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Scribble Artist Interview with Shetal Soni!

Profile-pic-1-300x221Scribble Town (ST): Oh my, all the things one can do! Shetal Soni moves from the sciences to the arts in the most graceful of ways. Her artwork and creative energy into the opening of Little Wing Shop gives so much inspiration for all.  It’s hard to say just a little about yourself, but let’s try!

Shetal Soni (SS): A little bit about me… well I’m someone who since childhood loved to draw and make things myself. I’m also a daydreamer and so although I’ve never formally studied arts or held a ‘proper job’ in that field (I’m officially a scientist :)) I have continued to feel the need to draw and make things in my spare time, believing that someday it can develop into something less private and a bigger part of my life.

ST: You daydream, but you also makes things come to life! What are you up to at the moment? I’m sure busy with Little Wing Shop!

SS: At the moment I’m trying NOT to read too much about Google Adwords and advertising!! 🙂 Sales and marketing are totally new to me so I’m trying learn about how to get my new Web shop seen. The designing and learning about production was an amazing journey, but there are parts of having a Business that are just not as ‘fun’ but nevertheless are important. I also have a day job, which has nothing to do with arts and crafts, but pays the bills and is stimulating the other half of my brain :).

IMG_8219-300x300ST: Who does the designing for Little Wing Shop?  There is a very particular look and the symmetry are so calming. I’d like to fall asleep to those designs, for sure! What inspires the designs?

SS: I started designing the patterns for textiles (initially without knowing they would be block-printed) while I was on maternity leave. Inspirations came from many things including parts of my old drawings, studying Indian tribal art drawings, Islamic geometric patterns and also from cellular biology! I have experience with Photoshop from work so I scanned my favourite ‘prints’ and started to play around with them, fascinated by the endless ways a single ‘form’ could be duplicated and arranged to create very different whole patterns. I did this for several months!! When you add colour the possiblities are endless! 🙂

ST: What is the production process like seeing that Little Wing Shop requires much creativity and attention from both Finland and India?

SS: Being a lover of arts and crafts I fell in love with the textiles (amongst other crafts) when visiting India as a child. The enormous variety of fabrics, colours & tones, weaves and means of decorating the fabrics was like nothing I had seen before. I have always been in awe. What I’m doing now is a teeny tiny part of that. Luckily the area where my grandma and family are from, Gujarat is still very rich in crafts and tribal arts so I was fortunate to be able to contact organisations from there and speak their language.

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ST:
Please let us know more about block printing.  It has such a beautiful outcome!

Block printing is one very common traditional method for decorating fabric in this part also and so was very familiar to me. It involves carving a pattern onto a wooden block to make a kind of ‘stamp’ and using this to print traditionally with vegetable dyes onto fabric. As the process is done by hand, by a person.. the prints can be applied according to the artists wishes and also used together with other blocks and colours. Traditionally the patterns can be very intricate, colourful and complex and the art is passed down generations. To learn you simply must go and ask to watch and learn from a ‘Master-printer’.

I have started with very simple designs in my 1st collection as I didn’t want to risk ‘making a mess’ 🙂 Working across continents was quite nerve-wrecking at times as I waited for the printer to send me the 1st photos of the trials or especially of the fully printed quilts or Duvets. What is great about block printing by hand is that even though the print is the same thing repeated, it looks slightly different every time the block is pressed down onto the fabric because the pressure can vary abit or one edge has abit more dye this time.. etc. This gives the whole print a much more alive and natural feeling than a machine printed pattern. Its the same in nature for example when looking at a field of grass or flowers, that’s why it feels nice to look at 🙂

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ST: Who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?  How did they encourage you?

SS: As a child I wasn’t particularly encouraged to draw, however my Father and Aunt were very skilled drawers so I first got interested when I saw them draw. I was quite shy and drawing and crafts was my way of having fun and expressing my self.  I made many toys out of cardboard boxes e.g. I fondly remember a puppet theatre and moving puppets for which I would make a play and perform for my family, forcing my little sister to ‘help’.

ST: Now I really want to try block printing! Any advice?

SS: Block printing can of course be tried by anyone!! That’s why its a craft that exists in many parts of the world and still continues. Try using a large potato cut in half (an adult needs to help with this) and cut a simple shape to make a stamp. Have a few plates of different coloured paints, dip your potato and stamp on paper/cloth. Try making different patterns using the same stamp…. there are no rules! e.g. a a triangle can be stamped in rows, or alternating (point up, then point-down), or even in concentric circles. Your imagination is the limit :). Have fun!

ST: Thank you, Shetal for sharing with us! Little Wing Shop is going to fly to great places!!

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Scribble Artist Interview with Guy Laramée!

Pétra (2007). Eroded encyclopedias, pigment, 12 x 11.25 x 8.5 in.

Pétra (2007). Eroded encyclopedias, pigment, 12 x 11.25 x 8.5 in.

Scribble Town (ST): We are constantly traveling on a journey.  It’s amazing how each part seems like a whole world of it’s own with all it’s intricacies and surprises. From books, to words, to feelings, all these experiences connect us, either to each other or to our surroundings.  That’s how I felt when I saw Guy Laramée’s work.  I found myself walking through his artworks, which are fantastical microcosms in the grand scheme of things.

Due to it’s uniqueness, I would rather not attempt to classify your art, but how would you describe it?

Guy Laramée (GL): People define me socially as an artist. I make art.

ST: What are you up to at the moment?

GL: Right now I’m doing exactly this : beginning what looks as an “Atlas of No-Mind”.

ST: Wow, I can’t even begin to imagine just how overflowing with indescribable findings this atlas will be!

Your artwork is very full, complex and interdisciplinary in a playful and magical way!  How do you combine music and art?  And what about words and art?  For example, your poem titled Rain has many oil paintings related to the text.  What came first?

Pour Calame (2010) Oil on canvas 102 X 147 cm

Pour Calame (2010). Oil on canvas 102 X 147 cm


GL:
I don’t combine music and visual art. They were different moments of my life. Maybe I’m more multi-disciplinary than interdisciplinary.

I have a love-hate relationship with words, that’s why I both love and destroy books. I find that words are beautiful, they open up entire worlds, but at the same time they fix things in a way that binds us.

Rain (pluie in French) came as a body of work first. But while I was doing the research and starting the actual paintings, I collected poems and texts to understand my feelings about rain, how rain is profoundly nostalgic, calming and beautiful. To translate these feelings on a more existential level, I wrote the poem.


RAIN

May it rain
May it rain on this troubled world
May this rain erase borders
May it mix colors, forms, and times.
May it rain upon me
May the sound of this rain
Wash myself from myself
May this rain dissolve me
Until I recognize myself in trees, mountains, and people.
May I keep hearing this rain
Through the clamour of ambitions.
May it rain
May it rain upon our confused minds
And (that) through this rain
May we return home.

-Guy Laramée, March 2010


ST:
 It’s a beautiful poem!  It lends itself to giving the reader images in their minds and context for your paintings. How have your studies in anthropology inspired your artwork?  What has been you artistic path?  I can see your interests run deep and wide with the range of mediums and concepts you use.

GL: Anthropology came as a way for me to understand that there exist different worldviews and that in their own world, they are all equally valid. They clash one with another, but all worldviews have some fascinating coherence. Thus my problem was/is : if truth – by definition – is unique, if truth can be equated to Oneness, then how come it manifests itself under so many guises, in so many forms? How can Truth encompass contradictions?

The variety of mediums I used only reflect the incapacity of each medium, of each piece, of each work to say it all. The incompletude (uncompletedness ?) of each art work keeps me on the move.

Tuyos, Microtonal and Gestural Music for Invented instruments, 1986-92.

Tuyos, Microtonal and Gestural Music for Invented instruments, 1986-92.


