(Under) 2 Minute Background Technique

I’ve been experimenting with my iPhone recently, and discovered the free Ustream app which allows to me record videos and live shows with my phone. How cool is that? I’d really like to re-do this one, I was distracted (and stuffy) and it shows.

Super easy. Fabulously fast. Great for journals, or a layer on a mixed-media piece.  I think you’ll enjoy this faux batik, resist type background technique of mine; anyone can do it. Really.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 minutes of free time
  • Your art journal, or watercolor paper
  • A baby wipe
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Rubber stamp (or other object that leaves impressions)
  • Paint Brush/Water (optional)
  • Brayer (optional)

Products I used:

Easy peasy eh?

Artfully Yours,
Chrysti

Art: At the speed of life

art_at_the_speed_of_life_banner

“Magic has often been thought of us the art of making dreams come true; the art of realizing visions. Yet before we can bring birth to the vision we have to see it.”
-Starhawk

Recently, I got the oh-so-wonderful  news that my talented friend Pam Carriker inked her name onto a book deal – I literally squealed with delight when I heard -as I know just how much effort and heart Pam put into making her dream a reality. Artistic talent aside, what draws me to Pam is her optimism and perseverance – she doesn’t give up, and I for one am thrilled about that.  For those of you who ever fret or get discouraged over rejection – Pam is an inspiring leader, and proof positive that the dreaded ‘no’ is rarely personal and can be almost always magically transformed into the yes you desired.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Thoreau

To make good new even better, she invited me to be a part of the experience – HELLO Cloud 9! I received my assignment a few days ago, and I can tell you – The topics she chose for me are among the top 5 questions I receive in my inbox daily – I think y’all will be thrilled. Between you & i … and from what I know of the book so far – I think it will be a refreshing viewpoint and quickly become one of the most referenced books on your bookshelf. 

As if that wasn’t enough, you can follow Pam along her journey here. If you have ever wondered what the process of writing a book was, the behind the scenes glances – this will become a must follow blog.

So thank you Pam for inviting me to be a part of this creative journey, and putting me in the midst of such wonderful company:

“Set out each day believing in your dreams. Know without a doubt that you were made for amazing things.”
Josh Hinds

Pam, once again my heartfelt congratulations – this is a much deserved milestone for you. Remember to take a few moments and savor it.

Won’t you join me in sharing her joy?

Warmly, Chrysti

Permission to Play

Ok.  So it may be old news to some of you.

Alright, more than a few of you even…

but still, it’s pretty cool news ya know?

Article in the July/August 2009 Somerset Studio

Article in the July/August 2009 Somerset Studio

In the July/August ’09  issue of Somerset Studio not only did I create 4 exclusive artist papers, but tutorials on how to create on each of them.. and boy-oh-friggin’-boy was the feedback amazing ! It actually took me aback – just how much folks enjoyed it. Delightful accolades are still pouring in about it even now – love that. It touches me. It motivates me. Words can’t convey how good it is for my heart, for the whole of me .. to know that just by sharing something I abso-friggin-lutely love to do, it somehow …inspires someone.

Simple, yet powerful pleasures that I am continually thankful for.

 “We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.”
 Frank Tibolt

I stumbled on this video a few days ago – it uses my article as a jumping point, and also showcases Claudine Hellmuth’s fabulously delicious  paint line…. I thought y’all may enjoy it as well.

Here are a few others who have also generously shared their results:
(i know there are more, but lost the links i had saved – please resend!)

Did you use the artist papers I created in a project? Did you give the tutorials a try? Shout out in the comments with a link to your work/post and I’ll add it here too, ‘cuz y’all inspire me. For those that have asked, I just may *cough* be working up a part deux of Permission to Play.

Go. Play. Permission? Totally granted.

 Chrysti

Chronicles of Yarnia

{Warning: } Fiber & Yarn addicts beware – heart palpitations, shortness of breath, overwhelming feelings of excitement and immensely loud shrieks of joy may ensue when noticing that the following post contains:

  • Ideas, Inspiration & Resources
  • (practically) Free Lush Novelty Yarns
  • Ramblings of a Nearly Mad Woman

Can it get ANY better than that? Well, probably so… but that would kinda kill the whole intro thingamijig I got goin’ on here.. so humor me, please?

 Yarn Porn

I seriously have  a love affair with fibers. I don’t knit. I no longer crochet – but I could never, ever get enough yarn. The root of the ‘problem’ lies in my childhood where sacred half-days of school resulted in a trip to K-Mart with Gramma to pick out a skein, and an absolutely delightful afternoon of crafts using the newly purchased yarn.  Heaven. Stories I will share another day.

Moving on….

