Good morning everyone! It’s a holiday here in B.C. but i promised that i would post in response to an invite to a bloghop by my friend Wendy of Late Start Studio (please check out her blog) – she’s incredibly prolific creatively speaking even though she has a full time job! I simply don’t know how she does it!
My apologies for not following up by asking 3 friends (artists) who have influenced me to continue the bloghop – life got in the way – i ended up babysitting for my daughter whose entire household was sick and then got behind on all of my other work related duties. I do however post at the bottom of this blogpost 3 people who greatly influenced me.
Here are the questions we are asked and my answers:
What am I working on?
Right now I am working on a series called 60 cartoons in 60 days – #60in60 (i counted back from my birthday 60 days and began my challenge then). I am turning 60 on June 15th and began to freak out about ageing and not having accomplished as much as i had hoped in my life. So what I’ve been doing lately is reframing when a negative thought hits my brain. I turn a perceived negative into a positive. You may know that the brain has plasticity and you can train yourself to think more positively changing your neural pathways – it’s work and is all about constantly monitoring your thoughts.
So each of the cartoons is meant to be uplifting helping me focus on the positive or help me to be more mindful like this cartoon:
and this cartoon………
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well since beginning the 60 in 60 challenge I have differently veered off the path that others in my genre are on – I am known for my mixed media and art journaling work – my book Journal Bliss is all about art journaling – it’s a journey I began about 12 years ago.
But lately when I’ve asked myself what is it that i really love to do? I keep returning to I love to draw uplifting cartoons – i call them uptoons! Because THEY ARE uplifting
I don’t believe many folks in the mixed media world are creating cartoons in the same fashion that i am. When i was working on my book Journal Bliss I noticed that the editors of my book wanted me to illustrate the book as well as create art journal pages. Here is a sample of one of the pages….
And i was puzzled – why are they getting me to do this which was a ton more work when other artists creating mixed media work were not? Then it hit me – “That’s what makes me unique!” so why not share that uniqueness in my book?
Why do I write/create what I do?
I cannot NOT create – it’s like breathing – if i did not breathe i would die. So naturally i draw/create. I’ve also noticed that my work is motivated quite a bit by the desire to inspire. My art has morphed and changed with the advent of the internet. Before i created with the hopes that i could get my art into Art Galleries and cafes. Now that is not my motivation at all.
I’ve had a website for over 12 years (guess you could call me an early adopter or pioneer in the field of art on the net)…..makes me laugh when i think of that since that’s hardly any time at all. Over 11 years ago I frequented a messageboard created by Sark – my biggest inspiration.
I started sharing stories of my life on Sark’s messageboard. I posted pictures of my art on my website so the folks could see what i created but so they could also follow me on my adventures with my Glittergirl Van and view photos of my Magic Cottage. My son ended up creating a blog for me so i could post answers to most frequently asked questions as well as post a constant stream of art. The art I created morphed into more uplifting, whimsical works meant to inspire the people who were visiting my blog. I became much more prolific artistically speaking because of the desire to inspire.
How does your writing/creating process work?
Having a deadline certainly helps! This 60 day challenge is helping me stay honest and real. If indeed drawing makes me happy why don’t i find time every day to draw? Life gets in the way or I babysit my grandkids (whom i adore) or I am doing gardening in our large backyard. Or I’m spending more time marketing, taking webinars and classes than doing what i truly love to do. I’m more apt to create if i have a deadline. So i sit down at the kitchen counter and things begin to flow – quite literally like Mihaly Cikszentmihalyi speaks about in the book “Flow”. Sometimes I begin to panic that i will never ever have another cartoon or drawing inside of me. After the panic subsides I put pen to paper and it flows. I get a phrase or an inner prompt to begin with a heart or a flower and then I’m off and running! YAY!
When my nephew had a tragic accident I wondered what I could bring him every week to spark his spirit a bit. A series of inspiring mixed media pieces unfolded which ultimately became a calendar for Brush Dance – one of the paintings “Bliss” is in the above photo.
I could ramble on and on but I’ve already taken up enough of your time. So I will end this to let you know 3 people who greatly inspired me:
Sark – she has been my biggest inspiration – from the moment i ready her book Inspiration Sandwich about 25 years ago I felt I was given permission to be myself!
Marney Makridakis of Artellaland inspired me. My art was published in her zine and also her yahoo group connected me with numerous creative spirits. She’s such a generous spirit.
Leonie Dawson is also a big inspiration to me – i first met Leonie on the Sark Messageboard and recognized a kindred spirit in her. It’s been so thrilling to watch her fabulous artistic/business career unfold.
See you all on Wednesday!
Love Violette xo