Tuesday 18 December 2012

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Carin Cullen

Hi guys, we've a lovely TAT interview this week. I felt very happy after first reading this interview & in hindsight I realised it's because of the positive message within Carin's art ~ in fact you could call it positively arty (haha gettit?!). This will be my last TAT interview before the new year, as next Tuesday is Christmas Day, so I won't be posting one then as we've all have enough on our plates already right?! (haha 'enough on our plates' I'm on fire! Must be national rubbish-jennibellie joke-day lol). Please enjoy this final TAT of 2012, the next one will be on the 1st =)
Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
I'm Carin, a mixed media artist, memory-keeper, and storyteller in the UK. I do mostly art journaling, pencil drawing, and canvas work.
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My biggest challenge right now is time. My toddler is still at home with me all day, but napping less and less, so long focused arting sessions are out. I try to involve my boy as much as possible though, just like I did with my daughter when she was at home, so I often set him up with paper and pencils or watercolours next to me at the breakfast bar so we can make art together. I also often get up an hour or two before the rest of my family so I can work.
Have you ever found anything that originally daunted you as an artist that you can now overcame easily?
When I first got into mixed media, I was terrified of layering. And I mean terrified. I really struggled with it. With pencil drawing, it's easy...you just start off lightly, then add add layer after layer of slightly darker shading until you get the desired effect. Mixed media was so different. I agonized over every single layer and was constantly second guessing myself. It took me quite a few months, and a number of long YouTube sessions studying other artists, to start trusting the process. Now I just slap things on and experiment. If I don't like it, I find a way to cover it up. It just adds to the layers. And if I get too precious about a layer before I feel I have finished the piece, I rough it up a bit on purpose so I can move on.
What messages do you try to portray in your work and do you feel you achieve it?
Much of my art is about celebrating life in all its messy glory, and appreciating what you've got (however little that may seem). I see my art as a kind of visual gratitude journal. I'm not against venting in my art journal, but I'm one of those people who naturally look for the lessons and meaning in everything I do and experience, so by the time I've put my last mark on a page it usually has a pretty positive message. My pencil drawings (which I've only just starting doing again after several years) hone in on celebrating small, often neglected moments in my life. Canvases tend to be more general.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?

Thank you Carin, I love, love, LOVE the 'honing in on celebrating small neglected moments in life' ~ so beautiful! And it's just common sense that if you focus on all the good times & good things you do have in your life, you will lead a much happier one than you would focusing on what you don't have. Unfortunately I think that gets forgotten or ignored too often in this great modern world of abundance & commercialism, but it is the seemingly small stuff that actually holds some of our biggest blessings. Wonderful work Carin, thanks ever-so for sharing =)

Want to be featured in TAT in the new year? Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)


  1. Thank you so much Jenny for featuring me! Mwah!

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog today! I appreciate it. I enjoyed today's tell all Tue. I like the positive attitude! And the art is great. Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed Holiday season!


  3. I LOVE Carins artwork and her positive mindset which is very evident in her art -not just by the words but in the colours and textures and subject matter. We need more of this type of art in the world!

  4. I just love reading about these talented people, such an inpiration. It's good to know that even the best artist has moments of doubt - puts mine into perspective!
    PS I noe have blog: Creative Granny

  5. Lovely work, especially the ones with the shoes and the butterflies. And always nice to see an artsy namesake (I'm a Carin too) ;-)

  6. Great interview! Carin's art is beautiful. When she talks about roughing up a layer so she can move on, I thought 'how brave you are'. That is something I seem to have to work at sometimes, too. It requires courage to be able to risk making a mistake, mostly because we take it so personal, I think.

    Our art is an extension of ourselves and, as such, if it doesn't look or feel right, we can sometimes internalize that to mean that WE don't feel or look right. And 99% of the time we probably can't even put it into words, but it's there none the less, buried deep within. That makes it difficult to move past a "layer" to the finish point.

    Anyways, I really enjoyed the article and the art. Thanks so much for doing these, Jennie!

  7. Thank you so much for this interview. I love Carin's work. I completely relate with having to get over the fear of mixed media layering. I think I'm definitely where Carin once was with my fear -- and I hope I'll get over it as successfully!

  8. Nice to see Carin's artwork! She is so positive and fun. I really like the shoe piece!


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