ST:
 The way you manipulate and use books as sculpture is amazing!  How did you start carving books?  Please let us know more about Les Livres-Lumier.  I would love to visit those mountain tops one day!

GL: I cannot really say how I’m doing it because I feel more and more that it is not me who is doing this. When I enter the process (often reluctantly…!) I am possessed by a force that is quite powerful and that “decides” so to speak how things are going to go this time, what tools will be used, etc. Tools and processes change all the time, sometime new tools have to be created. The only thing I know for sure is : since I invent tools, I’m not a monkey, thus I must be human (lol). Even that I don’t really know for sure. I’d rather see the artistic process as a process of Unknowing rather than a learning process.

DRAGON OVER THE CLOUDS. 2014.  Webster dictionary, inks,  pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs.  18 x 21 x 16 (h) inches.  (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)

Dragon Over the Clouds (2014). Webster dictionary, inks, pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs.
18 x 21 x 16 (h) inches. (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)


ST:
 Your work ranges from 2D to 3D.  Do you feel that some of your 3D works could also work at 2 dimensional pieces?  How do you decide what mediums and platforms to best portray your ideas?

GL: Once I showed an art magazine to a friend who happens to be a photographer. There was a piece in there that was quite ambiguous, like a painting stretched on a sculpture. I asked him ” “What do you think, is this a painting or a sculpture ?” I went for the sculpture. I shouted at him, laughing : “It’s neither ! It’s a photograph !!”

Think about it : 99 % of the art works you saw in your life, you know then only through photographs. Interesting, right ? So in a way you could say that the ‘essence’ of the work can make it into a translation, either photographical or textual; or you could say that for you, the real work is the photograph. If you were to be true to yourself, the work for you is a photo.

So of course my 3D work works very well in 2D, people buy it after seeing it on the internet…!

Guan Yin. Wood, linen, rags, integrated lighting. 16 x 16 x 13 feet ( 5 x 5 x 4 meter). 2011.

Guan Yin (2011). Wood, linen, rags, integrated lighting. 16 x 16 x 13 feet ( 5 x 5 x 4 meter).


ST:
 You’re absolutely right!  The transformations between mediums and documentations of those changes creates a whole new piece of it’s own every time.

When you come up with an idea what is usually your process for working it through?

GL: If I had found a recipe to make my work, I would SELL IT ! There’s no recipe. Like in love. The moment you fix it, it’s gone. That’s the beauty of it, that’s why also I’m always in a state of profound anxiety (half kidding : it is not easy to make insecurity your home…).

ST: Did anybody encourage your creativity when you were a child?

GL: Nobody encouraged me really. My parents gave me the usual painting boxes and tools, but when they saw that it was becoming serious, they did their very best to discourage me. I wish they had succeeded, really, because see in what mess I’m in now : don’t know where the next $$ are going to come from, don’t know what I’m going to do this morning, don’t know how I will ever come out of that terrible state of solitude that I ended up closing myself in, etc etc. Creativity is not a choice and thus it cannot even be fostered. Creativity is an imperative. It is the imperative of life itself. We chose nothing. We follow the current of life or resist it. Even to think that we decide to follow or resist is fallacious. The current of life is all there is.

ST: Guy, what would be some artful advice for our Scribble readers?

GL: Don’t fear solitude. That’s the only advice I can give. When you are alone, don’t try to escape it. Drop your cell phone in a pond. Put your TV to the trash bin. Stop losing your time on computer screens. These things suck your creativity.

Be alone as much as you can. Then the voices of the muses will take care of the rest. They will guide you.

ST: I understand what you mean. We are, in the end, our own best friend even though sometimes it can seem like we are our own enemy!  Thank you so much for sharing with us!  You have given us all whole lot to chew on- from concepts to techniques.  Scribblers, for more inspiration please have a look at Guy’s website at http://www.guylaramee.com.

Scribble Artist Interview with Kelly Blake!

Big Eyed Cat by Kelly Blake

Big Eyed Cat by Kelly Blake

Scribble Town (ST): We are so very happy to have the talented Kelly Blake with us! When I came across her artwork I could see how sensitive this person is to the world around us. From that, I just had to know more about her. What are you up to Kelly?

Kelly Blake (KB): Hi Scribble Town! I’m Kelly Blake and I live in the creative city of Bristol, United Kingdom. I’ve spent a long time studying throughout my life but I now feel I’m at the point where I have learned everything I felt necessary and I now feel confident enough to pursue the dream of producing my own art. I actually moved to London several years ago to complete a Masters in Production Design (movie art direction for anyone who is unsure) but after finishing and eventually moving back home I realised my true passion lies with illustration and creating my own individual artwork. So that’s what I’ve begun.

Normally when I produce some artwork there’s a reason why I’m producing it. The main factor behind all of my work is that I absolutely adore animals; it’s the common thread behind all art I create and I have a large array of artwork under my belt which (I hope) shows just how much I love all things fuzzy. At the moment I am focusing on publishing my very first adult colouring book called ‘Into the Wild’ and I’m working to raise the funds necessary to complete the project by producing my own Kickstarter campaign. If anyone is unsure of what Kickstarter is, it’s basically a crowd funding website where you launch a campaign and ask for the public to fund you. Imagine Dragon’s Den but will a billion different dragons! It’s going rather well at the moment so I’m doing everything possible to ensure I raise all the funds and so I’m able to complete the project successfully.

Please take a look at my Kickstarter campaign here so you can get a feel of the project.

ST: The concept is wonderful!  Is Into the Wild: A Coloring Book About Nature just for adults?  I think many people of all ages would enjoy seeing the pictures come to life.

KB: Thank you! I’ve initially created Into the Wild as a colouring book ideally for adults, but of course all ages are welcome to join in. The reason it’s for adults specifically is because the images are a little more detailed than perhaps some of the colouring books on the market today –even more detailed than most of the adult ones too! Each illustration is comprised of lots of different angular shapes/blocks and it’s only as you begin to colour each section that it reveals a hidden design within the image. Think of it as a slightly abstract and more challenging version of paint by numbers, but with the freedom to choose your own colour coding. It’s rather quite complicated when you get down to it so perhaps it might become a little too confusing for the younger audience; but of course they’re completely welcome to have a go!

Surreal 'Goddess' Illustration by Kelly Blake

Surreal ‘Goddess’ Illustration by Kelly Blake

I originally came up with the idea because I know a lot of people who are very artistic but are not able to draw even the simple stick figures. I have received a lot of compliments for my artwork in the past (especially my abstract pieces) and it led me to think about creating something that enables other enthusiasts to produce something that they’re also proud of without feeling like they’re lacking the talent to do so. It’s also been a proven fact that adult colouring books are being used as a way to de-stress and calm your mind so why not hit two birds with one stone!

ST: That is so thoughtful of you to create something that includes all ages! When and how did you start illustrating and drawing?  Is there a piece of art that always inspires you to create?

KB: When I think back to when I actually began drawing I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t being creative. I’ll always remember at my earliest of ages in Primary School one of my paintings was framed and featured on the wall inside reception as an example of a ‘good piece of art’. Of course, when I look back at it now all I can see are the dodgy eyes and weird shape of Henry VIII’s head, but I feel like I wouldn’t have come so far without all the support and positivity of the people around me. It’s the constant reassurance of ‘that’s great’ or ‘wow!’ that really drives me to produce more and more art and to get better and better. Granted, there’s always a few pieces that make people think ‘hmm, how odd’ but as long as I create something that I feel I’m proud of, then that’s what pushes me to continue with my work. Who cares if 90% of the population dislike it, what’s important is that the other 10% can appreciate it.

