Ronn Turner: ‘I have done just about every form of art you can imagine’

(Photo Courtesy: Ronn Turner)
(Photo courtesy of Ronn Turner)

Do you most often actively seek inspiration or does it find you? Or is it a combination of the two?
I’m a very imaginative person and inspiration comes at times when I least expect it. I can be watching something on TV or on the golf course and I jot down notes to explore later.

What led you to art in general and to your art form(s) in particular?
It’s a part of me, has been since I can remember. My parents were told I was a prodigy in elementary school because of my attention to detail. I have done just about every form of art you can imagine from sculpture to painting, fashion or architecture.

Have you ever been involved in traditional business? If so, how?
I have been involved in the arts for 40 years, writing for the last 10. I’ve been the president of three nonprofits in three states, owned two graphic design businesses and have been a freelance artist for 20 years. I write business plans and consult on a regular basis with business I design websites for.

In addition to mastering their art, what other skill sets to you recommend that artists develop if they want to be successful?
Diligence and fortitude. Most “wanna be” artists don’t know how to be self-expressive and supportive with the art. I have lectured to many of them on how to present and sustain a living in the visual art form

How do you stay at the leading edge of your craft?
By always staying connected with learning in some form. From visiting art galleries to attending classes in technology, especially computer applications which manipulate images.

Do you think that there are any widely held misconceptions about art and/or artists? If so, what are they and how do you work to dispel them?
Yes, it has become boring! Artist have become reliant on computer aide technology and lost their outrageous, flamboyant expressionism especially African American (Black) artist. We have become conformist. Every year I release art that people wonder how did you do that and where did that idea come from. That’s what separates a good illustrator from artist!

How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success?
Success is relative to your aspirations. I measure my success by my clients appreciation of my work, not their “wants”. Also success is measured in how you affect those around you, good service, congeniality and reputation can identify you as a person.

Who do you consider to be your peers in your field? Who do you see as examples to emulate?
Several people come in mind in the arts, Charles Bibbs, Paul Goodnight, Dr. Eugene Grisby, Maya Angelou all artists, entrepreneurs and visionaries. Emulation is a form of flattery, not appreciation, I don’t think they want to be flatter but appreciated, so in my appreciation of their work, I try to be an example that they have effected.

Name two of your top role models: one in the art world and one from outside of it.
Dr. Eugene Grisby and Maya Angelou. As I said, artist, historians, visionaries.

Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life and/or yourself.
Roots by Alex Haley, I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and The Bible.

Why do you consider continued learning important?
“Learning is essential to continued life… and love.” –Maya Angelou. Education has freed us from tyranny and ignorance and without it we do not grow, either spiritually or mentally.

What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
“A wise man is strong … a man of knowledge increases strength.” (Proverbs 24:5)

What role does art have in the community? What role would you like to see art play in the community?
Art can be a release, a time of contemplation that kids and adults need to make good decisions about their life and the direction they are in. I’d like to see more art forms available in communities in various forms, I believe it would reduce crime and drugs tremendously.

What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?
Technology touches everything these days, from communication to the substantiation of life. I’d like to see less technology and more interaction to increase basic instincts of common decency and appreciation for life.

What software, app or other technological innovation has made the biggest difference in your life or career?
I am a freelance artist from website design to print-ready preparation. So I keep abreast of adobe applications and Microsoft innovations for my continuing career and future usages.

Please define your personal brand.
Innovation, imaginary and relatable content.

What is your favorite vacation destination and why?
Carmel by the Sea, a beautiful vacation spot on the California shoreline, which is internationally known and has great food and golfing.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Ignorance and hunger. Enough said.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Gullible-ness and having more “Stick-to-it-ness.” I become bored once I have reach goals and established them. I’m always seeking new and relevant beginnings and creations.

What does it take to be iconic? In your estimation, who has achieved that status?
To become iconic is a judgement made by years of dedication to a principle or cause. Maya Angelou is iconic, Barack Obama is iconic, Martin Luther King Jr. is iconic in varying degrees. History dictates your status and if you are representative of a influence in life to be nominated for iconic status.

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