Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blog Hop with a Difference/Getting to Know Me

This is going to be a completely different sort of blog post from me. I'm supposed to describe my creative process and inspiration... grab a cup of coffee (mine's drip with some Creme de Brûlée Coffee Mate creamer) and stay awhile :-)

I was "tagged" by my friend, Kathi, who blogs at Kat's Tales of Stamping & Scrapping. Gosh. Where to begin. I  always describe Kathi as, "who I want to be when I grow up" and my, "standard for stamping, coloring and altering". She has a meticulous way of approaching her projects that is mixed with an equal portion of generosity so whenever she posts something my thoughts immediately go like this:

  • Wow! That's so cool.
  • Hmm... how did she do that
  • Really? She explains every little step, tip and choice? Nobody does that.
  • Girl-crush!
Kathi is so open-handed with her skills. She doesn't hoard her vast know-how but instead shares it and in doing so elevates the abilities of entire stamping and crafting community around her. And her skills are MAD skills. I have one of Kathi's altered creations as well as several cards and her attention to detail and extraordinary creativity is staggering. Not hyperbole. Kathi is the bomb-sauce. 

I'm supposed to answer some questions, so here goes...

1. What am I working on?

I interpreted this question to be 'in the last week(ish)'

Mixed Media Sculpture: I'm TERRIFIED of mannequin heads. I've had a recurring nightmare since I was about five years old that prominently featured one and I've never shook it. Notably, the boys saw one in JoAnn and brought it to show me and I turned and ran away screaming, full speed. In a goofy hat shop I started crying. They scare the bejeezus out of me. So... when I went to JoAnn to pick up some fusible webbing I found myself in the cutting line standing next to the scary doll heads. With a devil-may-care lack of caution I flipped on over and they were $4.98. Seriously? Something that scary costs less than a grande frappacino? So I waited, fingering my 50% off coupon thinking dark, dangerous thoughts. And Mr. Headly (who is a lady) decided to follow me to the check out, then she jumped in my tote bag (totes are something else I'm working on) and walked all the way home with me. She sat in the kitchen while I cooked dinner and after that, well, she just didn't seem so scary. We sat on the couch that night and played dress up. So far she's got her silver on. More to follow.

Totes! I'm totes-obsessed with painting fabric. Like I-keep-buying-duck-cloth-by-the-bolt obsessed. So to justify the yard and yards of fabric I've been mucking about with, I started sewing them into simple tote bags. I love the first (and worst, structurally) is all I use as a purse now. It's carried huge, heavy amounts of farmers market goodies, cans, boxes, mail - you name it with nary a thread coming loose. So I might start offering them in my shop. People have been asking.

Dino-people: They are a lot like my winsome bride or wedding shrine but DINOSAURS. I've been thinking a lot about cultural appropriation and am more comfortable with dino-headed creations, for now at least.

Stamp Carving and Tag Making, mixed-media:

Thistle stamps I just finished for a friend:

Some phrases I'm currently carving:

Neon tag:

Love Branch:

Drink Charms:

Metal Stuff:

Here are some new decorated spoons and altered antique scissors. The scissors are in my Etsy but I haven't listed the spoons yet.

Would you believe I edited that down to what I've been working on "a lot" as opposed to "just dabbling". 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

For the last few years I've been creating most of my work from the ground up. I used to buy patterned paper, stamps, embellishments etc. Now I carve my own stamps, gelli-print or paint paper instead of buying it and make my own decorations. While it's more labor intensive, it's also loads of fun (especially since I'm not a shopper).

Scrapbooking kinda burned me out as it felt like it became a she who has the newest and most expensive stuff wins scenario. That's just not a game I'm into.

To be clear, I LOVE and drool all over manufactured supplies. They are awesome, ten-fold, in a way I know my stuff will never be. But I just didn't feel as creative or authentic.

