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Meet Patric Stillman of The Studio Door in North Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patric Stillman.

Patric, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Fourteen years ago, I decided to embrace my creativity and get serious about my art. That decision created parallel careers for me.

One career as a visual artist and the other as an entrepreneur. Both eventually lead to my opening of The Studio Door, the art gallery and artist studios that I operate along the 30th corridor in North Park.

Before that, my career moved back and forth between my interests in business administration, community activism and creative engagement. I see what I do now as an amalgamation of all the things I learned along the way.

The secret to my success is that my parents told me to believe in myself, my teachers taught me to know myself and my community encourages me to do my best. As long as I put in the work, I believe that I can do anything I set my mind to. When I’m not feeling up to the task, I’m grounded in the fact that my significant other is incredibly supportive and that I am surrounded by artists who encourage and inspire me. This is a shared journey.

Has it been a smooth road?
Anything worthwhile requires some struggling in the process. Art is about passion, ideas and expression. The life and work of an artist is filled with obstacles. I think that creative conflict drives artists, like myself, to finding innovative solutions.

As an entrepreneur, I’ve certainly seen my share of difficult stretches in starting and growing my business. Like most startups, I’ve struggled with establishing the business, building the brand, cash flow, community engagement, public apathy, and sustaining my own energy. “Success” rarely looks like what you think it will be.

Since I can’t control when things may go off the tracks, I do my best to keep things in perspective and have faith in the foundation of what I am building. I suppose it’s not too different philosophically from how I approach and sustain my energy while creating a new work of art.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Studio Door – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Studio Door is an arts incubator dedicated to the creative marketplace. The core activities are to assist artists with the business and marketing side of selling art as well as creating opportunities to bring greater attention to San Diego’s visual artists. The North Park storefront includes two art galleries, eight working artists studios, art instruction and art-to-market programming. The Studio Door has become known for its national exhibitions, regional invitationals, the annual Open Studios San Diego artist tours and the biennial 50 To Watch publication highlighting some of San Diego’s best visual artists.

I am proud that I have been able to create programs that fill in some of the gaps in the spectrum of visual arts in San Diego. My hope is to continue to build bridges that bring together artists. I get great pleasure in showcasing diverse media and creative voices within one exhibit. Something special takes place when the public can engage in works by both emerging and professional artists. A dialogue takes place in the gallery about art that is good for both artists and patrons.

Additionally, The Studio Door is a community partner to the regions artists, arts organizations, art industry and business community.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
To my knowledge, San Diego has never seriously nurtured the creation of a sustainable arts district. Our visual artists are scattered to the winds making our arts community hard to navigate for artists, patrons and tourists. I wish that government and business entities would realize that art is more than just entertainment and actively engage in moving the needle forward on nurturing creativity and small business, including individual artists.

That said, I like that San Diego is a city of possibilities. The National Endowment of the Arts suggests that there are an estimated 2,850 visual artists in San Diego working to find new solutions to have their work seen and their voices heard. American for the Arts reported that the arts in San Diego is billion dollar economic driver. What I see is that not a week goes by that there isn’t a new mural, pop up show, gallery opening or arts event taking place. I believe that the future of our city’s cultural legacy is up for grabs. I can’t wait to see how our artists shape it and how the general public will engage with it.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
The Studio Door

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Patric Stillman

    January 4, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you for covering my story. What a great way to start the new year. The Studio Door has a full calendar with 4th Annual The Crow Show, 50 To Watch exhibitions, The Business of Art Scholarship and HIV+ Artist Material Grants. Looking forward to sharing all f these projects and more through out the new year.

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