually make a mistake more times than not when I’m trying to force it. So, just sketch in a completely different style, work out, go to a different concept, or at least write down I want out of the work and leave it. I’m a big fan of just clearing your mind and then it will let your subconscious figure it all out instead of giving yourself a headache trying to figure out new things.
– Is there anything you would like to add?
If you’re still reading this far, I hope you have a good day.
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