Hi guys, hope everyone's had a lovely Easter, filled with lots of treats and good times? (she says as she sits munching an choccie egg despite it being 11pm! *munch* *munch* *munch*). I've a treat for you too; TWO interviews. Not only is the lovely Felicia Borges, aka 'The Journal Junkie' this week's featured TAT artist, but she's also interviewed me on her blog today too. So once you're done reading her interview head over to her blog if you wanna know a secret I never shared anywhere else on the internet before 'ooooooooooooooooooh!' =D
Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
I live with my husband, teenage son, and three golden retrievers in Sacramento, California. I’ve always dabbled in creative hobbies, but nothing had ever stuck long-term. Then a little over 2.5 years ago I read a book called “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day” and it changed me. I began to focus on making various aspects of “art” a part of my daily life. I read books, I watched documentaries, took classes, and I started watching YouTube videos on different art techniques. It was there that I stumbled across this thing called “art journaling.” The rest, they say, is history. I believe with every fiber of my being that there are no rules and there is there is no box, except the 25 square foot art studio where I create my mixed media art. I am inspired by abstract, modern, pop, and street art and love patterns and colors found in traditional cultural symbols and art from around the world, graffiti, stained glass windows, and more. Some of my current favorites are Day of the Dead art, Chinese cut paper designs, African tribal masks, and motifs from India.
I use bold colors, patterns and textures and work primarily in acrylics and gel mediums, inks, paint pens, markers, pencils, and both pan and water-soluble pastels to paint, print, and/or collage on a variety of papers, recycled/altered books, handmade journals, and on canvas. Tools are often found, recycled, or handmade and can range from a drinking straw or bubble wrap to original stamps and stencils. Finished pieces can contain 100 layers or more.
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
I have made a lot of “ugly” art/journal pages. I’ve been stuck. I’ve been frustrated. I’ve left art/art journal pages (and even entire journals) unfinished in total disgust. I’ve thrown my hands up numerous times.
But one of the things I’ve enjoyed, and get inspiration from, is being an inspiration to other artists/art journalists, especially those that are just starting out. I think there is a level of fear that we all share (that we don’t/won’t measure up). We decide on some level that we aren’t as good (as a beginner) as someone else (with 5 years of experience). I think part of that comes from our showing people the stuff we’re proud of and keeping our struggles and less than stuff in the shadows.
I love getting on my soap box and preaching that “There are no rules!” in art/art journaling…except those rules and self-limiting beliefs that we create for ourselves. In fact, I’ve began preparing some content for YouTube videos around this concept…sharing the ugly, examples of what not to do, lessons learned, etc. There are plenty of tutorials of gorgeous art and journal spreads. I want to focus on videos that show that it’s okay to be human, not everything we do turns out the way we want it to, and ya know what, it’s okay…just try again tomorrow.
Have you ever found anything that originally daunted you as an artist that you can now overcome easily?
Making the art itself has never been daunting to me. Art, like life, is a grand experiment. But trying to figure out the business side of the arts? THAT is the part that gives me pause. Even though I am a “leap and the net will appear” kind of girl, I still have those moments where everything seems impossible--until I can see that it is possible—then it becomes inevitable. For the last couple of years, especially as I have become more confident with myself and more comfortable with my art, I have had interesting opportunities fall into my lap. At first I would dismiss them as someone just being nice and saying something kind to me. But more recently I have had a mental shift. What if they aren’t just being nice? What if they really are offering me an amazing opportunity? A huge lesson I’ve learned recently is that once I am ready/open to accept an opportunity, it will became a possibility, and eventually a reality.
Recently I prepared 35 pieces of work (12 of them with custom framing) for my FIRST EVER art hanging at a local hair salon. It was scary and I’m sure I’ve made a lot of mistakes with it, but I did it! I’ve already learned from the experience and now I’m ready to say “Yes!” to other opportunities. And I’m eager to seek out opportunities on my own. I would have never thought that was possible a couple of years ago.
Tell us where we can find out more about you and your art?
You can find me at any of the following:
The Journal Junkie Blog: http://feliciathejournaljunkie.blogspot.com/
Sketchbook Projects: http://www.arthousecoop.com/users/feliciaborges
Thank you so much Felicia, I love the story about putting all those pieces of artwork in the hair salon, because it reminds me of one of my new mantras (for the lack of a better word) for this year - to do what scares you most! We're always told to do that right?
What I don't think gets shared enough though is that doing what scares us most is the best (& maybe the only) way to become less afraid. We somehow think that people we see putting themselves out there aren't afraid at all, just because they are doing it - but you ask them and that is usually completely wrong. They're afraid, but they do it anyway...
Here is the first installment of my interview with Felicia (she split the interview into two sections, the second part to be posted later on in week I believe), stop by and say hi =)
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)