Art and technology are often thought of as opposites— one is seen as connecting people while the other might be seen as disconnecting them. An Arroyo Grande artist is combining these two worlds by sharing creations, advice and encouragement.
“I truly believe that art defines our culture,” said Mari Robeson. “You can look at different times in history, and you can see what is happening in the world based on what the artist is creating. Creating beauty is critical for our existence. If you take away cinema, if you take away music, if you take away dance, that is such a bleak dark place. I see artists as the light makers.”
Mari is already an illustrator, interior designer and author. Now, she is hosting her own podcast dedicated to supporting artists and creative entrepreneurs while giving back to the community.
Mari spent a large part of her career as an interior designer tapping into her creativity.
“I have always approached interior design as art,” Mari said. “To me it is a three-dimensional piece of art that I am creating.”
That led her to writing and illustrating “Charming & Pretty – The ART of Home,” a full color book featuring illustrations of whimsical rooms designed by Mari filled with design advice and, for her three daughters, some mom tips that have been passed down through generations.
“It’s design advice and kind of like everything you wish your mom would have told you about taking care of
your home — all the way down to how to iron a shirt,” she said.
In 2016, shortly after her book came out, Mari’s world changed.
“My sister died, she got cancer, and bam she died,” she said, her voice heavy with emotion. “She and I were so close. I looked at things differently.”
After Louise’s passing, her mail was delivered to Mari’s home, and soon, it was evident how philanthropic the older sister had been.
“She was so generous to so many organizations, and that’s when I realized that I need to do something more important than this. I thought I had to do more with my life than help one person over here.”
During the grief process, Mari thought of a way for art and technology to intersect in a way that was also a tribute to the altruistic nature of her sister. The “Love Lou Lou” podcast offers listeners advice from seasoned creatives the first Wednesday of every month. A creative entrepreneur is showcased the third Wednesday of the month. There is also a visual ver- sion of the podcast on YouTube.
“I thought that I know a ton of artists, a lot of creative entrepreneurs,” Mari said. “They are all good friends of mine, and I know they will share. There was nothing like this when I was young. There is so much great information coming out of these pod- casts, it just floored me.”
Featured artists will display three new pieces of art on the podcast and donate 80 percent of sales for the month for the next generation of artists.
“They are all so generous,” said Mari. “They all get it, they were all there. The advice is super generous too. You don’t just find this type of advice. This is the real journey. It’s a hustle. You have to find the right niche. You have got to always adjust your stance as a creative. You can’t just ride on this one wave, especially as an artist, because that fad will be done. And, you have to stay authentic to you and keep growing. Even I’m learning talking to these artists. There is this myth that artists don’t want to help each
other, but I found it is the complete opposite. This podcast is all about sharing and supporting other artists. The bottom line is getting these older, more seasoned, creatives to share for the next generations.” Using the artist’s donations and personal funding, Mari has also set up two $500 Louise Monforte Memorial Art Scholarships available to students of Arroyo Grande High School in spring 2019. One scholarship is for students pursuing visual arts and the other for dance/theater arts.
Check out the podcast and more at www.MariRobesonHome.com and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @MariRDesign. Anyone who would like to support the podcast can fol- low Mari at https://www.patreon.com/ MariRobeson and for $5 a month will receive bonus episodes of the pod- cast that are more personal conversations with her husband, and friends or extended guest interviews as well as her experience behind the scenes as an artist and designer. Patrons also receive special discounts in her online shop and up and coming work- shops and retreats. They also receive an original piece of printable art every month created by Mari.
By Theresa-Marie Wilson