Eagle Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Eagle Woodcut by Kelly Blake

There will always come a time when I think to myself ‘I want to do an illustration!’ and the ideas just start flowing, but for those times when I can’t get myself into the mood or I can’t feel any inspiration coming then I start to check out illustrations online to get some creativity flowing. Even things such as typing phrases or keywords into google can help immensely. It’s amazing how much variety of different artwork there is out there and it’s surprising how much inspiration you can get from looking at other people’s work. Pieces that I personally love to flick through include modern and quirky works by artists such as Michael Godard and Fabio Napoleoni, but someone who I look up to as a huge inspiration for my work itself is the work by Canadian artist Nicholas Di Genova. I love the way he mixes processes such as freehand illustration and digitally enhanced methods to create something rather surreal and unique; but very, very special. It’s him who’s helped me develop a signature style myself and I do feel that a lot of my work has a thread of ‘Nicholas’ running through it.

Big Eyed Lemur by Kelly Blake

Big Eyed Lemur by Kelly Blake

ST: What is the artistic process of your paintings?  For example, how did your Kinderschema series come about? Do you usually sketch first your idea?

KB: My Kinderschema Collection was originally inspired from an article which I read about cats. It basically went on to say that the reason we find cats big eyes and overly big features so adorable is because of what is genetically programmed into our heads at birth. This led me to research into the science of why the human brain naturally reacts to these traits and I came across a German term called Kinderschema. Kinderschema defines the 5 basic traits that lead us to believe an animal is adorable and these can include; a large head, a large forehead, large eyes, rounded cheeks, and soft body surfaces.  I then decided I wanted to explore some of these factors in my own work and I created an art collection of digital paintings showing us just how much we love all things cute.

When I have a rough idea in my mind of the art I want to produce, I normally go about creating a really quick drawing trying to communicate what’s inside my head. Sometimes this will turn out to be a really crude or basic sketch but I can normally see if the idea is going to work on paper. I’ll also look online and check out other artist’s work to see if this takes me into a different or more creative direction to ensure my idea will definitely look good on the page. I have found that with the majority of my illustrative art, I tend to keep working on a piece until I am 100% happy with it. My motto normally states, “the more ink on the page, the better” but there’s still a fine line between finishing and overworking a piece of art.

Lion Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Lion Woodcut by Kelly Blake

ST: What mediums and techniques do you work with?  Is there a method that speaks to you more than the others?  Why do you think that is?

KB: It’s funny because throughout all my growing years I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly which field of the creative world I wanted to merge into. This means I’ve studied everything ranging from photography to sculpture, and illustration to video editing and I’ve spent a very, very long time working hard to develop some extremely valuable skills. Due to engaging fully in many of these different fields I now feel that I can make a strong decision as to which route to progress into further. This has meant that my artwork created in the past includes a huge range of different styles but I believe this does make me stronger as an artist. It means I’m capable of merging materials and thinking outside the box. If in the future I decide to create a half illustration-half sculpture, then I know that I require the necessary skills to do so. This means that despite my love for illustrative art, I’m not tied down to producing everything in 2D.

For example, I have recently finished a collection of woodcut prints which involve intricately cutting away small sections from a wooden block. This block is then rolled with ink and printed onto a paper surface. This gives a beautifully rustic alternative to simply using paint brushed onto paper.  This method contrasts nicely to the hand drawn illustrations from some of my previous collections, or to the bold look of the lighting installations that I have formerly produced from recycled materials.

At the moment I am concentrating purely on producing this range of surrealist animal illustrations to publish into my first adult colouring book; but I love that if I choose to, I am able to stop and produce something completely different at any given time. How I feel is that if you don’t have to tie yourself down, then why do it.

ST: When you are not creating, what do you like to do?

Big Eyed Owl by Kelly Blake

Big Eyed Owl by Kelly Blake

KB: Well, it’s actually funny that you ask this because I was thinking about this myself the other day. I’m currently working from my own studio at home and so I find myself working on projects throughout the majority of each day; quite often from morning through to late into the evening. I’m very dedicated to my artwork and it’s lucky that I really love what I do otherwise I don’t think I could stay so dedicated to working this hard. All I strive for is being able to maintain a well-balanced and happy life whilst spending a career doing what I love. When I actually do decide to take time off I quite like to get away from home and stay somewhere peaceful as it gives me an excuse to stop working and to clear my head. I normally spend a few days down at the sea or in the countryside with good company, and I find the calm atmosphere refreshes myself and sets me back up for busy days when I return back home. Also, archery, who doesn’t love a bit of archery? I fancy myself the Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games when nobody is looking!

ST: From a person who seems to appreciate their surroundings, I wonder who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?  Do you think being raised in the creative town of Bristol had an effect on you?

Cat Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Cat Woodcut by Kelly Blake

KB: To be honest, whilst growing up I’ve always considered myself a bit of a nerd. While there’s nothing wrong with being a nerd, it meant I perhaps didn’t get out as much as I should. Instead, I spent a lot of time studying and working hard throughout school and I always made sure I put everything into getting my grades as high as possible. Whilst this is obviously extremely important, it does mean I probably didn’t get as much creative influence from the city as I should have. Bristol is known as a hugely influential artistic city and I live amongst some huge pioneers of the art world. This means I was very self-dependant whilst studying and I would love to say that a certain someone was the reason for me producing art today but I don’t believe anyone really was. Sure, I had people who supported me and pushed me along but I feel confident in saying that I was the one in the driving seat of my own artistic career and hopefully this will continue for a long, long time.

ST: Any tips, advice, or ways of encouraging our scribblers? 

KB: My greatest piece of advice would be to create art that YOU love and do it for yourself and for nobody else. There’s been quite a few times in my life that I’ve produced something that the masses don’t like but the minority do. I could have succumbed to produce what most people out there would deem as ‘good art’ but then what’s the point in creating it if it’s not for yourself; then you become one of those people who have their passion turned into a chore and may become quite resentful. If I were given a penny each time someone called my work too-weird, odd, or simply had a lack of faith that it would be well received then I’d have a pretty full bank account by now. Don’t ever let someone tell you that something isn’t good enough because simply put, art is perspective and if you feel that something is to be proud of, then wave that proudness-flag up high and display your work for others to see! I guarantee you there are people out there who will absolutely adore it. Don’t give up and show those people just how creatively talented you are. 

If you wanted to check out some of my work that’s available on the market at the moment, please take a look at my website here at: dustlesssoul.wix.com/dustlesssoul

You can also purchase any artwork from my Etsy shop at: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DustlessSoulCreation

ST: Thank you, Kelly, for sharing so much valuable creative information with us! I’m sure your Kickstarter campaign will go great and your artwork will continue to inspire us!

Wolf Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Wolf Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Scribble Artist Interview with Pieter Van Eenoge!

Scribble Town (ST): Oh the colors! Oh the design! How beautiful, charming, and exquisite they can be! I’m of course talking about Pieter Van Eenoge’s work!  We are lucky to catch up with him as he is busy illustrating and creating visual images for our eyes to play with.  Pieter, how do you spend your days and can you give us a sneak peak on what you are up to these days?

'Joris Jan Baas' - poetry poster

‘Joris Jan Baas’ – poetry poster

Pieter Van Eenoge (PVE): Hi, I’m Pieter, an illustrator living in Bruges, Belgium. I spend my days painting for magazines, newspapers, ad agencies, corporations and publishing houses, renovating our 80 year old house and playing with my wife, two sons and two cats.

Right now I’m working on the cover of the spring issue of Dutch Weekly Vrij Nederland and a new picture book that hopefully will be ready by the end of the year.

ST: Your illustrations are wonderful!  In your portfolio I see a combination of personal, illustration, and editorial work.  With your personal work, where do you come up with your images for your illustrations?

