Hello everyone, hope everyone is having an awesome tuesday, whether you're snowed in like me (check my facebook page to see pics of my garden here) or sunning it up in another part of the world. We've a multi-talented artist featured today, which of course all we are, hugely talented beyond belief (to even manage to fit art into our days sometimes lol ;) ) take it away Stephie =)
Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are
Hi, I'm Stephie and I live in Central Wisconsin on a hobby farm with my husband, Bill. I am a mixed media artist and I work mainly in acrylic paint. I enjoy doing a lot of creative activities like gardening, baking from scratch, journal making, carving stamps, making hats, dolls and small embroidery works.
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I face as an artist is to remember to create art that I enjoy and having faith that others will find me and enjoy my art too. It's tempting to create art that is popular but that's never been my style. In high school I used to make these weird necklaces like a doll head, arm or leg on a satin cord or a bent up fork or a spoon or a small transformer car. They weren't just weird random things but accessible things, everyday things that I took and juxtaposed them with the idea of fashion. And of course the other kids would stare, make fun of me or say rude things. I had something they didn't -- I had my own style and these were my statement pieces. I loved having small wearable works of art that couldn't be bought at the mall even if my outfit was. I thought it was great fun; it made me happy and I still enjoy having a unique necklace to wear. I know that creating art for me today is completely the same. My approach to art is a bit like a discovery. I often times don't have a plan when I start out I let the supplies talk to me and take me where they want to go. I strive to expand my skills by improving my techniques and applying them to my art so I can make pieces that I would love to own and use. A lot of the time I will keep one piece out of a series that I make so I can wear it, such as my book necklace, I kept the first book of the series. These days wearing an unusual necklace is often times a conversation starter that leads to me handing out a business card, making a sale or having a piece of art commissioned.
What is the best thing that art has brought into your life?
The best thing art has brought to my life is the reassurance that my creativity is always with me. I spent many years taking college courses and put art off to the way back burner. I was getting a bit depressed not being able to create in my spare time. I spent all my time devoted to school and taking care of house & home. I realized that during the last couple of semesters I'd try and speed read through a lesson then I'd go carve a stamp or do some embroidery. It was just last year (2012) that we decided that I'd be happier making art so I made a switch. Wow, my ability to get back into it has been astounding to me. It's very rewarding to be able to work with tubes of paint, paper, beads, glues and fabrics again. I'm making things I only dreamed of during my days at school taking notes, doing papers and lugging around books. I guess in some ways art has brought life back into my life. It brings me great joy, solace and contemplation to see an idea turn into a fully realized piece. Then to be able to share this with others on line, at craft shows and at local galleries is really cool. I think this year has given me more confidence in creating and because of that I'm improving. Even my husband said he's noticed I'm becoming more skilled.
Have you ever found anything that originally daunted you as an artist that you can now overcame easily?
There's always a moment when I see something that interests me, like a necklace, and I wonder if I can replicate it. Years ago before phone cameras and the internet I'd just have to live without it. Now I snap a picture or research it on line. Technology has made a big difference for me. Also, I make a lot of my own patterns for the things I sew or create because either I can't find a pattern or I don't want to bother buying one. If I have a pattern I usually end up changing it somehow to make it more my style. A lot of times my projects don't turn out, like wonky dolls, but you'll never see those! My dog gets those. Ha-ha... he likes them! If there's a big gap in the time I put out one work to the next it's probably because I'm working it out. It can be a bit wasteful drawing and redrawing a pattern but I kind of enjoy figuring things out and learning as I go. Ideally I'd like to create something start to finish with no interruptions.
Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
Thank you Stephie, I loved the part in your interview about the things you'd create at school, it kinda reminds me of my time at school ~ and it's so funny how all the kitsch stuff you wore then is now HUGE news! You'd have made a fortune selling them to classmates if you were at school now lol and I love that you make things yourself through testing too, if you ever do a batch of wonky dollies send one Sweepie's way, that's his sort of crafting ;)
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)