Remember when I used to peddle all those luxurious fibers in my (soon-to-close) supply store … I amassed quite a collection, despite selling out of 80% of them and as some of you may know, I will be moving out-of-state in the upcoming months, and considerably downsizing my living space – ie, stuff. must. go. Let’s insert a moment of silence as we mourn the supplies I will be giving up for the greater good.

Hold on… still a sniffle here.

Ok. Better now. Back to my point – it is a classic tale of my loss = your gain. The (practically) free posts I have done in the past have gone so wonderfully well, I decided to do it again – this time with my *sniff* beloved fibers. The rules are basically the same.

mosaica67e92dc236d0223270d65b62d79ace3df53cdc1

Why am I offering these practically free?

Firstly, to save me the headache & time consuming process of measuring, photographing, and describing each item. There are days worth of work within these boxes … and I just can’t find the time right now. Offering them like this, saves me from doing that workload — I’d charge more, but I know I’d hate spending alot on supplies sight unseen. Trust me though, these are all quality fibers that I either purchased to use myself, or sell in the store.  The value of each box is over what you are paying.

I’d rather share these with folks who can provide a loving home than simply toss them away! Besides, I got my start thanks to some incredibly kind individuals who cut me a break, this is partially my way of giving that gift back. If i didn’t need to make back some of the cost on these, I would gift them.. sadly, I am not in that financial position right now.

That being said – I have up for grabs so far:

************************************************************** 

now 0 Flat Rate Priority Mail Boxes  STUFFED with fibers

$30.00 a box  (fee includes shipping & paypal fees)

(Each box holds between 25-35 kinds of fiber)

************************************************************** 

Yards & yards + pounds and pounds of high quality, now hard to find, lush fibers  for you. The yardage per skein varies, some are full skeins, some just missing a yard or too, some only have 5-10 yards or so left.   Each deliciously stuffed-to-the-rim box has assorted styles, cuts & types -there are chenille fibers, boucle, eyelash, ladder, pom-pom, ribbon yarns & a whole lot more. The mosaic photos here show a sampling of what is in some of the boxes. Each box is different!

Need some inspiration on what you can do with these lush fibers?

Image2

How to claim 1 of the 7 boxes:

  • First come, first served.
  • US Only – the flat rate box prices internationally are typically high. If they aren’t all claimed by US folks within a week, I will expand it.
  • Shipping can’t be combined if ordering more than one box, they are priced for the flat rate boxes & already packed up awaiting their new homes.
  • Paypal the $30.00 to khryctee (at) bellsouth.net … be sure to include your mailing address. If by chance all 7 sell out before I can update here, I will promptly refund your moolah. First paid/come, first served. Comment here that you took one too if you would – so folks know if I can’t get here quickly enough.
  • Promise to give them a good home, and have a wildly creative ball with them.

I’ve always done things the hard way. I was born like a piece of tangled yarn. The job is trying to untangle it, and I’ll probably go on doing it for the rest of my life. ” -Karen Allen

Wishing ewe (yarn puns, can’t control myself) many creative joys – Chrysti.

P.S. – Have a link to a unique novelty yarn project? Comment here with it, and I’ll add it to the post if it suits!

Day 13/29 Days of Giving is…

.. OK, i admit it

i almost skipped posting tonight

i feel a lil bit like i’m unraveling

coming apart at the seams so to speak ….

i have that not-enough-hours-cant-get-enough-done-crazy kind of mojo going

much like most of you do too …

…but as i mentioned yesterday

i love what a tight-knit community we are becoming ….

… and i feel a calling to weave this in even on the hardest of days

personally, its more rewarding to know i achieved it despite circumstances ….

…. see, the giveaway i initially intended to do today

will most likely take 3-4 hours to put together …

… since it’s 11 p.m. and i’m just darn fried as it is

i knew i wouldnt be happy with it if i didn’t give it my all….

and when im unhappy my skein just crawls …

…. undoubtedly it is now a crazy week since i remembered i’m travelling home

well, not that i remembered just realized it’s so close …

…what happened to that feeling we had as children

when Christmas couldn’t come fast enough?…

… here i go deliriously rambling once again

i really don’t mean to string you along ….

      “The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.” – William Shakespeare

If you have not yet caught on to the punny clues, today’s giveaway has a lil’ sumthin-sumthin to do with my addiction to lush, beautfiul yarn.  A last-minute decision when i was foraging through the jungle I call my brain for a relatively simple but still somehow inspiring post & giveaway.

The expedition through my thoughts wasn’t going rather well. Scavenger that I am, I still find it difficult to navigate my own mind. Probably because it is shamefully tangled with weeds, random flowers and just chock full of roadblocks. That’s not even mentioning the dust & cobwebs.The insides of my head are a dangerously murky sort of place. At any moment one could get hit with any number of absurd thoughts and be led down yet another winding path. Sometimes though – lightning strikes, and things come to a brief halt.

