Tuesday 27 May 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Karen Taylor

Hi guys
it's six mins to twelve as I type this so I'm posting and running while it'll still be a TAT and before my exhausted eyes shut on me =) enjoy 

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
My name is Karen Taylor. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. Home to Hobbitses and other vertically challenged bloggers. I am into Art Journalling and Guerilla Art. I have made hundreds of art journal pages. If you like that kind of thing, stay close by. I've got lots of ideas I want to show you. Especially if you like a bit of *ugly* in your work :P I would like people to have a unique art encounter. I've made a lot of 'Do This Art Idea,' cards. Like:

Do a drawing (e.g. doodle)
Do some writing (e.g. fill in this speech bubble)
Make something (e.g. with sellotape and paper)

I leave them to get found in supermarkets, libraries, airports, car parking ticket machines, train stations, bus stops, museums.
Friends leave them places for me, too.

Here is one of my Guerilla Art Cards. Card # 7

And this is the back of Card # 7

I leave them to get found in supermarkets, libraries, airports, car parking ticket machines, train stations, bus stops, museums...

Friends leave them places for me, too. I think they like leaving them around as much as I do.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
I nearly didn't say because it seems everyone has a gorgeous studio or a dedicated work space. However, it is "Tell All Tuesday." So let's just 'emojin' that I work at my kitchen table. And that I struggle to keep control of stuff on a shelf and floor. I try to keep tidy so I don't suffer CHAOS. (Can't Have People Over Syndrome - acronym by Peter Walsh)

What is your greatest personal achievement either in your art, or because of it?
It would have to be the 2 high school art courses I took by correspondence in 2012. My artist models among others were Jean-Michel Basquiat and Robert Rauschenberg. Below is an excerpt taken from a post on my blog: "What I learned from going back to High School ... at 41!" Who's got a story they'd rather not share? OK I'll go first..I. Am an Art Failure. A.F. I wanted an 'A'. I got an 'F'. So I tried again. Went back to high school ... when I was 41! High School Art, then Uni come get me, kind of thing. I'd need a portfolio, said Uni, for Fine Arts. (There's that F.A. again is that a joke?!) I signed up for Painting. Was Printing hard, I asked. You know, from home..? Pbbt. Kitchen bench, stuff! they said.  (Tick!) Where do I sign, I said. So in 2012 I did Year 13 Painting and Printmaking. Half a fulltime students workload. And what did I learn? In no particular order of psychological trauma -

No matter how much you suck, there are artist models for you
Don't tell the people you live with how much housework you won't be doing. By the time they notice, you've got assignments to hand in, OK?!?
Don't wag. You'll only have to do it again when you've got a mortgage
Pencil sketching is like eating your greens. No wonder kids wag
Think your boss is scary? Try drawing some still-life's then showing the teacher
Inspiration is a fickle mistress. At 41 you don't have a lot of time left. RTFQ then start
You will do things you never imagined like breaking your own parenting rules on the fly (*no children harmed physically*)
You will look at a lot of in-your-face nudity and talk about it with your teacher. Even at 41, it's awkward
Life isn't a marathon. It's a series of sprints. Or a year working at your kitchen bench

What advice would you offer to any perspective new artist?
Life is too short not to make the art that you have inside you. It has been lovely to see the stream of words from the heart that "Encouraging Words For Newbies" on Jennibellies ning site has brought about. You guys rock. Just Make It. I don't give a toss if you're a grandmother that has made a space in the garden shed out back to do your art or like me you're happy as a pig in mud working while parenting from your kitchen table at night. Turn that kitchen table into an art table today, if you haven't already. It would make my day to hear if you, too, make art in your dining/lounge area. If lots of people talk about it, then new people will believe they can make a start, too. Come over to my blog and leave me a comment about what people think of your colourful kitchen table.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
artshecried.blogspot.com is my blog. It is only 3 months old and I am learning that it is true; we are shite at leaving comments for each other :P It's cool, I get it. I often don't leave comments so I don't have to deal with captcha's and providing specified blog login's that I am not signed up to. But sometimes I do, and I enjoy pushing through that to let the person know I've come by and had a squizz.
Please come to my blog and say hi. Leave the name of your site so I can come and find you. I would love to be part of a community that supports each other. @karentaylor1001 on Twitter. ARTSHECRIED on instagram.

