We’ve all heard that two heads are better than one.
But then again, too many cooks spoil the broth. And because it’s wise to take all maxims with a grain of salt, we recognize that the truth lies somewhere in between.
Such is the experience of the Talented Trio — a husband/wife, parent/son amalgamation consisting of Michael Rastovich, illustrator and animator; his wife LuAnn Ostergaard, digital abstract photographer; and their son Joseph Rastovich, metal sculpture artist of both home decor and public art.
The Kennewick family works, lives, collaborates, encourages, critiques, and innovates together as professional artists, or as LuAnn puts it,
“We are closely connected in our personal lives, and it shows in our collaborative, creative professions as artists. There’s a lot of cooperation. We work together to help the others with inspiration, new ideas, and methods of creating.”
Joseph agrees, wryly observing:
“Art by committee is fraught with difficulties.
“However, when the right minds come together, the synergy can create outstanding results.”
Joseph: “Powerful Brainstorming” by the Talented Trio
Crediting his parents as critical mentors in his creative career, Joseph describes “powerful brainstorming” sessions featuring (three) different perspectives, sometimes vastly contrasting, with an outcome that is often superior to the original single perspective.
For Joseph, art has been a part of his life since childhood, growing up with full-time artist parents, and being “unschooled” in a creative environment that allowed him to have the time, freedom, and tools to create whenever he wanted. By the age of 25, he had installed 11 public art projects throughout the Pacific Northwest, in addition to creating an array of home decor wall art and furniture that he sells through various art galleries, festivals, and retail stores.
“He literally grew up with a paintbrush in his hand, and flourished as a young artist,” LuAnn says.
LuAnn: Leaving the Corporate World
She, however, experienced a different world before she entered that of a full-time independent artist. Though LuAnn comes from a long line of artists dating back to her great grandfather, she started out in a corporate work environment. The memory of a different way of doing things enhances her gratitude for the way things are now.
“After spending five years working in a windowless office with a powerful, good -paying job in the corporate world, I made the decision to take the journey as an artist,” LuAnn says.
“Some evenings, when I came out of the building to go home after work, I would see a glorious sunset and realize I was missing it. I would just stand there, reveling in it as it quickly faded away.”
She wanted to do work that she believed in, experiencing a flow of creativity in which she expressed her own ideas. Seeing the world with an intensity that caused her to notice thing other people didn’t, she wanted to bring her creative visions to tangible reality. So when she walked away from her corporate job, she never looked back: every day since then reaffirms that decision.
“I take pride and have a sense of accomplishment when completing my creative work for the day.”
Michael: A Passion for Drawing
Michael knew from a very young age that he was an artist, incorporating both commercial and independent work into his professional dossier: he does design, animation, illustration, etching, digital, and graphics, with his true passion being drawing.
“I have spent my life trying to understand our world, by drawing it,” he says. “The challenge of seeing the world, and suggesting its forms with accuracy, economy and simple tools is joyful for me.”
Michael studied under master artists Siegfried Hahn and Howard Wexler, living in an adobe hut in the New Mexico desert while honing and perfecting his skills. He has worked for a museum design company in Portland, OR, creating conceptual drawings for the creation of new museums through the U.S., and presently develops animation projects for businesses of all sizes and scope. He also custom builds the framing boxes upon which LuAnn mounts her digitally enhanced, abstract photographs.
A Trio of Talent and Collaboration
It’s all part of working together.
“As a family of working artists, we spend nearly every waking moment creating and helping each other with our creations,” Michael says. “Over the years, we have each developed specific skills, and we depend on each other for support in this sometimes challenging, but always rewarding, life as artists.”
“Holidays, weekends, and down-time are meaningless,” LuAnn adds. “You are an artist, and your life’s work is all that matters.
“You were born to be an artist, and it is your purpose in life and your life’s work — you can do nothing else.”
LuAnn Ostergaard, Michael Rastovich, and Joseph Rastovich are the featured Pacific Northwest artists at Wenaha Gallery from Monday, November 6 through Saturday, December 2, 2017. The Talented Trio will be at the gallery in person Saturday, November 24 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., for a special show also featuring Kennewick watercolor artist Laura Gable.
Contact the gallery, located at 219 East Main Street, Dayton, WA, by phone at 509.382.2124 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at www.wenaha.com.