Sandra Garrity is a legend in the industry. If you have held a Garrity miniature in your hand–and you probably have–you know that she is the master of her craft.
It was a treat throwing some questions in in the direction of our miniatures guest of honor.
When did you realize that you had such incredible artistic talent?
Thank you so much for the compliment. I really appreciate it. I don’t really know that I am incredibly talented, but I love doing artistic things. As a child, I thought everybody could do art, but some people just weren’t interested in art. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I began to realize that doing artistic things seemed to come naturally to me.
How much of your skill is natural and how much do you chalk up to practice?
I do think some is natural, but I have to say, I practice a lot! Even if one has the blessing of a natural talent, that person has to practice and hone the skills needed to do whatever it is they want to do in life.
What is the most challenging part of sculpting?
For me, the most challenging part of sculpting is being able to do the sculpts to fulfill my client’s visions.I think it is wonderful when I can do a sculpt and have my client say,”That’s just what I had in mind!”
When did you become a professional artist?
I actually became a professional artist in 1969, after I got married and moved to San Antonio, Texas. I joined an artist group and showed painting and wood sculpture in a gallery there.
What was your favorite non-freelance job?
I haven’t really done many non-freelance jobs in the art field. I did teach some evening adult art classes at a junior college in San Antonio Texas. I did really like that job.
Do you have any advice for anyone who thinks they would like to make a living being an artist?
Be prepared to work very hard and be very persevering. If you truly love art, and want to make a living at it, you have to be willing to put in long hours. Also, you must be a good business person. Work with a contract, get everything in writing that you are to do so there are no misunderstandings that might ruin a good business relationship.
Who are your biggest artistic inspirations?
This is a difficult question because there have been many artists that have inspired me over the years. Some of these were painters, (The old masters, like Michaelangelo); some were illustrators, (Larry Elmore, Brom, the Hildebrandt Brothers, Keith Parkinson, Boris, to name a few); some were sculptors in the miniature, toy and pewter industries, such as Tom Meier, and Julie Guthrie. Tom and Julie were the first sculptors that inspired me in the miniature industry. Over the years, there have been so many others that I have come to truly admire as well.
Are there any particular pieces you have done that you are especially proud of? Why?
It is hard to pick because I have done over 3000 sculpts. But, I think the Licensed Star Wars figures I did for Rawcliffe Pewter would be ones that I am especially proud of because of the very strict licensing criteria that I had to adhere to to complete the sculpts and get them approved.
I would like to conclude by saying that, the years I have worked in the miniatures industry have been both challenging and wonderful. I have had the opportunity to do some great projects and meet wonderful people. I feel very fortunate.
Well, we feel fortunate to have you as a special guest. Thank you for your time, Sandra.