Thank you Jennibellie, and thank you lovely "Jennibelliettes" for all the love and art conversation over the years. You make Blogging fun X

Thank you Karen for sharing your fab art....and the acronym, unfortunately I am ALWAYS in a state of CHAOS, but I think that stems from the general fact I hate cleaning (hey I guess I can't blame everything of art!) but art is teaching me to accept such faults, like with my process, it's just my way to see through the clutter to the creativity bursting beneath lol

I'm still looking for TATers!! 
See your name in lights ---- or on a blog header, same thing!
Do you want to join the TAT ranks??

To be featured email me or find all the details here =)

Friday 23 May 2014

Video Tutorial: Recycled Paper Towel Reusable Surfaces

Hello lovelies 

I've a quick supply-making tutorial today, which you can make from your scraps and which I posted yesterday as a treat for my Monthly Challenge Group on Journal Workshops

The groups/sites free to join so come do so if you haven't already =)

***Reuse Reduce Recycle Mixed Media Art Booyah!***

Happy Creating

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Sarah aka Rainbow Gecko Gallery

Helllllo tuesday time! 
That means TAT because, YAY, I had a lovely response to last weeks plea for artists =) but those that have been brave and took the plunge will not keep us in TAT indefinitely though so if you've been sat on the fence now is the time to put yourself forward. 

You have a blinding flashlight of amazing shiny goodness to share, come blind us (metaphorically speaking!) with your awesomeness!! Now enough of my over-dramaticness, onto TAT whoop, enjoy xxx

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are
Hi I'm Sarah, I now live in a small Tasmanian ( Australia) town with my family, I have a garage sized art shed/studio where I create, and hope to one day teach from, and I am a full time mum.
I would say today that I am a mixed media artist, I have been drawing almost since I could hold a pencil. My great Nanna would stick my drawings up on her kitchen wall and every road trip all I needed was a sketchbook and pencils and I was happy. It has only been in the last year that being a mixed media artist is what I would call myself, when I started my business Rainbow Gecko Gallery I realised that's what I was and I have been creating everyday since. I sew, I paint, I draw, I design jewellery and stationery. I love everything arty and crafty and most of all I love colour. 

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My biggest personal challenge as an artist would be getting out into the world as a social butterfly, I suffered migraines in my teens ( still do now ) so I kept close to my friends and didn't go out much. Doing art really helped me to have something to focus on and kept me grounded. I find it hard to meet people now but through my art I have met some crafty local ladies and I have a wonderfully supportive following online and have made some great friends from all around the world. Each day I force myself to get out into the world and talk about my business and my art. I am constantly emailing companies and magazines, doing local markets and events, and participating in online swaps and challenges. Facing my fear with something I was born to do-create. 

What do you find easiest / hardest in your art?
I find using colour the easiest in my paintings, I don't restrict myself to colour rules I use the brightest and boldest colours together layering them throughout my painting, bringing it all together with the final detailed layer. The thing I am struggling the most in my art at the moment is overcoming a great background. I use my painting cleaning sheets as collage papers in my artwork and I find it difficult at times to cover them up. So I am exploring new ways of keeping it simple and just allowing the background to shine through. Sometimes I will just doodle over the top with a paint marker or recently I've been exploring different papers for their transparency and incorporating it into the artwork so the background is still visible. 

What do you most wish your art to achieve?
Right now my biggest wish for my art is to let people see it and enjoy it, I make a lot of practical everyday products with my art stationery, stickers, notes and writing paper, even jewellery and tote bags. I have developed a stationery line from my artwork prints and would love for that to be available for everyone, it would be amazing to see people using my products and loving them as much as I do.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
You can find Rainbow Gecko Gallery everywhere online if you do a google search. I'm on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr, I have an Etsy store and a new blogI am learning all this internet mumbo jumbo as I go, it's all pretty new to me.

