Making Art that people really care about

Have you ever looked at an artist’s work and thought: “That looks easy!” or “Even I could do that.”

Art can look deceptively easy since we don’t always understand the creative process and thinking behind it, or the skills and expertise required to create it.  

I’ve loved creating art for as long as I can remember, but in the Fall of 2016, the stars aligned and I got to actually do what I’d always dreamed of doing! I got to study under a Glass Master on the famed glass island of Murano, which lies just across the lagoon from Venice, Italy.

As well as teaching me how to lume – the Italian name for the torch-based glass melting process – and glass blowing, he also taught me about accepting my inner critic. It’s something that I think all artists battle with as we create our work. Whenever I’m creating, I always have my eye on the end result, visioning my work displayed on the walls of my Art Studio in Dallas, and thinking to myself: “Will people like this?” “Will they care about it in the same way that I do?”

I’ve learned over the years that no one is going to care about my work unless I care deeply about it. All my work is based on special people or places, memories, and is often an expression of my deep feelings and emotions at the time. 

My “FAITH” series, for example, is a reflection of a time when I felt my world transitioning, and I had to trust that my feelings of discomfort were simply part of my growth journey. Creating this series made me realize that our lives are all part of a bigger picture, and we don’t always know which way we are heading.  

Anna Lou in front of her Faith series of lucite murals 

Where I find my inspiration

I often get asked where I find my inspiration, and I would say my two go-to’s are nature and travel.

Visiting new places has broadened my mind to new experiences and allowed me to become more creative and accepting of new ideas. Wherever I travel to, I always take my sketchbook or notebook, jotting down ideas and sketching wherever I can. I’m always looking for subtle, unspoken nuances that I connect deeply with and how I can translate them into a work of art.  

I’m drawn to flowers; their beauty, colors, innocence, purity and the joy that they bring. Glass art has allowed me to re-create them in a form that people can bring into their homes – whatever time of year – and enjoy their beauty through glass. 

Letting go of external validation 

Over the years I’ve learned to let go of negative comments. We each have our own style and I appreciate that not everyone is going to like my work. I’ve come to accept that if my work truly satisfies me and validates my core beliefs, that it will speak more strongly to others too. 

Anna Lou creating bespoke glass art

There’s no doubt that every artist wants to create work that people care about—that hits a sweet spot, a nerve, sparks an emotive reaction. 

>> Browse my glass art and watercolor collection here 

>> and Book a Studio visit to view select pieces in person.