PVE: I keep a little notebook where I write down ideas and possible titles and draw some quick sketches. Or I use a rejected idea for a commission that I thought was better than the final illustration. Most of the things that inspire come from everyday life, images I see around me, graphic design, art and artist behavior, masks and costumes and opposites like good/evil, darkness/light, beauty/ugliness,…

Antverpia, acrylic on paper, 2013

Antverpia, acrylic on paper,
2013

ST: Any themes you are fascinated with?  For example, what is your Antverpia painting about?  Maybe it has something to do with Antwerp?

PVE: For the Antverpia painting I had the idea of making graphic combinations with the ghost Sus Antigoon, a famous Flemish comic character, and a woman in burqa. They both share the same visual characteristics and I thought they would team up perfectly. But there is also a second layer where I criticize the growth of right wing politics in the city of Antwerp where there is a large muslim population. Trying to live together is the only solution and the efforts should come from both sides. Antverpia is also the name of Sus Antigoon’s ship.
alkj
'Will play for pay' - self promo poster

‘Will play for pay’ – self promo poster

ST: How does it go when you are given an editorial job?  For example, in your painting Fox Hunt I can imagine that it had to do with horses and hunting. What is the process like in working with the client?  Does it help to read what the article is about in order to come with an image?
alkj

PVE: ‘Fox hunt’ was made to accompany a very funny article in Departures written by Jane and Michael Stern about Michael’s recent passion for fox hunting in Connecticut. I was completely free in what to paint, but it obviously had to depict people on horses and dogs chasing a fox. But apparently fox hunting is more about presence, posture and poshness than actually catching the fox itself, so I left the latter out of the painting. I focused merely on showing the speed and elegance of the ritual.

Reading the article isn’t always necessary, but sometimes when it’s about very abstract issues like finance and economics it can be rather helpful.
alkj

ST: You are from Bruge, but grew up in Cologne and now are back home.  Both places are absolutely beautiful and very well know for their architecture and the art!  How have these historical places influenced your artwork?  Is there a lively arts communities in these places?

Bruges city game

Bruges city game

PVE: I lived in Cologne until I was 14, so I can’t say it had an influence on my work. I don’t even remember it as a beautiful city, but I guess that has more to do with the interests of a teenager 😉

Bruges on the other hand is very attractive and an ideal environment to live in (although I live just outside the city walls). It is rather small and easy going and that is something I need for my ease of mind. Yes, there is art on every corner of the street and the few museums are packed with masterpieces from the Flemish Primitives to the Flemish Expressionist. There are a few elements that unconsciously leak into my illustrations like color and shape, but I can trace those influences back to other illustrators I like, so I think it has to do more with taste than influence.
alkj
ST: The book of Illustrated Dreams looks wonderful!  Please let us know more about this project.  Do you illustrate people’s dreams?
alkj

PVE: The book of illustrated dreams is an ongoing project by Mexican artist Roger Omar, where he asks illustrators from around the world to illustrate the dreams of children. There is a Flickr page with all the contributions: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rogeromar/sets/1835379/
alkj

'When we pollute the ocean, we pollute ourselves' - ad campaign for Surfrider Foundation

‘When we pollute the ocean, we pollute ourselves’ – ad campaign for Surfrider Foundation

ST: That’s a great idea!  What is the last dream you remember?

alkj
PVE:
Last night I dreamed about a school with an Olympic sized swimming pool on top and students celebrating the last 100 days of the school year. And everybody was taller than me. Do you have any idea what this could mean? 😉
 alkj

ST: Oh wow!  Perhaps your dream is projecting one of your son’s feeling about the school year coming to an end.  Soon summer vacation start.  Or maybe you want to go back to school.  Only you are the master of your dream, Pieter!When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?
alkj

PVE: Go for a run with my wife, watch a movie, read comics and look at art, do some carpentry. And this year, yes, it has to be this year, I’m going to finish that shed in the garden so I can start playing the drums again.

alkj
ST:
 How encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?  Did you ever think you would become an illustrator?
 alkj
PVE: Probably like most artists I was always the one who could draw best as a child. But that doesn’t make you an illustrator, I didn’t even know that it existed. So I studied graphic design instead. It was only in art school when I discovered the work of my teacher Ever Meulen that I decided to become an illustrator one day. After graduation I worked as a graphic designer for a few years and became a full time freelancer in 2003.
alkj

ST: The teachers we have always make such a huge impact on us.  Which artists inspire you to create?

 alkj
PVE: I waste too much time on blogs so the things I see there definitely influenced my work in the last years. I’m a big fan of great painters like Matisse, Van Dongen and Hockney but recently I fell in love with a lot of Scandinavian artists like Kustaa Saksi and MVM. They make completely different things than I do and that pushes me to evaluate my work and try new ways of painting. The changes are, like a child growing up, hardly notable and that’s the way it should be.
 alkj
ST: It’s the little things that count.  Any tips for us, Scribblers?
alkj
PVE:
– When it comes to art, as a kid, never question yourself. As a grown up, always question yourself.
– There are no ugly colors, only ugly combinations
– If you see something good, keep your eyes open. If you can’t say anything good, keep your mouth shut.
 alkj
ST: Thank you Pieter for all your positivity and insight!  Now we go back to drawing 🙂  Check out Pieter’s website for more inspiration at http://www.pietervaneenoge.be.
'I can't work like this!' - cover for Das ZEITmagazin design issue

‘I can’t work like this!’ – cover for Das ZEITmagazin design issue

Scribble Artist Interview with Lee Hodges!

Goulash Disko festival - This was for a festival in Croatia. The brief was pirates, donkeys and tropical feel…This also led to an album cover of the same image, I have it on my shelf!

Goulash Disko festival – This was for a festival in Croatia. The brief was pirates, donkeys and tropical feel…This also led to an album cover of the same image, I have it on my shelf!

Scribble Town (ST): Here we have a beautiful collection of splashes of colors that speak to you in all sorts of sounds and languages! Lee Hodges knows how to make images fun and lively! He is an illustrator/artist, and as he so eloquently puts it is “based in the temperate climes of south west Uk.” Let’s see what he is up to these days.

Lee Hodges (LH):  I’m luckily very busy at the moment (so I hope it lasts!), I have been working at creating a series of posters for kids activities for the RHS gardens, a few editorials too. I have been creating a lot of gig posters for music nights (including my own) and album covers, plus some really big jobs which I can’t tell you about right now…just keep looking…all in all I absolutely love it.

ST: Nice!  Well, you are keeping me on my toes with all the good stuff that you are making!  Your illustrations are wonderful.  Your posters alone make me want to go to the events!  What’s the concept development process like for you when designing posters for these places?

Panama Cardoon - Hasta La Wiggle An album front cover for Panama Cardoon, the music is very latin, tropical feeling, so I went for a Jaguar roaring, coming out of the jungle!

Panama Cardoon – Hasta La Wiggle
An album front cover for Panama Cardoon, the music is very latin, tropical feeling, so I went for a Jaguar roaring, coming out of the jungle!

LH: Thanks, that’s very kind. It’s often the title or subject matter that gives me the ideas, for my own gigs I create my own title or subject matter, which is great fun. For other peoples gigs they usually have a subject and title which then inspires the imagery. For the Spring party poster that was inspired by the Jamaican ghosts called ‘Duppies’ and a particular editorial job I did recently about them, so I thought I’d channel the imagery and ideas into the Spring Party, which has a Tropical theme. I usually chuck on some great Tropical tunes to get in the mood as well!

ST: Ah that makes perfect sense- take inspiration from words to images and vice versa.  When designing your illustrations do you first sketch in pencil?  What is your artistic process?

LH: Yea, I generally squiggle in pencil and develop them from there, adding in colour as I go along, sometimes if the idea is really clear I just jump in and create a finished piece without sketching!

