We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Cass Wyant a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Cass, appreciate you joining us today. We’d love to hear about a project that you’ve worked on that’s meant a lot to you.
The most challenging and meaningful project I have ever taken on was the “Dove of Peace” mural for a church in Plum City, Wisconsin. The ceiling’s pitch, angle, and curves made it extremely difficult to paint an image accurately as well as proportionally. I had never painted on this type of pitch, let alone on this type of surface at 40-50 ft in the air. There was a lot of reaching, straining, neck bending, and head tilting during the process. Needless to say, I have an even greater admiration for the Sistine Chapel.
Most people ask me what the most difficult thing about painting large scale or painting a mural is. My response is that when you paint on a canvas or something on ground level, it is easy to step back frequently and look at your progress. When you start working on a large scale, are up high, and so close to the wall, you cannot see how something is truly looking. If the mural is high above the ground, oftentimes, you cannot add that much detail because you would never see it from so far below, and you may have to compensate by highering your contrast more than usual so the eye can differentiate parts of the picture from that distance. With this particular project, this was a bit of an illusion when painting in this type of setting because the walls slanted in. For Example, when I had to paint horizontal clouds, I painted them slightly tilted up so that they looked level when the viewer was on the ground. This project would test not only my skills but also my confidence. When you have scaffolding going that high, it doesn’t matter how stable and secure it is – the whole structure sways with just the tiniest movement.
The piece took about four days but could have been done in much less if not for the level of difficulty in location and in moving on top of the scaffolding. Me being short also presented its challenges, and I had to stand on a 2-foot bench on top of the scaffolding to reach the very top of the Dove’s head. I couldn’t reach it for detailed face work until we moved the scaffolding to another 10ft up.
I’ve never prayed so many times for my safety and to let this mural turn out well, considering the complexity of the circumstances. It was very much outside of my comfort zone. But with perseverance, faith, and encouragement from the ones I loved, I learned anything is possible. It is only in times of uncomfortability, stress, or adversity that we truly grow as people. I am beyond grateful to have had this opportunity to challenge my skills and conquer my fears.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
My name is Cass Wyant, and I’m an artist and designer living in South Florida. I have been doing custom art and murals for over 15 years and graphic design for over 12 years. Initially, I started out as a Fine Arts major, later finishing my degree in graphic design. I have always had a passion for aesthetics and transformation. I have held nearly every graphic design position in the industry. Working for a newspaper company, a non-profit organization, a signage company, and later designing 3D spaces and feature walls alongside architects and interior designers as an experiential designer, have all made me a well-rounded artist.
What sets me apart from traditional artists is that I have the ability to design something digitally before any work actual work takes place. I can create elevation drawings and visual proposals for any job. And if the client so chooses, I can combine physically hand-painted elements along with digitally designed products, such as way-finding signage that you would find at a museum or park.
I am most proud of finding creative solutions for an ever-changing society. Today’s world is all about one’s “experience,” as it is not enough to be solely “functional” in any industry anymore. You need both the visual experience that aids in creating the memory that will bring repeat business back through the doors. It is said that the only thing we consume more than air is content, and we are bombarded daily with advertisements, solicitations, and distractions; because of this, it is imperative to stand out from the crowd. I believe that my skill-set can offer clients a practical and unique solution to do just that.
My most memorable experience was doing an international artist residency at the Chateau Orquevaux in France in 2019. It was a dream come true to experience Paris for the first time, and then spend weeks on the countryside alongside other artists from around the globe. https://www.chateauorquevaux.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
Birthing an idea into existence for others to enjoy and experience. As a creative person, you are not bound to a box, you have the freedom to create anything in your imagination. There are no limits and there is no definitive right or wrong answer in the expression of one’s inner world. There is much joy in sharing a part of my inner workings and seeing it manifest in the physical world.
Can you share your view on NFTs? (Note: this is for education/entertainment purposes only, readers should not construe this as advice)
I believe NFTs will change the world. Initially, I didn’t quite grasp the concept but our technology is continuing to change at a rapid pace. I am still learning more about them, but I believe it will give musicians, writers, and artists specifically, a chance at capitalizing on their talent. If you can start to learn about NFTs now, you’ll be ahead of 90% of the world so I would suggest that anyone interested in incorporating them into their creativity, start now. I have plans to do this with my own art very soon.
If any architects or interior designers are looking to connect with an independent contractor that can assist them in the vision of a special project or simply need conceptual work to create an experiential space, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://casswyantart.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artistcasswyant/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/casswyantart
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cassondra-wyant
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/creativescape-studio-naples