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Meet Cyndy Carstens of Carstens Fine Art Studio & Gallery in Arts District of Old Town Scottsdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cyndy Carstens.

Cyndy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
There are many peaks and valleys to everyone’s story. Mine is complicated and simple at the same time.

A love of art-making began as a sort of fluke while I was recovering from a serious illness as a young child. My parents bought me a small easel and paint as a way to occupy my time. Little did they know, that was the beginning of a life-long passion. That little easel sits in the corner of the gallery as a reminder to always be humble and to be perpetually grateful for every blessing – even the ones we don’t see as gifts until much later in our lives.

Winning a summer scholarship at the Art Institute of Minneapolis (I was six years old) only confirmed my enthusiasm for art-making. From that modest start, I studied every bit of art I could find. I am honored to be characterized as a perpetual student. After attending 4 universities over a stretch of years, my commitment and excitement for art and art-making persist.

Over the course of my career, there have been many positions or titles – graphic illustrator, graphic designer, art director, notecard illustrator, muralist, gallery owner and fine art painter. But none as rewarding as working as a full-time fine artist and sharing my work in my own gallery. Juggling all the jobs concerning the gallery and being the sole producer of the work is a daily challenge, but I cannot imagine doing anything else.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Challenges and struggle seem to be equated with the title artist.

In that regard, my journey fits the mold. Breaking that mold is an essential goal for me.

Sometimes it is not enough to have a gift or even a passion. Diligence and persistence is the key to being successful at anything.

My excursion as an artist is long, full of obstacles, losses and misfortunes, but also many accolades, triumphs and joyful adventures.

I purposefully choose to focus my attention and energy on where I am today. The past may be my history, but aside from learning from history, it cannot and will not be my present.

Carstens Fine Art Studio & Gallery – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Carstens Fine Studio & Gallery’s initial purpose was to share the work of my heart as a fine art painter. Sharing my art with the public continues to be the ultimate goal on the business side. Building connections and Making art relationships through the art is by far the most satisfying part of my career as artist and gallery owner.

An artist’s work evolves, grows and often takes pivotal changes. Before 2003, my work concentrated on the landscape and fauna of the Southwest regions. While caring for my terminally ill mother, the focus of the art moved from landscape to skyscape. Today, my reputation is almost entirely based on the color, movement and inspiration of the heavens. Ever changing, the sky has the ability to touch, console and cause one to ponder more than any other subject I have painted. Passersby are almost always drawn to the gallery because of the vibrant yet soothing color in the work. The skyscape paintings arouse the heart. I have come to be known as the “sky painter”.

Opening a business is not the most challenging part of owning and operating a gallery. With the climate of the art world undergoing significant changes originating from the employment by so many of the world-wide internet, maintaining a brick and mortar gallery for any length of time is difficult at best. I am blessed to report Carstens Fine Art Studio & Gallery will celebrate its 8th year this Spring.

But it is the work – the art – that separates one artist from another. My principle goal is to produce the best-quality and most passionate art possible. Operating the gallery is second to the art itself.

My artwork begins with a spiritual place of gratitude and wonder.

I never paint with the idea of making art “sale-able” – instead, it must be sincere and genuine with the purpose of authoring a story or conveying an emotion. This is my gift to humanity, humble though it may be.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
The definition of success is different for everyone because we each have distinct perspectives. Business success is not necessarily the same as artistic success.

My definition of success is finding happiness in the work – looking forward to the adventures of each new day – being humble with gratitude – keeping my priorities in place – and being modest enough to seek the knowledge others.

If I can accomplish these things, success in business will naturally follow.

Commitment to life-goals will procure success.


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