ST: Just go with your gut! Your images have a special feeling to them- like I want to touch them and I’ll find paint all over my hands!  What mediums do you create in?

Mexican-Night-of-the-dead-ball-2014

Day of the Dead Poster – This was for one of my own big nights which we do every year, this idea was to capture the music and feel of the festival and the night.

LH: Funnily enough, it’s predominantly digital, my aim however is too make it look as un-digital as possible, but I use a drawing tablet and try to create a screen – printed, warm feel to my images, that have a fun, vibrant edge to them. I am working more and more at applying these techniques out of the digital realm however, which is how I started.

ST: How did you get started with illustrating?  Was this what you had always set out to do?  So curious about your path!

LH: I have always drawn and been very creative, it was and is my first love. Being an artist is right at the very core of who I am, it’s just a question of channeling all that creativity in the right direction. I have been illustrating for the last few years but it’s only recently that I have decided to give it all of my focus and I’m loving it. I am a very curious person so I have tried and experimented with many different mediums over the years, including film design/animation. It’s important to try new things and experiment with your work, by doing that you are able to apply something unique to your work.

ST: So lovely to hear that art is your first love.  You two belong together!  Who are some artists that inspire you?  What about them do you like?

LH: I like lots of different artists for different reasons…I have always loved Picasso for his versatility and sheer output of images! I love street art, particularly Os Gemeos, when I was in Argentina and Chile, most of the pictures I took were of street art! I often go through phases of liking different artists or something I see of theirs jumps out at me and inspires me, I really like Eduardo Munoz Bachs the Cuban poster artist at the moment.

The-Bellman

The Bellman – This is one of my images from the Hunting of the Snark. I have tried to make this fun, colourful and intriguing…It is illustrating the line – “The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies – Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
The moment one looked in his face! ”

ST: When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?  Any games you like to play?

LH: I like to take my imagination on long walks! Generally being anywhere near the sea, up and around the wilds of the South west, I love the raw energy of the coastline especially Cornwall, which is where I am from.
I love watching films too, weird and wonderful films, short ones, long ones. I also run a club/arts night which entails making props for the gigs, crazy interactive inventions and most importantly DJ-ing, I Dj quite a lot and run a Radio show every two weeks.

ST: I can hear the music in your illustrations too!  Who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?

LH: Well, no-one really gave me direct encouragement, it was just something I did, loved and kept at, supported by words of encouragement when I had shown my work to my parents.

ST: Well, now you have a whole fan club supporting you! Scribble Town and beyond :).  How is your project of illustrating Hunting the Snark coming along?  You are right- Tove Jansson’s version is great!  What are you hoping to bring into your pictures?

The Jub Jub Bird - Another one of my ‘Hunting of the Snark’ images, this is the Jub Jub bird. This is the line from the book - “As to temper the Jubjub’s a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion:Its taste in costume is entirely absurd—It is ages ahead of the fashion:

The Jub Jub Bird – Another one of my ‘Hunting of the Snark’ images, this is the Jub Jub bird. This is the line from the book – “As to temper the Jubjub’s a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion:Its taste in costume is entirely absurd—It is ages ahead of the fashion:

LH: It’s a great and crazily surreal book, it’s almost an artists dream to illustrate! It’s a little on hold at the moment as I have been busy with other work, being a personal project it has been put to the back for a bit. I’m hoping that I am bringing  my own interpretation to it, imagining it with a colourful south american twist, almost like lost explorers discovering a strange land….

ST: I’m looking forward to seeing that in the future!  For now, any last minute tips for our Scribblers?

LH: Tips – Experiment, play – make a mess! Use your sketchbook as a scrapbook too, fill it with colour, ideas. I love to listen to music when I work, it really helps you get into the mood! Think out of the box…!

ST: Will do! The mess in on. Everybody, have a look at Lee Hodges website at http://www.leeho.co.uk.  Thanks so much Lee!

Tropical Pressure festival - A poster for a Tropical music festival in Cornwall. All hand written type, as a lot of my work is, it adds a personal touch and holds the image together. I like to think of the type as an image too, letters that bounce and jump around in the image.

Tropical Pressure festival – A poster for a Tropical music festival in Cornwall. All hand written type, as a lot of my work is, it adds a personal touch and holds the image together. I like to think of the type as an image too, letters that bounce and jump around in the image.

Scribble Artist Interview with Kenneth Michael Zeran!

"Abstr Action"  Acrylic Paint on Canvas  48 in x 48 in  121.92 cm x 121.92 cm  1980

“Abstr Action” Acrylic Paint on Canvas, 48 in x 48 in,
121.92 cm x 121.92 cm, 1980

Scribble Town (ST): From one medium to another, Kenneth Michael Zeren is an artist that portrays an array of ideas and concepts. Always surprising and always thought provoking his works make you think of all the possibilities.  Ken says, “I am a creative person whose journey brought me to the realm of Fine Art.” Indeed he is!  Ken, what are you up to these days?

Kenneth Michael Zeran (KMZ): At the moment I am creating a glass work that is an element within a larger ongoing project (14 pieces) involving different mediums.

ST: Wow this sounds like a huge project! Your artwork ranges from painting to printmaking to new media. Is there one that you are more drawn to?  What is one of your favorite styles and why?

KMZ: I am more drawn to original painting because it is distinguished in our replicating digital world. I don’t have a favorite style because I am constantly evolving. Collectors want an artist to be defined- to use the same style. I have always felt that is boring. After you have done something it is done.

"Family Portrait"  Serigraph on American Etching Paper  Silkscreen Ink with Gold Medium  21 in x 50 in  53.34 cm x 127 cm  Offset Poster Edition Released for Bicentennial  1976

“Family Portrait”, Serigraph on American Etching Paper, Silkscreen Ink with Gold Medium, 21 in x 50 in,
53.34 cm x 127 cm, Offset Poster Edition Released for Bicentennial, 1976

ST: You’re right! We develop as persons along with our ideas, so working with different mediums seems so natural. How do you figure out which medium to use for your concept?

KMZ: Choice of medium is important because ‘it does the talking’. It is all about concept. If it is cerebral then representational control is the focus. If emotionally driven, then losing control to find it in the process.

ST: Since we are talking so much about evolutions I wonder what has been your artistic path.  What is the first memorable piece of art you have made?

"Twilight Zone Man"  Video Frame  1980

“Twilight Zone Man”, Video Frame, 1980

KMZ: My artistic path started in film production. While it was/is rewarding it is a medium that is quickly consumed. I am more interested in lasting permanence, as in Fine Art.

My first memorable piece of art was creating football uniforms with crayons on thin cardboard and covering with wax paper and using an iron to melt the crayon color.

ST: Even your first memory has you mixing mediums and combining techniques!

You have made portraits of important figures such as Salvador Dali and Andi Warhol.  What role do these artists have in your life?  How do you choose the people you would like to make a portrait of?

KMZ: Having spent time with these artists allowed me to take a ‘reading’. I experienced the natural essence of them. I was able to perceive things that have not been expressed in media accounts. Such experience has played a role in my life- call it authenticity. Knowledge of the core that led to new ways of expressing the human condition. I choose portrait subjects based upon social relevance and the result of an engagement of my own perceptions about what makes the individual function. If it is a commission, I process the subject in a very conceptual manner- looking for the edge. Whoever the subject, my interest is to place them in an unresolved state so the viewer keeps coming back.

"Oh Picasso!", Homage to Pablo Picasso, Serigraph on Strathmore Bristol Paper, Silkscreen Inks, 30 in x 40 in, 76.2 cm x 101.6 cm,  1974

“Oh Picasso!”, Homage to Pablo Picasso, Serigraph on Strathmore Bristol Paper, Silkscreen Inks, 30 in x 40 in, 76.2 cm x 101.6 cm, 1974

ST: When you were younger who encouraged you to be creative?  Also, what triggers your imagination?

KMZ: As a child, my brothers (2) and I were beneficiaries of our superlatively talented mother. She cared for and involved us in everything. I have always had an active imagination. Perhaps it was spending an important part of childhood handicapped and relying on imagination.

ST: When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?

KMZ: I am always in a mode of interaction with the intent of ‘sparking’ living creatures.

ST: You are a sparker! I would say so too. What is something that you have recently seen that amazed or sparked you?

KMZ: Something I saw recently that was amazing was driving through central California in the middle of the day with the sun blotted out by dust storms severely limiting vision – brought about by drought -a visit to the ‘dust bowl’ of the 1930’s.

ST: You just described a very beautiful vision. I imagine the sky to be very shiny and sparkling from the flying sand.

Your painting are generally very abstract?  What are they about?

"Turning Point", 48 in x 60 in, Mixed Media on Canvas

“Turning Point”, 48 in x 60 in, Mixed Media on Canvas

KMZ: My paintings are physical and masculine with heroic pursuit. It’s a two way process. It’s communication. I make a move and the paint informs. It’s about the paint. (Impressionism was all about the paint itself).  Losing control to gain control. It is high wire and on a edge and you can lose it in an instant- it is intense.

ST: I feel that your paintings are so different from your recent “Turning Point”.  What prompted you to make this painting?

KMZ: “Turning Point” is about the subject of sports and, as such, requires ‘familiarity’. Sport is all about uniformity. My longtime friend LeRoy Neiman coined the ‘look’ of sports painting and I kept this is mind when creating “Turning Point” so the masses could relate. I did the painting because it is of a major subject in Seattle culture and history. The role of Fine Art is to permanently capture such moments. Of course, I live in the Seattle area.

ST: Your painting does capture that excitement and ecstatic energy that comes from winning!  I’m starting to get the feeling that you are a football fan because your first memorable artist moment was creating football uniforms. Any last golden pieces of advice for us Scribblers?

KMZ: My advice to ‘Scribbler Nation’ is trust yourself with the unique natural gifts only you have. Use them with the power of innocence. Use yourself!

ST: From ‘Scribbler Nation’ we give you a big Thank You, Ken! That’s beautiful advice! Scribblers, have a look at Ken’s website for more inspiration, http://www.kennethmichaelzeran.com.

"Dali!"  Serigraph on Arches Paper  Silkscreen Inks and Gold Metal Medium  22 in x 22 in  55.88 cm x 55.88 cm  1974 (Re-released in 2010)

“Dali!”, Serigraph on Arches Paper, Silkscreen Inks and Gold Metal Medium, 22 in x 22 in, 55.88 cm x 55.88 cm, 1974 (Re-released in 2010)

Scribble Artist Interview with Steven van Hasten!

securedownload-1Scribble Town (ST): Let’s go to the jungle! Let’s go help our Hippo friend brush his teeth!  Steven van Hasten has a painterly touch for his illustrations that sweep you away to imaginary places.

Steven, what are you up to at the moment?

Steven van Hasten (SVH): I am a Belgian artist who grew up in Courtrai, a small commercial town in West Flanders. I am huge comic book fan and have a large collection. I never go to sleep before reading a comic book.  I am doing some different projects now, commissioned and personal projects… One of the commissioned ones is an illustration for an adoption card, very pleasant to do. I am also doing a children’s book based on a script of my wife …

ST: I’m sure you and your wife are inspirations for each other! Your illustrations are wonderful! Where do you come up with your ideas for your illustrations?

SVH: When I start a new illustration, I always first go for a walk. While just thinking about anything, ideas start to come. Almost everything I encounter on a walk can lead to an idea, a picture on a wall, something lying on the street, something that happens on my way, a strange house … But the greatest source of inspiration are the people I meet and see in the streets… Everyone can be the next person in my illustration :).

ST: In that sense, everybody is magical. I believe that! And can see that in your illustrations.

I noticed on your website that you have many different styles that you work with. What is one of your favorite technique and why?

SVH: I make digital and painted illustrations, but I prefer the classic way of drawing and painting a lot more, because I like the smell of acrylics and holding a pencil feels much more comfortable then moving a mouse. Sitting at the table with a paper in front of me gives a much more relaxed feeling then sitting before a computer.

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ST: I think the tactile process shows in your artwork too. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?  What has been your path to becoming an illustrator?

SVH: As soon as I was old enough to hold a pencil, I knew I would do something with drawing. As a child I drew on every surface in the house: walls, tables, etc.. My parents were very happy when I was old enough to go to the local academy and start to draw on regular paper instead. One of first things I can remember is a comic book about a knight I made when I was the age of 10. When I was older I completed a Masters from St. Lucas, School of Arts in Ghent, Belgium where I studied Graphic Design and Illustration. That was the start of my career as an illustrator.

ST: Have you ever been interested in creating a TV show series of your own?  What is your favorite cartoon on TV?

securedownload-3SVH: I never considered it. I think my style is to complex for a tv-show, it would cost to much time to make a show or I should have people helping me and I rather work alone like I am doing now.

I don’t watch much television, I am more of a reader, so I don’t know much about the cartoons that are on television right now. As a kid I liked ‘Tom and Jerry’ and I still like ‘The Simpsons’ … And animation like ‘Despicable me’, ‘Spirited away’, ‘Persepolis’, ‘Rango’.

ST: I see you have a variety of themes in your illustrations.  What is a theme you are currently working on?  What is the Tekeningen series about?

SVH: The theme comes back, most of the time, in my illustrations to people. I love to draw people with all the strange habits they have, how they dress, behave, how they act funny. You could say that the human behaviour is my most popular theme. I do love drawing animals too, but even the animals always have a human touch, the act like humans, not like animals would do…

The ‘tekeningen’ series are live-drawings. Every week I hire a model for making quick sketches. This is important to evolve and try different things. These drawings are exercises in technique, motion, colour, line. I make hundreds of them, most of them arrive in the wastepaper basket. In a 2 hour drawing session I make 20-30 sketches. A sketch doesn’t take more than 5 minutes, so I can’t get lost in drawing details, it has to be basic and direct. If I have one drawing at the end of the evening I find good, then my evening was successful.

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ST: Those sessions are also great to just get movement within your drawing and lose yourself in the motion. When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?

SVH: Being in nature is the thing I do most when I am not illustrating. It gives me the peace I need to keep me going with fresh ideas. I like hiking, especially in the Scottish Highlands, where I go at least 1 or 2 times a year. Or walking in nature closer to home.

 I also love to read books (mostly fantasy) or comic books, which I do almost every evening after drawing. Otherwise I would be thinking all night on my illustrations. It’s like making my head empty. 

And riding my motorbike is a favourite too…

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ST: You have some exhibitions coming up.  Please let us know about them.  What artworks will you be exhibiting?

SVH: Next week I have an exhibition in London on the Parallax Art Fair. I will show some artworks I recently made for a memory-game and for a puzzle-game.

In April there is an upcoming exhibition with some other illustrator. The brief was to make an illustration about the pencil in the art world. There will be shown only one illustration.
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ST: You surely are busy! Which artists inspire you to create?

SVH: Heronimus Bosch, a Dutch painter from the 15th century, has always been a great inspiration. He must have been a little insane, I guess, because he drew very strange things :). And illustrators like Shaun Tan and Rebecca Dautremer, because they are very passionate. And also Jean-Michel Basquiat, who died too young..

ST: You are an inspiration for us! Any tips for our Scribblers?

SVH: If you have a dream follow it, no matter what it costs. Working hard and practicing everyday is much more important then talent. Of course you need a little talent but in the end it is who works hard that will be the winner. Keep your eyes open, ideas and creativity are everywhere, you just have to see it. The most important thing I learned at art school, is not how to draw, but how to look to the world, with an open mind.

ST: And with an open mind we continue our day! Thank you, Steven for sharing with us :). Scribblers, please have a look at Steven’s website to see more of his artwork and learn more about him.

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Published by Andi Thea, on February 26th, 2015 at 9:56 am. Filled under: Books,Illustration,Scribble Artist Interviews Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Scribble Artist Interview with Dan Reeder!

Buddha and Jo by Dan Reeder

Buddha and Jo by Dan Reeder

Scribble Town (ST): Always inventing, always creating, Dan Reeder makes the imaginable life size!  Dan says, “Around the Pacific Northwest I am known as Dan the Monster Man.”   He made my first dragon when he was twenty-two years old and that was quite a while ago. Dan, this career started when you were younger.  Do you see it coming?  Perhaps as a kid?

Dan Reeder (DR): I don’t recall thinking at all about careers.   I have always done art because I enjoyed it.  But I never dreamed of becoming an artist.  I was just busy being a kid.  (And that’s the way it should be I think!)
 
ST: Being a kid means to be in the moment! Can you remember the first time you saw a paper mache project? What inspired you to get involved with this technique? 

Bulldog by Dan Reeder

Bulldog by Dan Reeder

DR: I was teaching elementary school in 1972.  The budgets were being cut and the first thing to go was support for our “art specialist”.    So the kids only got art for 40 minutes every other week, not long enough to make anything that they were truly invested in.   Because I’ve always believed that art is important, I wanted an art project to do with my 5th graders that would a) take significant commitment, b) guarantee their success (that was “goof proof”) and c) that was fairly inexpensive.   A paper mache monster unit was the ideal solution.  I made my first monster in preparation for teaching that unit.  It ended up almost defining my career.  The popularity of that unit was beyond anything I could have imagined.

ST: Our paths are full of surprises! Paper mache is obviously your forte. Did you ever get involved in any other types of mediums before you discovered your passion for this one?
       
DR: I dabbled in several mediums growing up.  I worked with clay, but gave up after breaking some of my best pieces.  I loved using water color and pen and ink.   I resurrected some of that interest when I wrote (and illustrated) my children’s book, William’s Treasure.

ST: You are full of talent!  I see you’re very much into mythological creatures.  Any particular mythology you are fascinated with? What draws you towards them?

Sea Dragon by Dan Reeder

Sea Dragon by Dan Reeder

DR: I’m really not into mythological creatures. I’ve only made one I think, my Minotaur. I would like to make a Medusa and maybe and Hydra.  But I’m only interested in mythology in so far as there are interesting creatures to consider.
 
ST: Do you ever see yourself exploring and creating a different type of theme in the future?
       
DR: I just want to make dragons.  It’s what I love to make.  I force myself to make other non-dragon projects just to show my skill with the medium the versatility of paper mache.  But I have made many different kinds of projects over the years.
 
ST: Did you ever study art in school or was it more of a side hobby?  What has been your artistic path? 

Maleficent by Dan Reeder

Maleficent by Dan Reeder

DR: I didn’t have any formal art education other than my classes in high school.   Once I started doing paper mache I added my own innovations.   And I just haven’t been interested in other mediums since (with the exception of doing my children’s book).   If you want to do art I think it’s important to experiment for a while, but to eventually land on a medium that you can make your own.  I consider myself fortunate for having found a medium that I love.

ST: Many of your videos are shot in hyper-lapse. Around how long does it take you to complete one of your masterpieces?

DR:
I’ve tried to time how long it takes but have failed miserably.  Partly because there is drying time to consider and I’m always making more than one piece at a time.  And I’m usually taking video and photos which adds time to the project.   So I would guess that most are 40-80 hours of work.   But that is a guess.   btw.  The videos are actually in time-lapse.  They are fast because I shoot at only 1 frame per second. 

ST: Masterpieces don’t happen over night!  You are full of wise tips, anything else we should know?  

DR: I think you can do paper mache at any age, but you must obviously adapt the medium to the age you are teaching.   My only advice is to make something.  Don’t avoid the messy art.   Practice is key. 

ST: Practice and play with the medium. For sure!
 

DR: My best advice for someone wanting to learn my techniques would be to watch my videos and visit my blog.  I show many of my pieces being made, step-by-step on my blog, www.PaperMacheBlog.com.   Of course I also have how-to books on my website, www.GourmetPaperMache.com.

ST: We will definitely do that.  Thanks Dan and keep us posted on your artworks!

Naga by Dan Reeder

Naga by Dan Reeder

Scribble Artist Interview with Nannona!

valo_boy_snorkel_nannnonaScribble Town (ST): What’s happening over there?  Oh it’s a Forest Party!  Let’s go there!  Life can be so adventurous especially through the eyes of Nani Brunini aka Nannona.  I’m ready to enter a world of bright colors, bright minds and big smiles!

Nani Brunini (NB): Hi, I’m Nani and I’m a professional doodler.

ST: Where are you located and what are you up to these days?

NB: I’ve been living in San Francisco since 2011. I’m originally from Brazil, but my husband and I have been abroad for about 12 years – Germany, United Kingdom, Finland and now the US.

Right now I’m working on my portfolio – mainly updating my website and social media. That’s the side of becoming an illustrator that I’m learning more about – if you want to stand out and get the cool jobs, you have to make sure your online presence is as good as your portfolio. It’s a lot of work, but still fun. Oh, and I also can’t go too long without drawing, so I’m always doodling and experimenting with new things – new pens, new styles, new themes, etc.

ST: I think your website it looking great!  Your illustrations are beautiful and whimsical! I love your play on words and image. For example, your illustration titled ‘FINGER FOOD – ice cream’ is made of fingers! It took me a second to see that those are nails, but when I did, I made a little chuckle : ). How do you come up with these word/image games? How did you think to draw fingers as ice cream?!

092_icecream_doodlers_nannona

NB: How I get to fingers as ice creams and running burgers, I guess it’s more of a matter of “why not?”. Why draw a house with a regular roof if I can put a gigantic flamingo hat over it?! That’s a lot more fun. Pens, pencils, brushes, cameras and etc are super powerful tools – you can do whatever you want with them. So because I have all that freedom, I like to stretch my sense of reality and play around with unexpected possibilities.

Now, about the names, they are really funny and several are my husband to blame. He’s the king of puns, so I always come to him when I need some clever wordplay.

ST:  That’s a great way to approach creativity.  Just ask ourselves, “Why not?”  How did you get started with illustrating? Who encouraged you?

NB: I just looove drawing! It’s something I often do when I want to relax or when I need to understand something. In school, for example, I made so many sketches for biology, geography and chemistry classes. I even drew some historical personalities to help me remember where they were from, why they were important, etc.

I actually decided to leave the corporate world and dedicate all my time to illustration rather recently. I studied Fine Arts a long time ago, but along the way I fell in love with design and human behaviour. I worked as design strategist for big corporations, thinking and presenting concepts for products that could be developed in 5 or 10 years. I only came back to drawing when I moved to the US – when I came here I had a “spouse visa”, which didn’t allow me to work. It was very difficult, but since I had a lot of time on my hands, I started to make drawings for my nephews and nieces in Brazil. I got my work permit a year later, but I couldn’t go back to my old life; I was once again addicted to my colorful pens!

forest_nannona

ST: One things leads to another and it seems that drawing will never leave your path.  What’s your process for creating these illustrations? What kinds of techniques do you work with?

NB: A lot of what I do is hand-drawn with pens – ink, gel, paint, chalk, calligraphy, Sharpies, etc. I find them easy and unfussy.

Most times I have no idea what the end result is going to look, or even what the drawing is going to be about. I usually start with something I want to experiment with – a new technique, a different pen – and then one shape leads to another.