That said, you can't separate me from my Bombshell Stamps or Stampotique.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

My brain likes to mash things up and my attention span is pretty nonexistent. Somehow the combination works as I flit from thing to thing and then combine them all into a glorious orgy of creative expression. Did I just call my work glorious? Hardly. What I mean is the feeling I get creating is glorious. It helps with pain and frustration like nothing else and there is a sense of satisfaction that comes from art that is different than other areas of my life.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

This is kind of a fun question to answer as I usually have four or six projects on the go at once (see above). If I'm stuck and something is giving me trouble I can just move over to the next one and keep going. Today you'd see some spoons drying from a splattering of alcohol ink, a half painted piece of cloth on the floor, my mannequin head surrounded by tape and a pencil for mark making and me happily adding a new layer of dimensional paste to my dino heads. And I'm just as likely to walk away from all that and carve some stamps at the kitchen table. I'm very delight-directed. Right now my delight hasn't been as paper crafty (at least not all paper all the time!!!) but more fabric, metal and rubber. But eventually I always swing back to paper and acrylics.

I am also supposed to tag someone whose work I greatly admire and who I am honored to call a friend. She will be sharing more about herself next Monday, August 4th.

I am tagging Darcy Wilkinson:

Darcy is the coolest girl I know.

She blogs over at Art and Sole, is a demonstrator for Letraset (this girl knows her way around a marker!) and has her own line of stamps with Eclectica. She draws like no one else and her series of faces she's been doing this past year has been fascinating both for watching her technique evolve and for the staggering range she's shown. 

Darcy is an art journal queen. I drool all over my keyboard when browsing her blog. So much goodness. Her work is instantly recognizable, I'm always so impressed by how clear her 'voice' is.

She's also kind, generous and helpful. Once when I was curious about Tyvek, she mailed me some all the way from the UK. And I am still using it in my projects. 

Thank you Darcy for inspiring. I can't wait to read all about your process next week. 

~~~ art by Darcy's friend, Jay


Kathi said...

Eek! I'm in the same post as Darcy Wilkinson! I've got a craft crush on her! Wow. Gobsmacked.

Thanks so much for all your kind words.

You know that I love your artwork and have really enjoyed watching your artwork grow, change, and evolve. It's really exciting!

I have a feeling that I'm going to love your mannequin head, though I do understand being freaked out by them. Doll heads weird me out. There's something ultra creepy about them.

It took me a second to figure out the "IDGAF", but once I did, I chortled to myself and thought, "Gosh. How very useful!"

I love your spoons, carved stamps, tote bags, and just about everything you create!

Thanks for sharing such a great post!

Coco said...

Hi Nicole, I really enjoyed reading your post today and discovering you! (though I remember you also playing on the Stampotique blog ;^)) You are a super talented artist indeed, Kathi is lucky to be your friend!! I love your fabulous creativity, all your creations are very different, but all so colorful and beautiful! And you seem to have a great sense of humor in describing everything. (but I've missed some meanings because of my poor English boohoo) Thank you for this great interview by yourself :^)
Crafty hugs in Friendship, Coco

Carmen said...

I loved this post so much Nicole. And you know that when you start selling those bags I am going to be in the queue.

All those things you said about Darcy (which I totally agree with) also apply to you. I really understand what you were saying about how you like to create things yourself but still drool over the manufactured stuff. Yep.

Can I just tell you. Your dinosaur people? I'm in love! Totally. Am in the middle of covering some My little ponies in clay here :P

So glad you did this post!

Darcy UK said...

Fabulous answers, so many times I found myself saying 'oh gosh thats what I think/feel too' Thank you for your lovely kind words. *humbled*

I am totes in love with your totes, I am a bag lady in the best sense, I have lots, but you can never have too many. I just love everything on your blog, especially the canvasses, spoons and scissors. The altered dolls/dinos are deliciously freaky lol

You make me smile. x

donna!ee said...

yet another awesome post here Nicole....but then you always inspire me...much like the way kathi inspires you...with sharing all of your process, your vibrant colorfulness both in subject matter and style SO thank you, you are a blessing indeed! ;D

Penny said...

What a totally enjoyable read! Loved it! You are such a talented, creative spirit and full of fun! Thank you for sharing your story! :^)
Hugs, Penny