One of our favorite local artists, Cory McBee of Modern South Design here in Charleston, has been busy creating some of the most stunning paintings we’ve ever seen. Well known for her nautical artwork, Cory is also a gifted graphic artist that has a knack for including a bit of the Lowcountry in many of her pieces.
We were able to meet and chat with Cory about what inspires her to create, her life at home and why she returned from a 15 year hiatus from art and design. Keep reading to learn more about Cory’s personal design story and her masterful creations. Also, head over to the Pink Verbena Facebook page to learn how you can win two 8 x 10 prints of your choice from Cory’s Etsy shop.
Pink Verbena: How is your personal style reflected in your home?
Cory McBee: When you walk into my home you can definitely tell that I have put a lot of myself into it. I spent a lot of time considering each room and how the house works as a whole. I have also filled the house with my art and the work of other artists I love. And just like me, the look and feel of my house is eclectic and always evolving.
PV: In what neighborhood of Charleston do you live? Why did you choose it?
Cory: Well…I actually live in Summerville. Does that count? We chose Summerville because of the schools, but also because we were able to get so much for our money. I really wanted to build a house from the ground up. Also, I just fell in love with the downtown and how quaint and small town it felt.
PV: What is most special about Charleston homes to you?
Cory: I love the architecture, the Charleston single house style with the large porches and cozy smaller rooms. The neighborhood we live in, in Summerville, the houses are built in that style and ours is no exception. We have two large porches on the front and I love them.
PV: How does living in Charleston influence your art or work?
Cory: I would definitely say the proximity to the water. Many of my pieces are about sailboats and the beach and water. I find it so calming and since we love boating it was a natural subject matter. Also, I love the eclectic mix of the Charleston area. It has a great vibe.
PV: What’s your favorite home decorating tip?
Cory: Choose what you love. Don’t be afraid to mix the old with the new. Homes that do this and that have an eclectic mix of new and old feel cozy and lived in. I love that.
PV: What’s an interior design “rule” you’ll always break?
Cory: Matching your artwork to your interior. I am not really sure that is everyone’s rule, but one I often hear. My friends are always saying, “I love that piece, but I don’t have anywhere to put it or it doesn’t go.” I am a firm believer in putting artwork where you can see and enjoy it no matter if it goes or not. Choose pieces that move and inspire you, not match the curtains.
PV: What does it mean to be an artist?
Cory: It is about living your life creatively; expressing yourself and bearing a part of your soul through your work. As artists we are constantly putting pieces of ourselves out there for others to appreciate, judge and review. It is not an easy thing to do, so be kind.
PV: Where’s your favorite place to shop for home goods in Charleston?
Cory: I love Celadon and Indigo Market. However, I am also a sucker for World Market. While I try to shop local I can’t help myself sometimes.
PV: What’s your favorite thing to tweet about?
Cory: I don’t really tweet, but when I do it is being pushed from my Instagram account and is always about my work, family and life as an artist.
PV: Describe your personal home style in three words:
Cory: Eclectic, Traditional and Modern
PV: Choose only one: Modern or eclectic?
PV: What’s the best thing you’ve ever created?
Cory: My daughter, she is my greatest accomplishment and my biggest fan and supporter. I can’t imagine life without her and returning to my art after 15 years was partly for her. I wanted her to see how important it is to do what you love and always find time for yourself.
PV: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your work?
Cory: Anytime someone purchases a piece of my work it is a compliment. To know that others love and appreciate my work means the world. Art is so personal and if someone connects with something I have created there is no bigger compliment.
PV: What is something that might surprise others about you?
Cory: Others often find it interesting to learn that I have only recently begun painting again. After graduating from the college with a BA in painting I knew I was not cut out for the life of a starving artist, so I jumped into a career as a graphic designer thinking that is where I would make my fortune. So, after earning an MFA in Graphic Design and working for 15 years in the design field I came back to painting. I love the ability to work in both mediums. Now, I can’t understand why I ever stopped.Some of Cory’s great works will be displayed at the grand opening of Antiques & Interiors Market (AIM on King), in partnership with the Charleston Art Brokers, on Friday, May 20, 2016. You can also purchase Cory’s prints at here Etsy shop (Click Here to Shop).
Are you a fan of Cory’s? Love using art to decorate your living spaces? Let us know about it in the comment section below.