Tell me a little bit about yourself and your passions?
I am a Fine Artist and have been in the field of art education for over 20 years. I fell more in love with art when my path crossed with a man named Larry Gluck. He is the founder of The Gluck Method (TGM) and Mission: Renaissance Fine Art Class in Los Angeles, CA. This encounter, I’d say was pivotal in molding me into the person I am today.
I was able to see the importance of an art education in the lives of both children and adults. This realization brought about a change in my life that I can make a difference for the better in someone else’s life. Bringing art or showing someone how to bring out creativity in their life is extremely rewarding. From seeing kids blossom with self-esteem to a 76+ woman taking classes 3x a week because it kept her happy and alive. I do not know of a better way to have spent the first part of my life.
As I continued to teach and grow in the company, I worked hand in hand with Larry. His views on life, art and tremendous skill were and continue to be a steady stream of knowledge for me. I am extremely thankful for his time and dedication to building this method that has benefitted thousands of people throughout the 40 years it has been in existence.
As art is a form of communication, my passion lies in having the ability to communicate a certain idea or feeling in my work to the person viewing it. I want them to be moved by that communication. The reward I get from painting is not the finished product but the journey in creating it and the response I get from the audience.
What is your vision for your business?
Art education is so important to our society; it will not only influence students in the arts, but in all facets of their lives. It has been my experience that students that have attended our classes have exponentially grown in other areas of study like math, science, and language, which results in greater self-esteem.
As I bring this new business to the Dallas area, I want to be able to enrich and uplift as many lives as I did in Los Angeles. My goal is to open up several art studios in the North Texas area and help deliver TGM to people of all ages and walks of life.
The following quote by the great American painter, Robert Henri, sums up my goal for bringing The Gluck Method to Dallas: “Art when really understood is the province of every human being. It is simply a question of doing things, anything, well. It is not an outside, extra thing. When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work it may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. The world would stagnate without him, and the world would be beautiful with him.”
Can you discuss the circumstances that led to your career and some challenges you have overcome?
Ever since I was a kid, I was inclined to the arts. I would draw day and night hoping to improve on my skills. So the decision to go into an ‘art-related’ career when I went to college was no surprise. I chose Architecture because drawing plans and then seeing them come alive was something that fascinated me to no end.
An obstacle I was faced with early on, which at the time I thought it was nothing but good advice from a family friend, was that I was too nice to go into that field or an art related field. He told me that it was male dominated and I would be eaten alive. At 17 yrs old, I still vividly remember that conversation and the crushed feeling I had after the meeting. As it turns out, that became a challenge for me and I wanted to prove that a girl could be anything she sets out to do. I never budged from being in the Arts. I went into Graphic Design at one of the most prestigious Art Schools in California, just to find out my true love was drawing and painting. I wanted to be a Fine Artist, someone who owned the skills to paint with the best of them. The current school I attended didn’t offer that and soon I went on a journey of local community colleges to find the knowledge I sought. To no avail, I went from college to college, dropping out of classes and even contemplated going into a different field because a professor told me I couldn’t draw.
One day I stumbled upon an art studio that had a sign posting job openings. I could learn to draw and paint THEN teach that to students? It was too good to be true. I applied and like they say, “the rest is history”.
Since then, circumstances have changed and I decided to move to Dallas so I can spend more time with my parents. They both are my biggest supporters and I want them to see my growth as an artist and business owner. My success will be their success as well.
Leaving L.A and the people that helped me become the artist that I am was hard, but I am extremely proud that I will be able to offer the same education to students here in Texas.
I learned that obstacles and circumstances come and go, its up to you to determine how you will handle them. The ones I’ve been challenged with have only made my life better and more rewarding. So embrace them and find a way to change the situation for yourself.
What advice would you give young ladies out there looking to get in your line of work?
I think in any line of work, young ladies should know that they could achieve what ever they set out to accomplish. Anything is possible. In sounding cliché, those words are true. One just needs to believe in their potential and continue on the road they want to pave for their life. It will be rough at times but the reward is just so gratifying that you will be doing yourself an injustice if you don’t continue.
As far as getting into the arts, it is imperative one learns the basics of their art form. We teach our students everything from the ground up. For instance, the meaning of the word draw is to pull or drag. So we teach them to hold the pencil differently so they are light and loose which will allow them to be freer in their sketches.
Something so fundamental as the basics is sometimes overlooked or not given the importance that it deserves. I have helped so many students who have become frustrated in art because they want to achieve a certain feel and they don’t understand how or why they can achieve it. That is lack of understanding that is gained from knowing your basics.
To be an artist one must know how to unleash his or her creativity. Having the talent or skill to take what they envision and translate it into the physical world does that.
If you could give your 20 year old self some advice, what would you say?
I would say to face all my fears head on. Not to worry about what others may think.
Sometimes by allowing others to lead or influence us, we lose sight of what our true potential could really be. Hence, the best thing to do is to forge ahead, live the adventure called life and write it out however we want!
Also, I would say be smart and surround your self with people that are making a difference in society. Learn from them and experience everything you can.
Now at UYD, we are always looking to find out different ways people use their difference to make a difference. How do you use your difference to make a difference Susie?
There are a few goals I have set for myself now that I am working to become an entrepreneur.
One of them is contributing to the art culture that is developing here in Dallas. Like I said, art is very important in our society and what better way to influence young generations than teaching them about aesthetics and creativity.
Being a Hispanic woman in the arts is a wonderful thing because it is my difference and my experiences from living in El Salvador to being discouraged to follow my dream of being an Architect that lead me to the most wonderful career I could ever imagine. Another goal I have is that I want to inspire girls and women all over the world to follow their dreams and express themselves with dignity and culture. To contribute to the ocean of humanity and make this world a better place.
The arts bring out the best in us as human beings. It allows us to be expressive, creative and to think outside the box. Imagine the difference one can make knowing that they can achieve whatever they set out to do? It is a fabulous feeling and it can be achieved. Thinking this way has made me different and sometimes only some people can relate to this. But the more people that are exposed to the arts and tap into their creative side, the more we can do as a society to make a difference!
I’d like to end with a quote from Larry Gluck about making a difference with the arts, which I feel is appropriate.
“You create whenever you originate a new idea or change an existing one. You create to solve problems, to introduce new ideas into your life, to design beauty, to form a different and better future— or just for fun.
A creative idea is like a spark that ignites in our secret world. At first it might be just a flickering of an idea, but when fueled by the desire to make it grow into something more, it burns brightly.
As an artist or potential artist, you never exhaust your urge to create. Once you open the dam, a never-ending stream of ideas will flow, each different and each a new challenge.”
Where can we find out more about you and what you’re up to?.
Here is my personal website. You can also find me on CyberDust, IG, Twitter and Facebook under Sooztheartist and on LinkedIn you can search Susie Cortez
My new blog sooztheartist.blogspot.com will have update of my upcoming 2 month long painting trip to Italy, so please check it out!
To learn more about The Gluck Method or Larry Gluck you can go to