Hi Sarah, thank you for sharing your art and story. And also thank you for sharing the whole being brave and putting yourself out there thing, we all have to face our fears if we want to share what gifts we have been given to share with the world. I face those fears a lot, but it still doesn't mean I don't have those times when I'd prefer not to so thank you for the inspiring reminder to push on. And for anyone else that needs another inspiration to do something scary in terms of sharing your gift I always think of the people that I would not be helping if I did not do whatever it is I am supposed to do -- and that for me that is the whole purpose of why we would do it in the first place is it not? To make the world richer, happier, more inspired, more fulfilled? Whether we're sharing a photo, a business or a message. We all have something to give =)

I'm still looking for TATers!! 
Do you want to join the TAT ranks??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)

Saturday 17 May 2014

Dealing with the Comparison Monster


Today I've got a video on something I think all of us get as artists & that's an attack of the comparison monster -------- 'my art's not as good as [insert name here]', 'Why is everyone else's art better than mine?'

I had a think about it, and about anything that has helped me with this, and the result is this video which gives ways I think you can transform, or understand, or use this issue that we all have to face from time to time. It’s not like most of my other vids, it’s more personal than arty, but as you probably already know if you are reading this I think it’s important we share ourselves in these areas also. 

So here is the video and I have just posted a topic for it on Journal Workshops to continue the discussion, please feel free to add anything to it also here:

Much love

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Miranda Banks

Tell All Tuesday time,
though I'm sad to say Tell All Tuesday is in jeopardy! To keep the inspiration going I need some more fabulous to come forward and shine their light (or wave their paintbrush, whichever) to be featured just see the details at the bottom - it's easy as pie. But we do still have today's interview for feed our greedy guts with, so please feast on, enjoy =D

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
My name is Miranda Banks and I am going on 23 in the next few weeks and a busy girl at that. I literally have so many things going on right now that I am surprised I can keep up with it all in the mess I can't seem to contain. I've graduated and have an Art Major with a English Minor. I work part time at a funeral home so that I can support all of my art endeavors right now. I have started a YouTube channel and am quite faithful with it! I have started a blog and am growing in faithfulness to it. I have shared on my blog and channel all that is art within me. I am a oil painter and mixed media artist as well as a writer on the side. My paintings are at least right now consisting of several styles all put together such as cubism, surrealism, traditional and collage. My favorite subject matters are varied but as of now it is mainly people and landscapes. I have been trying so hard to find a connection between the two because I always seem to want to put them together. I absolutely LOVE a western landscape of any kind with deep contrasting colors of orange and blue. With people, I tend to draw a women because one, I know their body types very well and I LOVE painting women's clothes. Painting fabrics and textiles really heighten the excitement of painting for me. I would paint more men but their clothes bore me in a painting aspect, plus when I do paint or draw them on occasion, I tend to fall in love with them and stare at the painting and wish they would come alive...nough said.
I use oils and I am in a happy marriage with them right now and I will never betray them ever, but of course watercolors...I'll consider them as my child to be because I want to get a new set as soon as possible!
Now for mixed media, I am a newbie and actually picked up the art of art journaling this past summer thanks to Jennibellie! Her channel really started it all for me! She made me want to make my own videos and my very first journal page ever was shot on camera. I am so traditional and vintage and retro and classic it is not even funny. Everything I do within my art journaling reflects that style. I collage a lot and I paint and doodle a lot on my pages. I have always loved journaling and writing and to combine art and writing in a book is quite close to heaven for me. I am still learning new techniques and love the whole idea of opening a book with tons of things to look at. I work best when their are tons of visuals around me!

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is dealing with the critic in my head which distinctly is my art teacher from art school. He was harsh at times and I always wanted to please him so whenever I want to paint it becomes hard for me to shut out my teachers voice. This goes for art journaling as well, I can hear him telling me that I am wasting my time in art journaling and that it is a cheap kind of art using pre made products such as stamps, stencils, texture makers etc. to make something that looks like child's play and well...cheap. I have never talked to him about it and I really can't due to the fact that he has moved away but he is still stuck in my head. So even when I create something I may like it but I worry about his opinion even though he is long gone from my life. So I have grown to overcome it thanks to an art teacher I had in middle school who has rented a studio next to mine and has showered me in compliments that has boosted my confidence in painting AND art journaling. She is an art journaler as well and even teaches it in her classes with some of her students. I still worked with my art journaling and kept doing it even though I heard my art teacher critic in my head downing me but, working with my middle school art teacher helps my art teacher critic suddenly drift away from my mind! 

Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how do you get it back?
Heck yes do I lose my mojo, there are days where I just watch YouTube videos of other art journalers for hours and just beg and hope to squeeze out at least one idea. I've even created an inspiration board that is covering my entire wall in my studio and sometimes that doesn't even help! I'll take a break and leave what I'm doing and not think about it and then go to it the next day and still I have no idea what to do.
What I have found helpful to bring back the mojo is to work with someone, feed off of someone else's creativity. Watch their process and ask them questions about their work. That has happened to me recently and I went to my studio and ideas just kept pouring in. Stepping away from your own thoughts and line of vision and watching and listening to someone else's process of creating is a help that is indescribably fulfilling!
But if you don't have someone to work with, what also helps me is I take a few pieces of imagery and I determine what I like most about those images and from there I doodle from them or collage with them. I'll go shopping at Antique Stores and I find little pieces of inspiration since I tend to get excited over the old stuff. I'll see what's on Pinterest and Tumblr just to find some new images to spark some ideas. I still watch YouTube videos and eventually I do get some ideas. Sometimes when I rearrange my studio I look at things differently and am eager to work in a new space I spent time organizing or rearranging. Never ever turn down a chance to visit an art museum.

But most of all I have really found some great help with Jennibellie's Inspiration Station. Her Inspiration Station helped me get out of my first real funk of no inspiration for a week. I never really thought of putting all inspiration in a single journal and that helped! A LOT!

What is your heart’s greatest desire for your life as an artist
My Dad always said that whatever I do, I do it for The Lord. It is very important to me that I give my talents back to The Lord. I was graciously given the gift of being an artist and the least I can do is honor God in my work. Now that doesn't mean my subject matters all have to be of the Madonna and Child or of just Christ...I believe that God is with us in everything we do so I like to portray in my paintings the grandness of his involvement in all our lives in big and small ways. So my greatest desire is in the end, I want God to be please with what I create and to me that is the best "Best In Show" award anyone can receive!

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
Oh my goodness, several places really...go to my YouTube channel called "Clare Plantation" where I mainly showcase anything art journaling related! Go to my blog on blogger which is called "Clare Plantation" as well and I post everything I create with a little more behind the scenes info about it. Go to my Etsy Shop called "ClareARTly" and all of what I create is up for sale there. Go to my Facebook page "Clare Plantation" and while you are there go check out The Documented Life Project Group by "Art to the 5th" where I post my pages for that group. Join the group yourself if you are so inclined! Go to my Google + page Clare Plantation and while you are there go check out some of my posts on the Colorful Playground. You can join that group as well if you are so inclined. I would love to hear from you and what you think of my work and how I can do better! I worked really hard to keep these things up and running and all I need is you!

Thank you so much for sharing, I resonated highly with what you said about your art teacher...I think many of us will, unfortunately. Mine was never harsh with me, but he never encouraged either, which I think can be just as damaging sometimes (as it doesn't give you that fire-in-the-belly-someone-to-prove-wrong thing, as outright put-downs often can) and in my case led me to completely give up art. I didn't even take it for school level (which although I don't believe in having regrets in life) if you were going to force me to give you one, that would obviously have been one of mine...and it's all down to that person you happen to get sitting in that teachers chair! 

As I said at the beginning I NEED FEATURED ARTISTS! So why not join the gang??
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)
Much love

Friday 9 May 2014

How I Make a Friend/Family Journal

Hi guys,
quick vloggy, vloggy, vloggy time =)

- to answer a few curious peeps here's how I make a 'regular' friend/family journal. Since I did the this vid I have added a couple more embellishments as you can see below, but it's still all very simple, stuff I already had and understated so that the recipient can turn it into any kind of journal they decide:

It's super simple, it depends on who I'm giving the journals to but usually I like to give 'clean' looking journals to non-crafty people; they still look handmade rather than store brought but are not too intimidating. But if it's to a mixed-media lover they hey I may go all out ;) 
So here's the vlog, enjoy:

And here's the Smash Book Tutorial I used to create it:

Wishing you a fabby crafty weekend

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Danielle Walker

Hi guys, May may, may may may =)
I am quite excited for May,
I have new arty things planned so hopefully this Month this blog'll be sharing a few more posts.
But right now it is TAT yaaaaay!
And an incredibly moving TAT it is too:

