Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you areI am a mixed media artist living undercover as an archivist on the beautiful island of Vlieland in the Dutch Wadden Sea with one black and white cat and lots of books and art supplies.
I love making art. I love reading books. I love going on long hikes across my island. I am happy as long as I can do those three things.
I have no real preferences when it comes to the art form. I write, I draw, I paint, I collage, I photograph, I do mixed media. I do prefer to do all those things in books and I love making my own books and my biggest love is journaling.
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?Balancing it all with a full time day job. I have more or less consciously decided not to go the professional route so my art remains purely an act of love. But this means that money has to come in by keeping a day job. I live alone and so am automatically the sole provider in my household. This means it all has to come from me, whether it is money to pay the bills or just doing the boring housework. This can be tiresome and frustrating sometimes. It however also means that my free time is really my own and not sucked up by responsibilities to others (well, most of the time anyway). My free time is therefore sacred to me. It also means my house is fully geared toward me and my interests and I am slowly turning my entire house into an art studio in a way and that is really cool.
I'm not sure if I will ever really overcome the conflict between having to make a living and having the need to keep my art free from all that hassle, but so far it's the only thing that works for me so I'll just have to live with it.
What do you find easiest / hardest in your art?The hardest is to start and to stop. I often find that I will only feel like making art by actually starting to make it. Then in ten seconds I'm in the zone and I'm off. The feeling comes from the doing. You can't wait until you are inspired before you start, because nothing will ever happen. You just have to start. It took me a long time to learn that and it's still an obstacle sometimes. Because once I get going it's hard to stop I can sometimes go on too long and that makes me cranky too.
The easiest part is the art making itself. Once I get going it's all just play to me. Of course I do have those times when I can't wait to get started and when I really am fully inspired to get going, but mostly there's a little inner obstacle to overcome. I'm not even sure what it is, but it's gone the moment I ignore it and start anyway.
What daunts you most as an artist?The fact that there are so many ideas that you can never do them all, no matter how much time you get or how old you become. The more you work the more ideas you get and the more you realize how this is a two edged sword. A multitude of ideas is absolutely wonderful because it means you will never be bored and always have something new to try and there is so much interesting stuff to explore! But it also means that for every idea you actually develop and execute there will be ten to a hundred that can never be accomplished.
Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?After several years of putting it off and kind of being a little afraid to take on the responsibility I finally started a blog two years ago. It may have been the best thing I ever did and my only regret now is I didn't start one up sooner! You can find it at http://caatjesartsystuff.blogspot.com . There's links there to my two flickr accounts, my pinterest and my facebook.
Thanks so much Caatje, after reading that I feel we might be separated at birth!! The biggest two-edged sword I have found out since I started my own creative path is that the amount of ideas (while it is a beautiful gift to given them in the first place) excel any human possibility of ever achieving them. I try my best, but it is quite simply impossible as every project sparks off more gems to set you off down another track. But what I have learnt is to go just with my heart as to which ideas I develop and which I don't, that way I can never regret which inclinations I listened to and which I ignored. Would you like to be a featured artist on Tell All Tuesday? Email me @ email@example.com if you feel up to sharing.