Tuesday 25 February 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Nina Fenner

Time for Tell All Tuesday, time for Tell All Tuesday, time for Tell All Tuesday, yeah!!
As you may or may not have noticed I've not been around much this month, so I'm super psyched to I have Tell All Tuesday for some arty inspiration...and fyi where I have been I will become very apparent soon (esp if you are a newsletter subscriber - you are in for a treeeeeeeeeeeat!! ;) ) But before that loveliness here's some more in the form of this weeks TAT:

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
I have just turned 50 and have spent all my working life living in the countryside, earning most of my living as a self employed gardener. All my life I have I dabbled in a wide variety of crafts. When I was about 30 I started doing life modelling and I was tempted into the idea of going to art college. I planned to simply enjoyed my foundation year and then go back to gardening, but I got drawn into doing a Fine Art degree. It wasn't really my thing because so much of it was conceptual stuff and I'm really a craftsperson, but I did enjoy exploring processes such as printmaking, textile art and photography, and best of all I did a three day book binding course which really got me hooked. After my degree I went back to gardening but also continued making books and experimenting with other arts and crafts. In 2004 I was asked to teach some workshops which I enjoyed enormously. I continued to run occasional workshops for the next few years and also dabbled in craft fairs (which I dislike doing!) In the last year or so I have really been putting more effort into promoting my workshops. I am also trying out teaching other subjects and I am really enjoy inspiring other to make creativity a part of their lives. I think eclectic probably best describes the work I do, as I am constantly trying new things. I spin and knit, I do patchwork and embroidery, I sketch and write and make baskets. I also love cooking, dancing and singing, and growing vegetables.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is always balancing doing creative things for pleasure and for money, and being organised enough to do my own promotion and make the moneymaking ventures as efficient as possible. I try to focus on having a core of paid creative work and then allow myself to do some playing for pleasure, and also offer some freebies for good causes now and then as well.

What is your heart’s greatest desire for your life as an artist?
I still love gardening and plan to continue doing it part time, and would love to be earning about half of my income from teaching workshops and selling some of my work. In real terms this would equate to me teaching one or two workshops per week on average over the year.

What is the best thing / worst thing that art has brought into your life?
The best thing is the wonderful creative people that I meet, and the feeling that I have inspired people to bring more creativity into their lives. The worst thing is the feeling that there are SO many things I want to try and sometimes I feel I take on too much and challenge myself to the point that I feel stressed about it, which is the opposite of what being creative is supposed to be!

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
I have a website, a facebook page and a blog that is a mixture of creative stuff and my life in general. I don't post on my facebook page or blog as often as I feel I ought to, but I try not to feel bad about that!

Thank you  for sharing Nina, I definitely agree about the stressed thing, I want to do so much too and there is just never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever enough time for it all! And it's hard facing the fact that there may never be, especially during those times when you feel like you have used every moment you have available to do so to be as creative as absolutely possible, and still feel like you've managed nothing! I guess this is where the wisdom of 'it is not the destination, but the journey' comes into play, and give ourselves a break over all the creative to do list projects  that will never ever ever even get looked at, and simply enjoy the time we have when we are actually creating.

Want to read your name in the title??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)


  1. Nice to meet you Nina. I too am a 50 yr old bookbinder recently located to a new city where I have just started to build my bookbinding teaching career, as well developing my bookselling business. Interesting to read you don't like craft fairs!
    Thanks Jennibellie for posting a bookbinder! I have wanted to send along some of my books for awhile but don't have a website yet.

  2. Nice to read about you Nina, I'm just a new crafter and it is interesting for me reading the stories of people that are a lot more experienced! Thank you for sharing and thank you Jennibellie for the interview ! (can't wait to see what the treat is all about!) Wish all the best to both of you girls! You are pure inspiration to me!

  3. the photo of the two bookshelves....the top shelf is what I want to be, the bottom shelf is what I am!


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