Artist Interview: Yours Truely

As promised, my first featured artist interview is with myself.

When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve created my entire life, and I think deep down I knew I wanted to be an artist. But it took me a long time to feel that I was allowed to be one. Even in choosing my college major, my mom discouraged me from obtaining an art degree, she wanted me to pursue a real career. My graphic design degree was a compromise. It wasn’t until this year that I’ve finally gained the courage to declare myself an artist.

What does it mean to live an authentic life?
I don’t normally choose words to represent my year, but had I chose one for 2012, it’d be authenticity. This word has resonated with me so much over the last few months and it’s become a true focus for me to live an authentic life. For me, authenticity is about letting your true self shine and not being afraid to let the world see you. This can be such a challenge because many of us work so hard to create a perfect personae for the world to see, which isn’t aligned with our authentic selves. Authenticity is about letting these ideas of perfection go and sharing your genuine self with the world.

What has been your most exciting moment as an artist?
Two moments come to mind: My first shop show in 2009 and when I saw photos of my cards on display at Hello Bluebird next to Curly Girl. My next exciting moment will be my gallery show this summer!

How much time per week do you spend creating (rather than time spent promoting and running your business)
This really varies by the week. Currently I have Tuesdays and Fridays to devote to Lexisworks. I try to spend at least half of one of these days in my studio. I’d say I spend just as much time, perhaps more, running my business as I do creating.

What is your favorite art supply, tool or technique?
I’m not sure how it came about, but dictionaries are my favorite. I’ve collected several editions and sizes and they almost always appear in every piece of art I create.

Do you have a favorite piece of art you’ve created? What is the story behind this piece?
I created “Let the Wind Carry You Away” as a thank you gift. It was based off of a very similar piece I had created before. But I like the second version much better.
I am also very fond of my latest creation, a 40 inch by 30 inch painting I completed on a canvas I have had for 4 years. Creating something this big was a big leap for me and it’s only paint, no collage!

Do you keep an inspiration board? What is on it and what inspires you?
I have a cork board and a clothesline that I keep inspirational images. It includes lots of old photos, several clothing tags from Europe, magazine ads, print offs of art and illustration I find online, found paper, and my own doodles.

What is your favorite art related book(s)?
I love all of Sabrina Ward Harrison’s books. I got her first book at 17 and I still love to go back and read it. I love how honest and raw her journals are and she reminds me that we ALL have the same internal struggles fitting in and feeling like a complete mess.

Who are your top 3 favorites artists?
Sabrina Ward Harrison, Rex Ray and Flora Bowley

How do you recharge when your creativity hits the wall?
If I’m stuck right in the middle of working, then I’ll stare around my studio looking for something to catch my eye. If I just can’t find the motivation to create at all, I try to create a mini adventure for myself (a hike, coffee with a friend, the thrift store.) I’ve found that ideas hit when I’ve completely consciously stopped thinking about a creative problem

What advice can you offer those wanting to live a more creative life?
It’s so easy to have a list of creative projects (hello Pinterest.) The key is to actually act on it. I admit to not following this all the time. I know that if I put my mind to it, I could create every day. We make time for what we want. Surrounding ourselves with the things that inspire us can remind us of our desire for more creativity in our lives.

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