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
I think the best way to go about describing myself and my artwork is to say that I'm a survivor. I was already somewhat artistic when I was a kid--drawing loads of pictures with my favourite pencils and felts (I got new Staedtler Mars supplies every year for Christmas!) and then I moved into sewing. I had my mom's old (and seldom used) Singer in the basement and I made the usual fare of neon sweat pants, neon gym bag, even a neon blouse. It was 1991. What else can I say for taste? Back then sewing and drawing were just for fun. But then our family moved provinces and made some new friends. One friend in particular was fateful, as he sexually abused me in secret for two years. I gave up on visual art for a long time after that. There was nothing nice to illustrate, so to speak. So I became a poetry major in my new high school. There was nothing nice to write either, as it turned out. I graduated from university with distinction and a bachelor of fine arts in writing, with a focus on the poetry and poetics stream in 2008. I enjoyed being published in a few Canadian magazines. I finished my coursework when I was 8 months pregnant with our daughter, Bronwen. Close call! But her delivery was not what we had planned or hoped for. I once again found myself victimized by the obstetrician and suffered with the issues of being violated all over again. I was hospitalized for a suicide attempt when Bronwen was four months old. I was comatose for two days before I stabilized and was sent to a mental ward. There I learned how to make jewelry, and I also took up needle and thread again and started feverishly embroidering and hand piecing a quilt. I think, on some level, I was sewing myself back together. I never stopped.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
I'd say the biggest challenge for me is always trying to find new techniques to execute what my imagination comes up with. Consequently to overcome it I'm a Craftsy-holic. Love that site! My husband, on the other hand, sees how many classes I've signed up for each week and gets very stressed! I also just look through the quilt shop and get excited about the fabrics, supplies, and books they have. The staff are also an endless supply of wisdom!

What is your greatest personal achievement either in your art, or because of it?
One achievement that I think of often is just how interested my daughter is in my work. She loves coming into my crazy office and going out to the fabric store. I always let her pick one or two fabric bolts which she proudly carries around the store. I then go on to use the fabrics in my next projects. She's very much a part of my work. The other achievement is that she always says that I can fix anything. It almost brings tears to my eyes that she says that, since I cannot fix the hardest problems of all. And I've enjoyed a few sales as well.

Have you ever found anything that originally daunted you as an artist that you can now overcame easily?
I used to feel daunted by quilt piecing as a whole in the beginning. I could not match points, I could not sew straight seams! It was annoying! But I somehow managed to keep at it and learn that there are techniques and tools that truly do help. Same with jewelry making--I could not wire wrap anything to save my life, but then I found the right pliers and everything fell into place. I think it's just a matter of finding the right art idiom that you want to practice and you will make progress.
Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
I have a couple facebook pages, one for my jewelry making and a brand new one for my quilting. I also have an etsy shop for selling jewelry.  And finally I have a new blog about quilting (and everything). Go check everything out (and like everything!)

Thank you so much for sharing yourself so deeply in this interview Danielle, you shared such a personal and moving story and I thank you for your honesty. I love the title for your blog 'The Quilted Thimble, quilt for mental health', I think that shines a light so wonderfully on what the root of creativity is and I think it is important to show that it is not always about the painting/sewing/jewellery/scrapbook that is in our hands itself but what the process of doing it itself is actually about.

Your words 'it almost brings tears to my eyes that she says that, since I cannot fix the hardest problems of all' touched me a lot but made me feel very sad. I want to share something with you that someone once gifted me in a way, if I may - It is not your duty to fix anything. It is no one persons duty, or possibility. It is simply your duty to turn up, and do your best (paraphrased obviously!). I understand why you would want to for your child though, but again no one can fix the world, we can only turn up and do our best for one another when someone we love needs us (and that includes ourselves). I hope you will lift any responsibility you feel regarding that off of your shoulders so that you can smile brightly & respond 'Yep I'm Super-Mommy!' when she says that one day....coz to me it sounds like you kinda are, and it is obvious that to Bronwen that is already the case!

would you like to be featured on Tell All Tuesday?? >>>>>>
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)
Much love
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