Popular sculptor Yenny Cocq speaks to Artfinder about creating “her little people” and the challenges of becoming a full-time artist.

I get asked why I chose to be an artist all the time. You are born an artist, it is not a choice. I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember, my identity as an artist is pretty firm and deeply rooted. I’m not saying I never had any doubt, or fear. This is something I had to overcome, I had to tackle family and societal objections, and reject all of the good intended advice ‘to seek a more acceptable profession.’ Fully owning my identity and committing to myself was the hardest struggle.

My grandmother, lived to be 105 years old, never doubted that I was an artist. She always knew, and because of her I had the courage to be an artist.”

I graduated from the University of Hamburg, Germany with a degree in business and then went on to graduate with an MBA from a fine art college, now called the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Ironically, I took more art classes there than business classes.

I became a mother, and raised my children in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This created opportunities for new projects, like installing outdoor classrooms at their elementary school. My professional life led me into creating a marketing company, but it wasn’t something I felt passionate about. It was not until I participated in my first art show with the Santa Fe Society of Artists, that I knew I could be financially successful as an artist.

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