Hey guys! Eeeeek I'm so excited the first Tell All Tuesday artist interview is here, on my very first blogoversary too wahoo!! Lots of artsy goodness has happened to me over the last year, and I'm hoping it will continue for the next, either way I think these interviews are a great place to start - for us all even, to share the love (...and also the 'dark' side, as someone recently put it to me lol) of being an artist. First up is a lady I feel I have sooooo much in common with and I could drool over her journal pages for hours, she is the lovely mixed media artist Courtney Brook, also known online to us as Little Raven Ink, I hope you enjoy =)
Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are
Well, I'm a little awkard australian Mixed Media Artist, at the age of 28, Mumma to two little brown eyed fuzzy mop-like haired children, I currently live in Sydney after a big move from the country. Such a vast change but certainly a needed one. My art is a touch of this and a dab of that really, I alter books, giving them a new life. My style is what I call, where art and life collide. I don't just draw, I put my life down on a page, with the use of so many mediums, including photographs from my day to day life, in amongst the paint and ink. I feel that I'm a eclectic artist, I don't just stick to one thing, if I see something I like I try it out and apply my style to it. Trying to put the jigsaw puzzle of myself back together ready to see what fits and what doesn't.
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Time...time is never on my side, in fact I never wear a watch because I know I'd spend what little time I do have, watching the time slip by! Being a mum and a girlfriend, stretches me almost to my limits, I have to continually make the time to art. If I didn't I feel I wouldn't be half the woman I am today. I have learnt not to trust time, and not to take it for granted, or my journals would be a very empty place. We are in charge of what we can and cannot do...and I can..and will make time for art. That is the one promise I make to myself every year, art is what keeps me sane, so I always make sure I have even 30 min blocks of time per day devoted to just opening my journal and making marks, and colours.
What is your greatest personal achievement either in your art, or because of it?
Art saved my life...there is no insert drama music here, it did. I was an artist at a very young age, and kept journals and sketchbooks, for years and years..until I got married...then it all stopped, as the years went on and the marriage got more and more ugly...I found some of my old journals in a box, it was at that moment, I decided to start drawing again, I went from a greyscale version of myself, to someone with more confidence, more happiness, more intentions. It gave me the courage to walk out on my abusive marriage, and start a new life. I would channel all my frustrations and anger into pages in my journal, day after day, so my personal achievement was leaving my husband, and art gave me the drive and the will to take my two little teacup humans and never look back. I haven't stopped drawing since, and that was almost 3 years ago now. There will never be a moment in my life like the 6 years I was married...I refuse to let it happen again. Art saved my life, and the future of my kids, and I can never thank it enough.
Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how do you get it back?
My gosh, the muse to me is like a call girl, comes when she wants gives what she wants, and flounces outta my life within a blink of an eye! So the answer is YES, I lose my mojo all the time, I'm constantly fighting with my sub self to get out of the big black rut. People think Artists are just brimming with ideas and finished works and all that pretty stuff...and some maybe blessed with having all of that...but I am not one of them. I have to work myself stupid to keep inspired. Its a job in itself. How do I get it back, there are many ways. I spend days just taking photos, snapping random moments in my life, even waiting for the bus every afternoon, I take my phone and just snap away. Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms, but it never comes in the shape of a silver platter. It won't be handed to you...you have to chase it with everything you have. I take my big journal with me wherever I go ( my shoulder suffers but hey I do it anyway) I spend 20 mins waiting at my little boy's school and in that time I'm drawing, anything and everything, it may be good it may turn into something bigger...or it may just get covered with gesso and turned into something else, but I am always drawing, tinting, photographing, Everything becomes habit, even art. So on the days when you feel so blah you cant even pick up a pencil...don't..get your camera out and start snapping, one of those photos will spark something in you...or print them out and lay them down in your journal...its all progress, and progress is what scares a rut the most.
Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
Places you can find me are over at my little art nook www.ravenscauldron.blogspot.com or over at the facebook page for Little Raven Ink : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Courtney-Brook-Raven-Ink/147744575296959 you can find my day to day photographs over on instagram : http://ink361.com/#/users/6556845, if you search really hard, you can find me in many places hehe.
Thanks so much for kicking us off with such honest and inspiring answers Courtney! I think we can all relate to something here - the time issues especially, but you manage to make such beautiful art in spite of it which is a lesson to us all =)
If you would like to be a featured artist on Tell All Tuesday then email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.