Gus Villalobos | Episode 344
Gus Villalobos is a potter making his work and way in Miami, Florida. If you follow Gus on Instagram, then you may know him as Gus the Pothead. Gus is in a constant pursuit of the perfect form.
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Confidence seems to be something you both have and you lack, so how do you build enough confidence to say it’s time to pull the trigger?
That’s a great question. I don’t think you are ever at that point where you do it to where you are one hundred percent confident in that it’s going to succeed. Because I guess, that’s my biggest flaw, I’m never at that point but I think it gets to a point where you genuinely have to say, for lack of a better word, screw it and just do it. You have to get to the point where you hide that inner voice that tells you it’s not good enough and just say, yeah it probably is and here it is.
You have had a couple of shows that have sold out. Do you ever suffer from imposter syndrome of where you feel like, I really don’t belong here?
Oh man, all the time. Paul that’s another great question. I mean: All the time. Yeah, absolutely. You know, sometimes you’ll show up to these shows and some people will have some just absolutely incredible stuff and you question yourself 100 percent. Like, Why am I here? I mean I should be online selling mugs. Like, why am I even next to this guy. So yes, 100 percent , I feel it all the time.
How do you get over the imposter syndrome?
You just kind of take a step back and just let yourself just appreciate where you are and where you’ve come from. And then compare it to where other people are at as well. I don’t mean that in a way where I think I am better than others, I mean it more so where I look at my own work and realize I am better than I was in February . If you just keep working on your craft you will get better.
Who are the people in your life right now that are supportive and that actually help you nurture your dreams of being a better and more successful potter?
I mean obviously the people directly in my studio who are constantly showing me and telling me, we see it from an outside perspective and we can tell you, you are getting good. So it would be a mixture of people just directly around me, other artists around me, Laurie who I had mentioned earlier. There is another member there by the name of Alan who is an older gentleman who is a beautiful potter. He doesn’t really go on the wheel as much, but his wisdom and his telling me, Hey you are doing well, your creativity is there and you are making things that are progressively getting better. And obviously my direct family, my parents, when they see my face and how completely happy I am with the process, that to them is worth more than me being a successful surgeon or whatever.
What did you need to stop doing in order to be able to grow your skills and your passion?
I would probably be the self-deprecation and the constant questioning of what I am doing and it not being good enough. I guess that’s a gift and a curse. It helps you to keep pushing yourself to get better.
What does your best friend who told you to get a hobby, what does he think of all this?
He’s just happy that I’m back doing what I’m doing. He has known me since high school , since we were kids. He’s really cool about it. He comes with me sometimes to the studio. He does photography on the side so he films a lot of my videos. I think subconsciously he’s proud of me , I would hope he is . He was ultimately the one who pushed me over the edge to get me back into it.
My last question. Describe yourself in three perfect words.
Number one would be relentless. Number two, charismatic. And number three, truthful.