I turned that proverbial corner and remembered seeing this project online.

Photo by Splityarn used under a Creative Commons License

Photo by Splityarn used under a Creative Commons License

When that lightning bolt struck? Instantly I knew – OMIGOSH! I have it! I have today’s giveaway. I said to myself:Self, show the readers how to do these. Surely there must be a few who have the materials lying around and who need a last minute gift or two themselves.

But why stop there? I don’t just want to show you these simple beauties. I want to create my version of them for you. I cannot resist leaving them quite that simple (unless that’s the way the recipients prefer them). I will give them a bit of my own craetive magic, and create some tomorrow. Since I have been wanting so very badly to spend more time creating – AND I’ve had an itch for doing ornaments in particular – especially ones I can fit into this crazy schedule — I shall make a few for my readers. Simplifying the giveaway, solved.

“I’ve always done things the hard way. I was born like a piece of tangled yarn. The job is trying to untangle it, and I’ll probably go on doing it for the rest of my life.” -Karen Allen 

Photo by Splityarn used under a Creative Commons License

Photo by Splityarn used under a Creative Commons License

Since I gave my mind a workout already today, I can’t quite recall how many bulbs I have left up in my studio. I know there is at least 2. Possibly more. I’m bursting merely at the thought! I’d run up and see, but ya know.. I prolly wouldn’t return and all this would be for nothing.

I’d like to giveaway 6 – but am only promising 2 for now, since I know I can deliver those. If I do have more, I shall create more and as such – giveaway more. But for some reason, I am thinking I may have freecycled them. Hmmm…

Oh! To enter to win a one-of-a-kind handcrafted Chrystified yarn ornament –somewhat similar to those seen above  just do the following:

 If this poll thingy below works – answer it. Your answers decide the fate.

 Then Proceed:

  • On this post in the comments -Share a link, or an idea for last minute gifts – holiday, or year round and/or name your first born after me.
  • Really, I got nuthin else to ask tonight folks – me = fried.
  • Do this by: Sunday, December 21th, 2008
  • PLEASE keep Spreading  the word! Blog it, Tell your friends — the works! I’m amazed daily at the impact this project is having on people. I want it to be contagious, plus it fuels me to make it bigger & better! 
  •  Enter Day 0 Day 10 & Day 11 & Day 12
  • Check out the first batch of winners!
  • Check out the newly posted – second batch of winners! Is it you?

 Chrysti – don’t think the irony of yawn vs. yarn has escaped me for a moment tonight! How did this still take me over an hour to do? Sheesh!

Day 12/29 Days of Giving is…

I can’t wait for you to see today’s giveaway!…

 … not one, but 2 BIG prizes .. you’ll love them

 first I wanted to address something though…

.. bear with me for a moment please?

"Collecting My Thoughts" Journal Page by Pam Carriker

"Collecting My Thoughts" Journal Page by Pam Carriker

i’ve been asked recently, why I feature other artists here…

… asked, don’t I mind that money I could potentially have

is landing potentially in someone else’s pockets….

Ummmm. Nope. Not one little bit.

… firstly, giving isn’t about what you receive in return

naturally, i’m thrilled with whatever the universe sends my way …

… however my humanity often comes before my business sense

that doesn’t mean I’m a poor business woman …

…. it simply renders me a moral one, or more accurately

one who is able to lay my head down, feeling good about the choices I make …

The thing is this: In part, I chose teaching, writing, painting, photography etc. — this spectrum of creative goodness as my career path –because of the community we have formed. It tickles me every friggin’ time I see how intertwined we are. I revel in that delight. It’s actually pretty darn EXCITING to watch others succeed as well. It fuels me, I draw inspiration from it.. it’s my escape. Besides, nothing pure, or satisfactory was ever gained by greed.

“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.”
— Jane Addams 

"One Wing" by Pam Carriker

"One Wing" by Pam Carriker

I believe the more we hold one another up, the bigger our communities grow – the more successful each of us become. Success — is measured independently. It’s not a universal thing.  For some it’s a steady career, others it’s being published, for someone else it’s a gallery show, and for someone else it’s merely finishing a page in a journal. Success. It’s as unique as we are. It can be had by all of us. Especially, when we nurture one another.  Creativity is far too powerful, too far reaching to be held closely & guarded. It’s a treasure and a gift … one that unites us. One, we all share.

ZNEis a community that is dear to me. It was a place I had found online — that i fit in. Before Mixed Media became mainstream — that was difficult to do. ZNE celebrates all things creative which is a natural compliment to who I am. Through ZNE I have met some of the most gifted artists, the kindest souls, and friends I will treasure always… and friends I am just beginning to know even better.

