Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
My name is Scarlet Levy A. I live in Belgium and started my artistic career 11 years ago. I used to make metal art works. After a frontal car accident on New Year’s Eve caused by a drug addict I ended up having multiple fractures, the worst being a double shoulder fracture. I knew after 2 surgeries that my metal art career was over. It is just too hard, but luckily I also painted and I still do.
After 6 years experimenting I developed my personal style: abstract pre-realism.
This new style is the result of ‘strange’ reactions between certain paints and chemical substances combined with new tools and techniques.
Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?
I always wanted to be different from the mass. I still do things rather unorthodox and controversial. I do feel inspired and connected with all kind of creative human beings who started with nothing at all and persevered to make their dreams come true.
Where do you get your inspiration from when you paint?
My best paintings are made when I am in a meditative state. There is only the action of painting. If a painting is finished I usually am as surprised as a spectator who sees the painting for the first time. If I start thinking during the painting process the result is not the same.
What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
I don’t pretend to know what other people think of me, and of course it depends on who you ask. According to my best friend I am intelligent in a strange way, funny, rebellious, always fighting for freedom. I would not be a great diplomat, which means I don’t believe in saying yes when I want to say no. I love adventure, driving to France in the middle of the night and standing naked in a small river a few hours later… you should try it!
Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
My first job was a student job at 16. I worked in a supermarket during weekends and vacations. I sold (and ate) fruit all day. My parents always taught me to save money for rainy days, so when I turned 18 I bought a piano and went to Crete on vacation (without the piano). I was broke and without a job when I came back but I couldn’t care less. I wouldn’t be what I am today without Roland H. Baul, an intriguing mysterious man I met 20 years ago. It was him who advised met to paint. For 20 years he is my teacher in higher consciousness. In a way Scarlet Levy A. is his creation. It is a man worth travelling around the world for. He can really change your life!
Describe a day in your studio space?
A day in my studio starts in the afternoon until midnight and later. It usually takes me an hour to prepare everything I need. The place is usually a mess before I start. I never know what I am going to paint, so there is not much more to do for me than grab a paintbrush.
As an Artist, what is your biggest frustration?
I am frustrated because of the fact that most people don’t appreciate me being a fulltime professional artist. I have to pay a lot of taxes (Belgium is very expensive) and it takes a lot of courage to take that step.
I don’t have a regular job. I don’t agree with some artists who are selling their paintings for a hundred dollars. I pay more for a nice frame! I am lucky to have invented my own techniques and style so I don’t have competition, otherwise it would be difficult to survive.
Tell us about how you prioritise your work.
I start my day by doing the things I don’t like first. If I start painting I don’t want to be thinking about to-do lists. I also eliminated many time-taking items out of my life. I don’t have a television, I don’t have an I-phone and I use the internet in a limited way. To go even further, I chose a life without children, and even friends I choose wisely; I don’t like wasting my time and life on gibberish and gossip.
Can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)?
I don’t network a lot online, I don’t believe in virtual friendships. At this moment, you can find me on LinkedIn and I do have my own website; that’s it. It is my dream to live completely without internet. My paintings are too expensive to sell online anyway.
Real life connections work best for me. I have fans and clients who promote me. The more a client promotes me, the more his or her painting will be worth in the future.
What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?
You should think big, but you should also be realistic; there are too many artists, so you really have to find something special, something the world has never seen before. Don’t paint fruit baskets, sunflowers or mountains. There are already 1 million other artists doing that. Be original and don’t imitate. Go out and ask opinions from strangers. Family and friends aren’t objective.
Metal art: ‘Impossibility’ – 90 x 150 cm. (2006)
I would love to help 10 or 20 other young interesting artists who don’t have the means to create art. I would provide them the space and help them in any way I can. But for that dream I need a little more money…
What is your proudest moment so far?
The day I saw the result of my own invention: pre-realism, and of course the day I sold my first pre-realism painting.
Who do you most want to meet and why?
There are a lot of remarkable men and women; I regret I can never meet George Ivanovitsj Gurdjieff (1866-1949); his insights and his vision would make the world a better place. There are 10 or 15 artists I would like to meet, to give you one name: Georges Mathieu (1921-2012).
What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
I learnt millions of lessons; life is short, everything we have is only borrowed, the nature of human beings is not ‘good’ and will never be, nothing is true, and you won’t have in life what you don’t take. Nobody is going to knock on your door to bring you happiness. Most people don’t realise they will die someday.
What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
At the moment I am reading: ‘Beelzebub tales to his grandson’ – by G.I.Gurdjieff.
I would like to recommend: ‘How to win friends and influence people’ by Dale Carnegie. It reads easy and it has useful tips.
Where do we find you and your artworks?
I have only one address: