Hello my friends! Today I’m delighted to be interviewing my friend Debbie – I have known Debbie since we were in Elementary School – I’m not going to say how long ago that was . We had lost track of each other for a couple of decades (yes – we’re that old ) until one day Debbie was driving along and began following this vehicle……..
Why – it was the Glittergirl van! Ha ha ha! On the back of the van I had my website and an inspirational quote. Debbie took one look at the name “violette” and the funky hippy van and decided that there must be only one Violette who would DO THAT! So When she got home she dashed to her computer and to the website and saw my picture – sure enough I was her childhood friend. She e-mailed me and we had coffee together. I was delighted to find that we had much in common – Law of Attraction, Health and Nutrition, Creativity and more. Needless to say reconnecting has been such a blessing! Without further ado HEREEEEEEEEEEEEE’SSSSSSSSSS DEB……..
1. You’re one of the instructors teaching at Into the HeART retreat coming up in September. Tell us a bit about that and what you are teaching.
Yes I am one of instructors teaching at the fabulous Loon Lake Resort this September. I have always been a fan of art retreats and the Fraser Valley hasn’t had an event bringing talented artists and crafters together in one venue for a long time. I am looking forward to being part of this movement to bring this back. I have been creating with fabric for about 30 years now. Anything from quilts to stuffed creatures and onto clothing. I love teaching others how to take their creativity to the next level and create their own inspired pieces. I have put together a practical carrying bag with an individual flare. My students will each make a completed bag using free motion quilting techniques as well as drawing, doodling, painting and embellishing.
2. You are an expert quilter – or at least you’ve been creating some awesome quilts for quite some time. How have you transitioned from quilting into art journaling or mixed media art?
Over the years I have taken many quilting classes to move from a basic square assembled quilt to a more free spirited art quilt. I am always looking for another technique to add to my quilts be it, paint, sharpie pens, beading or just recently light molding paste. Art supply stores are where I have found more ideas and it’s where I found a whole new level to take my fabric creations. The bag I am teaching at the retreat uses art journaling techniques making it a very personal piece when completed.
Deb’s journal bags
3. I can tell that you are really jazzed about the possibilities regarding using your art in your creative projects. What are you experimenting with right now? What new techniques are you delving into?
On a trip to Seattle recently I purchased a Gelli Plate. These were discussed at the last Art Journal Jam and I went straight to YouTube to get some education. I have made my own in the past using plain gelatin but they don’t last past one or two applications. My first attempt was printing on fabric as I saw this as a way to add colour and texture to a quilt piece. I am also going to print on paper for my art journal.
4. What would you say is your super power when it comes to being creative? (I’m thinking you are pretty fearless – not afraid to try new things).
I have been told by many as they have watched me walk through life (I never run!) that I don’t ever approach things with an “I can’t do that” attitude. If it looks interesting and I want to give it a try I just go for it. Not with great results all the time but the experience usually leads me to something new and exciting.
5. What do you do when you are experiencing a creative block?
Creative blocks are hard. I flounder when I know I want to start or finish something but I can’t seem to get there. I will walk away from my studio for awhile, dive into my other creative side in the kitchen (note from violette – Deb is an awesome chef!) and let it just roll around in my brain until it feels right to give it another try. I have a camera on me everywhere I go (yay IPhone) and I take pictures where I see texture, colour, or combinations of colour that I use to jumpstart a project. I cruise the internet and see what others are doing.
Deb free-motion quilting
6. Have you always been creative? What is your earliest creative memory? (I know you come from a creative family).
I have always wanted to be creative but not always had the confidence in my abilities. It took until my early 20’s to just sit down and start a project and see where it went. My husband built my first studio for me in 1981. Before that it was the kitchen table. Sewing was my passion at that time and stuffed creatures were where I could stretch my creative side. I did sew clothing especially for my kids and also special occasions for others but I liked the funkiness of a large green frog. I have tried to keep a photo journal of creations as the years go by, especially as a lot were given away.
7. How do you bring art/creativity into the every day?
I am fortunate to be retired. Although family seems to take up a good portion of my time, I am always thinking about current or future projects. I try to fit in time each day in my studio even if it only to clean up after the last and organize for the next.
Deb’s Art Journal
8. What is your advice to someone starting out in Art Journaling or Mixed Media art?
I think the hardest part to art journaling/mixed media is to find your style. I am still striving for what mine will be. It builds in layers, start simple and move on adding more until you feel it works for you. Cruise the internet; see what techniques others are using. Pull bits and pieces together and see if it tells the story you want. There are many great books covering art journaling. Take classes like the art retreat this September where you will be able to choose two different classes and come away with more experience to add to your style. It’s all about layering.
9. What does your typical day look like?
Family plays a big part in my life. I am blessed with 3 lovely Grandkids and a day doesn’t go by often that they are not a part of it. I try to fit in something for my brain (reading the paper, doing the Sudoku), my body (good food, brisk walk, bike ride) and my family. That leaves the smaller portion of time going to my creative endeavours but it enough to satisfy the craving.
10. What is next for you? What is your next project?
I have a mixed media idea forming in my brain right now. It will include light molding paste for texture, gelli plate printing for colour and more texture, free motion stitching and embellishment. There is a fibre art show through the White Rock Community Center in October and I hope to have this completed by then.
Thank you so much Debbie for taking the time to be interviewed!
Just to let you know that Deb’s Art Journal bags will be on display at the Good Day Sunshine Cafe for the month of June! Hope you drop by and check out the Art Journal Show there!
I hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Love, Violette xo