Which Artist inspires you the most & why?: I have been most inspired by Sark – she set me on a path over 20 years ago when I read her book “Creative Companion and Inspiration Sandwich”. It’s like she gave me permission to be myself and embrace all of my eccentricities, love of colour, passion for life. Unbeknownst to Sark she gave me permission to fly my freak flag!
What would you love to try next, creatively?: I would like to teach a Bootcamp on Self – Promotion for artists, musicians, writers and other creatives. I’d like to marry all of the skills that I have acquired over the years into one package – my love of teaching, inspiring, art, eccentric nature, public speaking and motivating. Putting together power point presentations, creating art, PDF booklet and later videos to accompany the course will utilize many of my creative abilities..
Where do you find your muse/inspiration?: Nature, looking at other people’s art, art books, magazines, walking, chatting with people, listening to their problems and trying to find creative solutions. I also find inspiration in overhearing snippets of conversations from passerby’s and fashioning a journal page from that.
I like to teach because: I love imparting what I know to others as well as my enthusiasm for art as a healing tool. I love to teach art journaling or inspire others to begin because it has helped me tremendously on my path to healing. It’s also brought much joy into my life which I am a fanatic about sharing since I’d like others to experience the same joy as I have.
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Who do you creatively relate with? I.E. Who does your work remind you of?: I’m not sure who my work reminds me of – it’s pretty different than any other work. My art journal pages are quite unique. Some of the techniques in the pages such as the backgrounds may be familiar to many art journalers however the people and sayings I use are quite different. Often my work has a narrative quality to it and outlines what I have experienced such as hearing loss, the desire to be unique and screw the rules, an upset about a certain person etc.
The best part of living a creative life is: Being able to work in my jammies and sleep in a little bit. I also like to set my own hours, go for a walk in the middle of the day and meet a friend for coffee or an occasional lunch. I like the fact that I can go outside in my backyard on a sunny day and draw or write there. The thought of having to clock in on a regular basis in a boring beige building would be a death knell for me. I like to create any time of day or night. I love living in a purple magic cottage where every room is painted in a riot of colours – it inspires me and informs my work. I enjoy taking a day off a week to babysit and visit my grandchildren. What a lucky girl am I!
What is the worst part of living a creative life?: The money can be pretty challenging – making a decent living is challenging. Having to constantly market/network rather than spending time creating is also a challenge. Having to keep on top of the tech world – Social Media, blogging etc. is very challenging and crazy making. I have ADHD and when I have too many things going at once I tend to drop balls and get overwhelmed.
What advice would you like to share?: If the advice is for another artist just starting out I’d suggest they start a blog and begin posting images of their work and try and find a community online. If the person is more of a one on one kind of character I suggest posting notices on bulletin boards in the community, starting a meetup group or take out an ad in the local papers. They could always start an art journaling group like I have done in the local community café. This is a great way to meet other creatives and journal together. You’ll learn new techniques and develop new artsy friendships. If you want to sell your work you’ll need to develop an online presence so begin blogging. Technique wise? I’d say try a variety of different art forms and see what works for you. Take some live workshops, online classes and buy books and try different techniques. You’ll eventually find something which turns you on and lights you up! You’ll discover what gives you juice by trying a variety of things.
The best advice I have ever received is : I didn’t receive it directly but “Follow your Bliss” a saying from Joseph Campbell, Anthropologist, Mythologist, writer and lecturer has inspired me for over 25 years. It’s the best advice I have ever adopted/received..
‘Being creative’ means : Being creative to me means using your creativity in all aspects of your life – how you dress, how you decorate your home, how you create art, write and show up in the world. It’s also about blogging and what you post on facebook – it’s the whole shebang!
Name your favorite book of all time?: Well I guess I have several favourite books – The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, Inspiration Sandwich by Sark, Succulent Wild Woman by Sark, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
What was your scariest creative adventure?: About 11 or 12 years ago I took my van and art and travelled throughout several States in the U.S. by myself trying to sell my art, show it to galleries etc. I met lots of lovely people, showed my art to folks, visited galleries, received advice from galleries. I had a couple of harrowing experiences but on the whole it was a pretty exciting adventure. One of the silliest things I did was land in Berkley California home of Celestial Arts publishing (they published Sark’s first books) and call up the company and exclaimed “I’m your next Sark!”. Well the silly thing is I didn’t have a book written or anything I simply had a few art pieces. Needless to say the secretary on the end of the line laughed at me! I eventually did get a book published – ‘Journal Bliss’ 8 years later but not by that company .
The thing I love most about my life is : That I live my life out loud in a purple magic cottage, I’m surrounded by family, my boyfriend and supportive friends. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world – B.C. Canada and am surrounded by forests and beaches!
What makes your heart swell with joy?: Witnessing acts of kindness and being in nature. Kayaking is one of my favourite activities that brings me great joy! And of course creating art brings me great joy!
Three words to describe my work are: Whimsical, inspirational and eccentric
What creative tool can you not live without (so-to-speak)? Micron pens
My favorite ‘pretend’ curse word is : I’m not sure this is a curse word or not but it’s “Oh Crap!” I say that quite a lot unfortunately .
Thanks so much for interviewing me Nicci!
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Thanks so much Nicci for interviewing me today! I had fun answering the questions. It’s always a thrill to share my thoughts and art journey with folks!
Great interview. Love Violette!
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