Hope you've had a fabulous start to February?
I have, what with 48 new gel pens on sale, snowstorms, the awesomeness that was February's Monthly Challenge and now I have TAT! What more could an arty girl ask for??
I hope you enjoy this inspiring interview
My name is Mel “Bunny” Sparkles. I have always been a creative person, but only in the past several years have I considered myself an “artist”. I have enjoyed all sorts of creative and crafty pursuits over the years, but it wasn’t until the last 4 years or so that I began seriously working at art. As a child I wrote plays, made costumes, and did lots of daydreaming. As an adult I continued my various creative pursuits off and on through the years. Over the past decade I’ve grown more and more dedicated to my creativity and it’s currently the most important aspect of my life. My primary art form is painting (mostly with acrylics). I also enjoy sewing, crochet, book making, and many other fun creative things.
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My biggest personal challenge in life and in art is chronic illness. A few years ago I became very ill with an autoimmune disease. Being chronically ill and experiencing severe chronic pain means that I have limitations in my life and abilities. I am not always able to create art when I want or need to. I cope with this by remembering to be grateful for the times I can create…remembering to really savor those times. The times when I can not create due to illness and/or pain I remind myself that it will pass and I will most likely have another chance to create again. Nothing in life is permanent…not the good times and not the bad times. It’s really been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned about life…savor the good times because they don’t last forever and don’t get caught up in the suffering of the bad times because they don’t last forever either.
What is your greatest personal achievement either in your art, or because of it?
The greatest thing I’ve achieved with my art is bringing a very rich and consistent source of joy into my life. I have a life long history of debilitating depression and anxiety. Art is something that brings me a lot of joy. It’s been my best “therapy” and a wonderful method for coping with life challenges. This is why art is the most important thing in my life…it’s critical to my health, happiness, and well being.
Have you ever found anything that originally daunted you as an artist that you can now overcame easily?
Early on in my art making I would be afraid to “waste” my “good” supplies. I would often avoid using my good/expensive/special supplies for fear of “wasting” them by making art that wasn’t “good”. Essentially I was afraid of failure and didn’t want to feel I had wasted money on top of “failing” at art. So, I collected a lot of supplies for a long time, but used very few of them. It’s funny to look back on it…how did I expect to grow in skill and as an artist if I wasn’t willing to use my supplies?! How did I expect to grow in skill and as an artist if I wasn’t willing to “fail”, to make mistakes?! One day I decided I was finally going to use some of the polymer clay I had been saving. I took out a package and it was rock hard. I had waited too long and the product was unusable. It was just what I needed to snap me out of that fear of failure. I realized I could truly waste my supplies by continuing to postpone using them, until they all ended up expired/unusable OR I could “waste” them on art projects that might (or might not!) be “failures“. I realized that no matter how badly I might “mess up” a project…it was a far greater waste to let supplies go unused than to use them up while I was learning. I no longer fear “failing” at art. For one thing, it’s impossible to fail at art. Art is a personal expression of humanity, emotion, perception, and more. It’s not possible to “fail” at expressing one’s experience of life-just not possible. Also, I see mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow-which is what they truly are!!
Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
You can find some of my crafty type work in the book “Microcrafts”
Thanks so much Mel “Bunny” Sparkles, I really enjoyed your art and story. Your answer to what originally daunted you that you now overcame was awesome! I recently did a blogpost where I mentioned that I've been investing heavily in supplies - I've brought more 'proper' paints, pencils, pastels, tools, books etc than I would ever have allowed myself to believe I was 'allowed' before. Like so much in art I think it is truly about giving ourselves permission....permission to play with these expensive products, permission to mess up, permission to express ourselves! Let's give ourselves permission (& whenever we hear a niggly non-permission voice come in ponder this: if you don't give yourself permission to go where your creativity wants you to go in that moment in time how will you ever reach or know your fullest potential?....art food for thought!)
Do you want to be a TATer??