In the case of “Finger Food“, for example, I was fascinated with interlaced objects at that time. The first doodle I made for that had actually nothing to do with fingers, nor food – it was some kind of psychedelic city being invaded by worm-like creatures; those later became some sort of interlaced soft serve ice cream, which then became an ice cream full of interlaced fingers and so on.

No matter how many plans I make beforehand, the drawing always end up changing, even if a little bit, when it’s on paper. It’s quite cool to see how it develops and what it becomes in the end.

ST: Everything is connected so why not intervene that in our drawings?  I can see that nature inspires you and gives you loads of ideas! Your Bizarro Fruit poster is testament to that. Please let us know a bit about this project. Mmm how do you think Witchfinger Grapes tastes like?

Print

NB: My goal with the Bizarro Series was to bring attention to nature’s weird, beautiful and unexpected diversity. I started it because I wanted my nephews and nieces to be more curious about what is out there. I want them to know that “C” is for “cats” and “cows”, but it’s also for “cassowaries”, “capybaras” and “cuttlefish”. I want them to ask questions and try new things.

During the making of the Bizarro Fruit poster, for example, I ended up trying some fruit that I had not seen before, like mangosteen, rambutans and horned melons; the latter by the way tasted a bit like a cross of a banana and a melon to me! I haven’t tried witchfinger grapes yet, but they certainly look delicious.

ST: Who are some artists you get inspiration from?

NB: I get ideas from a huge number of people and sources. Lately I’ve been fascinated with traditional Japanese illustration, some Brazilian graffiti artists and psychedelic advertising from the 60s. What a mix, right? 🙂

ST: Your Doodlebomb series is great! How do you choose your magazines to bomb? What are you hoping to say with them?

doodlebomb_nannona_snake1

NB: The doodlebombs originally started as lettering practice to me. I had a bunch of magazines that I didn’t know what to do with, so they became an inexpensive way for me to make mock-ups. I could of course do that with Photoshop or Illustrator, but I do prefer having my real-life pens and brushes.

The texts on those doodles come from all sources – sometimes it’s what I’m listening on TV or some lyrics in my head… I might make them more meaningful later, but so far, I’m more interested in seeing the letters as visual patterns.

ST: I guess the bombs can come from the explosion of ideas we get sometimes.  It really feels like that for me!  Any last tips on creativity? Can you give any advice on how one can express themselves or develop their ideas?

NB: To me, art is about making things intriguing and interesting; not necessarily beautiful or accurate. It’s completely irrelevant if what you do looks like the real thing or not; what matters is why and how you express your ideas. I had some teachers in art school that told me I couldn’t draw and I was silly enough to hear them. It took me 10 years to unlearn that.

I think the best advice I can give is to cultivate your curiosity, experiment a lot and challenge conventions. Go crazy and remember that everything is possible on paper!

ST: 1, 2, 3, go crazy with a pen, marker, colored pencil, crayon, anything you can find and color away!  Thanks Nannona for being such an inspiration!

018_Ballerina_nannona

 

 

 

Published by Andi Thea, on February 3rd, 2015 at 10:06 am. Filled under: adults,Design,Drawing,Featured,Illustration,Scribble Artist Interviews Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

Scribble Artist Interview with Dorian O’Connell!

DorianOConnell--225x300Have you ever had one of Dorian O’Connell pastry?  I think you’ll be happy with her tasty delights!  For a person who started working in restaurants by the age of 14 she knows her way around the kitchen.  Dorian has won several awards and has studied and worked with the top pastry chefs around the world.  After having lived and worked in France and Canada she has moved back to her hometown and to take care of Juniper.  Dorian juggle ceramics, baking, watercolors, and being a mom.  Dorian say, “Juniper is always at my side watching me make everything or she is sleeping. I just hope she will love baking and the arts as much as I do.”  With sugar floating in the air, I don’t see how Juniper  could not grow up to be a sweet and creative person like her Mom!

Scribble Town (ST): Where can we find you these days?  What are you up to?

Dorian O’Connell (DO): Right now, I live in Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. I have lived in eight plus states and also Canada for work. I traveled around working for the best Pastry Chefs in the country. I was Thomas Keller’s Pastry Chef in Napa Valley at Bouchon Bakery. That is one of the best bakeries in the country.

When I gave birth to my daughter Juniper back in September things changed a bit. My four month old daughter is my boss and she tells me when I can do my projects. While she is sleeping I’m busy making cards. I realized I’m not able to bake as much as I would like and needed a way to express my art. So, I decided on cards because I can stop anytime and play.

ST: I’m sure busy with your Kickstarter Campaign raising funds for your Valentine’s Day Cards.

DO: I’ve also started a Card shop on Etsy called Maiden Creek Paper, which connects people through cards with drawings & messages that evoke laughter, smiles, and an extra kick!

ST: Your illustrations are so sweet and whimsical!  I love your play on words and image.  How do you come up with these cards?

DO: I just draw up a cute creature then I think about the words for a while. Sometimes I get feedback from my sisters at the dinner table.

ST:  How did you get started with painting with watercolor?

il_570xN.706928245_ke7fDO: Since I’ve been little I have been painting. At age four I was able to sell my paintings at art shows with my mother.

ST: Wow! Not only are you creative, but you are also courageous enough to put yourself out there since a young age.  Who encouraged you?

DO: My mom.  When I was little I was always able to help her out.

ST: What other mediums do you work with?

DO: I have done all the arts: ceramics and watercolors mainly. I realized when I little if I make something people can eat and a piece of art it means more. It’s more of a memory I create. Still people remember me by my sweets. Oh you are the brownie girl or you can make the best chocolate chip cookies.

ST: It seems you have found your way to combine art and taste. I feel like your pastries are a piece of art!  Please let us know more about 101 Sweet Pastry. I’m getting hungry already!

DO: I started a blog mainly because I baked all the time and wanted to share it with others. I usually take a bite or two of what I bake then I share it with whoever wants to eat it. I’ve walked the streets handing out cupcakes before just because I wanted to bake. I also have an Etsy Store :dorianoconnell  where I sell my sweets.

Sweet Pastry specializes in handmade cookies, marshmallows, meringues and gourmet food gifts. Welcome!

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ST:  I have to give it to you, that You make things happen!  You have had a couple of campaigns on Kickstarter.  Your Tiny Bowls are so cute!  Are you still making those?

DO: Yes, I still do, but not as much. Right now ceramics is very hard to do with a baby the clay is toxic. I do sell them on Etsy:Juniper Pottery.

ST: Anything else up your sleeve?

DO: If it’s the arts I can do it. My biggest accomplishment was back in 05 when I was Pastry Chef of the USA. I had to create a Chocolate and Sugar Showpiece with a cake. I was at the time the youngest one to ever win. I practiced for a year straight.  www.dorianoconnell.com

il_570xN.645260427_k672ST:  Who are some artists or situations you get inspiration from?

DO: My mom: www.katdazzle.com. She’s awesome and my mom.

ST:  An amazing sense of humor and imagination naturally runs in the family!  Any last tips on creativity?

DO: Don’t worry about what people will think. Just do it and it will all come together. People seem to criticize and half the time they can’t do anything or they don’t.

ST: Can you give any advice on how one can express themselves or develop their ideas?

DO: Check out Pinterest for ideas or try getting a group of people together and paint. Just pick up a pen and start drawing. In the beginning you may get a little frustrated but with time it gets a lot easier. Just believe in yourself and it will all work out. I can’t seem to draw if I’m upset so I need to be happy if not my creatures are not. I believe it has a lot to do with the pen. I take trips to New York City to pick up my fine Japanese pen but you can use any ink pen.

ST: Thank you Dorian! Enjoy your days creating with Juniper!

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