My friend, fellow digi designer and art journaler, Amber, asked me to be a part of a group of “artsy” type (I always giggle when that word is used to describe me) bloggers who are answering questions about themselves. So, here we go.
How does your creative process work?
For me, it’s kind of all over the place. Something as simple as a color palette can inspire me. Or a picture in a magazine. Or sitting on my patio watching the hummingbirds at the fountain. Sometimes, just the process of layering paint on a substrate will spark something in me. One day I was cleaning out my closet and stumbled on something completely unexpected – which resulted in me recording a video as I was creating something that I then turned into a digital product. I’m also an art class junkie – I’m very seriously addicted (are there 12-step programs for that?) and find that just the process of learning new skills is inspiring – they give me the confidence to experiment in ways I never thought possible.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
In my digital work (I sell digital art journaling products at Oscraps), I’d have to say that what sets me apart is that my products are based on – and come from – my physical mixed media work. I scan all of my work at it’s various stages and then find a way to incorporate them into my digital products. “Art for the Soul” is a perfect example. I wanted to create something that spoke to what creating art means to us. We both included lots of hand-made/painted papers and elements – sketches and doodles, etc. It was fun to get my Gelli plate out to make the backgrounds – with the added benefit of having lots of “fodder” for my journal!
In terms of my mixed media work, I think I bring to the table a new-comer’s perspective. Art journaling is very new to me, so it is hard for me to share my work. I make lots of rookie mistakes and (to me at least) there’s a little bit of awkwardness about some of my work. But it’s all part of the process. My “word” for this year is “fearless” and I am trying very hard to apply that to all aspects of my life. My blog posts are very frank – I’m quite open about my struggles and insecurities when it comes to art. I think there are lots of artists out there who feel as I do and I hope that sharing my experiences helps – even if just a tiny bit.
What are you working on now?
In addition to my digital products, I’m taking three art classes right now (don’t judge me – I told you, it’s a sickness!). I’m doing the free Art Heart and Healing class by the fabulous Tamara Laporte (“willowing”) and just recently completed my first “girl”. There are lots of imperfections – for example her nose is too high up on her face – but hey! At least it doesn’t look like a penis! Oh, and I totally accidentally gave her an open mouth – which I’ve since been told s quite difficult to do. Of course, since I now that I know that it’s supposed to be hard, I’ll never be able to do it again. Sigh. But I do like her – especially her purple hair!
I’m so in love with Tam’s teaching style – which I find very soothing – that I just signed up for Life Book 2014 – a year long art journaling course with an amazing number of very talented designers. I know, I know! The year is more than half gone. But that’s ok because you can download all the lessons if you don’t finish when the class is over.
To left is my “guardian” through the course – obviously a work in progress. This is just my second “girl” and already I can see an improvement in the drawing. Of course, I started her way too close to the edge of the page and made her so big I don’t have room for her “wings” so I’m giving her a butterfly breast plate instead.
My third class is Sketchbookery by the talented and funny Mary Ann Moss. Although the class is in it’s second week and I haven’t had time to do very much (can you say over-extended??), I really want to improve my sketching. One of the first exercises we were given was to make “blind contour” drawings – drawing something without looking at the drawing as you make it, and without lifting your pen. Which, it turns out, is not easy to do. Mary Ann did warn us that the results would be hilarious – and she wasn’t kidding. I won’t share with you about what my husband called it, but I assure you, it is supposed to be my left hand. I chuckle every time I look at it. It can only get better from here, right?
Oh! I almost forgot! I’m also participating in the Documented Life Project which is another year-long, free, art journaling effort. We’re given an art journaling prompt/challenge each week, which is a good excuse to keep me journaling regularly. I did struggle with the journal the group was using – until I remembered my “fearless” word and decided to change my approach, which I documented in my blog post a couple of weeks ago.
Why do you do what you do?
Honestly? From the digital side, I got into photography five years ago, but a silly accident left me with an injury that kept me from wandering around with a camera. Looking for something to do with all my photos, I found digital scrapbooking. Which led me to digital designing – first in a very traditional style and then in a more artsy/art journaling style. So, at the beginning, it was a hobby for me, then a home business.
As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, I had almost no exposure to art or crafting as a child, and I was convinced I had no artistic abilities at all. Discovering art journaling awakened something in me that I didn’t know was there. It is fun, I love learning new things, and it really does – as trite as it sounds – nourish my spirit. And I’ve learned that the “arting” community is very loving and supportive – I’ve “met” tons of wonderful people through art. So while I still design as a business, I art journal just for me. And for all the yummy art supplies, of course!
And all those wonderful people I’ve “met”? Well, please stop by my blog next Monday, because I want to introduce you to three artists I consider “rock stars”! And I’ll show you my finished “guardian” See you then!