Tuesday 5 November 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Jeanie Mossa

Hello lovelies, so it's TAT time and this week we have a 3D artist in the hot seat which I am very excited about *mini jumping jacks* (meaning just the top half arm pumps as the bottom half is sat comfily lol) hope you enjoy and can learn something from what is just a really lovely interview =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
Hello and thank you for this opportunity to share. My name is Jeanie Mossa, and I currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, USA with my husband, 2 cats and our dog. Originally from monochromatic Baltimore MD, I ran off to California when I was young which had a major influence in my life and art. Sort of like Dorothy opening the door and seeing The Wizard of OZ in color for the first time. Living in San Diego I became a glass artist and had a line of jewelry and art to wear. When my body rebelled due to the environmental hazards of working with glass, I turned to Chinese medicine and later went on to become an acupuncturist specializing in holistic veterinary medicine. Art took a backseat during that time. As things always come full circle, I am back to being a full time artist and a part time Medicine Woman now. My art is influenced by fairy tales, nature, magic and the wooie wooie. Visiting old churches and shrines with sacred icons, old world art and religious deities from different cultures inspires me. Living so close to Washington DC with endless museums to hide in has been a gift that I am so grateful for. I prefer to create 3D pieces such as ethereal art jewelry, primitive sculptures and nature spirit dolls. There is something that flows when making a piece that has more than 2 dimensions. The fact that it can be picked up, touched and is not flat like a drawing is satisfying. Somehow the piece has a mind of its own and comes to life. I go through phases of materials to work with such as wire, clay, recycled objects, glass or fiber when I feel like I have done as much as possible with this medium for now, it is time to move on to another. 

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Sometimes I get stuck... creative constipation. Nothing flows. I become paralyzed especially if it is during a stressful time in my life. Staring at blank pages, a box of beads or colored pencils like a deer caught in headlights. My muse runs off to some exotic island or Paris and leaves me to fend for myself. To break the spell I have a few tricks. Meditating everyday, even if it is only 10 minutes makes such a difference. So does yoga. Sometimes I put on some happy music and dance in the kitchen. If I am exhausted and worn out, then a nice nap with my cats and dog seem to help soothe the soul. Taking a break and visiting a local nature preserve to watch birds and animals calms my mind. There are some days nothing helps so that is the time to clean the house, do laundry and run errands. Eventually my muse returns! 

What is your heart’s greatest desire for your life as an artist?
Ever since I can remember my heart's desire has been to create a children's book. This past year I finally began drawing and painting the characters for it. Some of the characters have been the inspiration for the Nature Spirit dolls I have been working on. Over the years, I have written a few books on alternative medicine with illustrations, however these were nonfiction and ironically somehow easier to finish. My goal is to complete the children's book in 2014. 

Have you ever found anything that originally daunted you as an artist that you can now overcame easily? 
I was brought up in a very strict Italian Catholic family where it was assumed I would get a “real” job, get married and have children. Being an artist was not an option as a career. Deciding to be an artist full time was very daunting and scary. There was always that voice inside my head that screamed GET A JOB! Many times I have worked jobs in order to support myself and did art on the side. I never believed it was possible to just be an artist and accept it. And my family would never accept that creating art is a “job” too. I will always be the hippie freak daughter and sister in their eyes. It took several years (OK... decades!) to stop worrying about what I should be when I grow up. To not stutter when people asked “What do you do?” Somehow when you tell folks you are an artist they cannot grasp it. You might as well claim to be a plutonium salesman.
I always wanted to be an artist. It is not something that is easily ignored since most of us are different to the rest of the world. We see and think outside the box, see colors more brilliantly and we dance to the beat of an invisible drummer. It took a long time to accept that but one day it just seemed to click in. And as an added bonus, having a husband who encourages and supports my dreams makes me ever so grateful. A special thank you to folks like you, Jennibellie who give us inspiration and thank you for all your wonderful videos. I have learned so much watching them. 

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
You can find more art, jewelry and books at my website which has a link to my facebook page and my blog and shops. If you visit the website please sign up for my free e-Zine The Bohemian Soul which is a fusion of art and healing tips for people and pets.

Your interview resonated so much with me Jeanie, thank you so much for sharing your story. I think I've managed to respond to the 'what do you do?' question only a handful of times with 'I'm an artist' but next time I think I'm just gonna have to say 'I'm a Plutonium Saleswoman' oh yeah! Nicking it, nicking it, nicking it - at least their fogged up bamboozled expression will make me laugh for a good reason than cry for the sheer horrific state of our societies standards lol good luck with your book from the courage I read coming from you I'd put a bet on it being a goal that is going to be achieved, which gives me courage and inspiration also - we all have our childrens book ;)

Want to join the TAT-ranks??
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)

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