“In our hectic, fast-paced, consumer-driven society, it’s common to feel overwhelmed, isolated and alone. Many are re-discovering the healing and empowering role that community can bring to our lives. The sense of belonging we feel when we make the time to take an active role in our communities can give us a deeper sense of meaning and purpose.”
— Robert Alan 

"The Promise of Love" by Pam Carriker

"The Promise of Love" by Pam Carriker

Pam Carriker is one of those women I have been blessed to meet through ZNE, and just beginning to know as a person, not just an artist. I have watched her grow, develop her style, become published, and follow her dreams. I’m watching her succeed and my heart just leaps for her! I was fortunate enough to win 2 of her prints through a blog giveaway of her own – and I was actually impressed at the quality of them. Yes, Me! I’m not typically a fan of prints, having been burned one too many times on poor quality ones people print themselves from substandard printers. If I pay for a print, I want it to last. I want it to look good. I want to be proud to display it!  I was beyond thrilled with Pam’s! So I Invited her to take part in the 29 Days of Giving. ( which as a sneak peek, will become a weekly thing here… )

"Grow" by Pam Carriker

"Grow" by Pam Carriker

Grab an indulgent beverage of your choice, pull up a seat and take a few moments to get to know Pam, right along with me! We’ll reveal the amazing prizes she donated soon, don’t worry! Patience! Good things come to those who wait…

(as always, I’m asking the questions, Pam’s words are the responses.. duh.)

One of the things I am so drawn to in your work, is the authenticity – all of your pieces have this vision into a soul. It’s evident they come from that magical place within you. What drives you to create? Have you always been creative, or is this something you have pursued only in recent years? Tell us a bit about it!
 
I have always had the need to create.  My first ‘artistic’ memory is of drawing purple polka dots on the newly painted lavender walls of my bedroom as a child.  My mom was Not happy about that one!  I took every art class offered all during school and afterwards expressed my creative nature through various arts and crafts venues, such as Tole Painting, Stamping, and Scrapbooking.  When I ‘found’ mixed media art about 2 years ago, I was making paper bag albums and selling them on ebay, hence the name, The Bag Lady.  While on ebay I noticed the same three little letters by work that I found amazing, ZNE, and so one day I asked someone what they stood for.  I wish I knew who that was, I would so love to thank them!  It lead me to the most inspiring place, and I have finally found art form that allows me to draw from the 20+ years of previous experience, combining many techniques into one piece of art.

As to what drives me to create, that I do not know.  I only know that I need to.  These past couple of years I have found such release in creating.  I feel as if I am pouring my heart into my work, drawing from the ever changing emotions of being a woman, a wife, and most importantly a mom.

Do you have a favorite piece you have created? If so, why?

I know this probably sounds silly, but each new piece is my favorite, until I create the next one.  I think it is because I feel like I am on a journey and each piece takes me one more step down the path to discovering my true self.

 In addition to your beautiful Mixed Media Paintings, I know you are also an avid Art Journaler. What advice can you give to those who see a blank page in their books and just get stumped?
 
Keep your journal out when you are creating art.  You can add leftover paint right to your journal, getting rid of that scary blank page right off the bat.  If you use colors and images that you are drawn to, you will create journal pages that speak about you.  I am very excited that my first journals are going to be part of Somerset’s Art Journals, due out January ’09 , so you can check that out for more tips from several different artists:-)

 Who influences you, both as a business woman and your art?
 
Wow, this would be quite a list.  I think that those who are ahead of me on this journey inspire me to set goals and take that first step towards seeing them realized.  I like to think of all of us on this artistic journey have one hand reaching out in front and one reaching behind helping the next person with what we have learned.   My husband is another huge influence every time I think how could I possibly do that, he just looks at me and says, ‘Why not?’.

So many of my readers want to be published but stop themselves from submitting to publications. You have gone through this process yourself, can you offer them any tips to overcome their fears? (proof is in the pudding folks, see Pam’s great article in my favorite magazine: Cloth, Paper, Scissors  July/Aug 2008 issue here)
 
They can’t say ‘yes’ if you don’t give them a chance.  Seriously.  It is scary, and even more scary the first time they say ‘yes, we would like you to write this article’, but the rewards are so worth it!  Last year I set a goal for myself to get something published, what happened was so much more than I could have hoped for and has lead me to make new goals for 2009.  I am a firm believer in writing down your goals and keeping track of your achievements.  It makes them real.  It makes you accountable.  Check out the Art Calls for your favorite magazines and start there.  Don’t be discouraged if they don’t use something, keep trying.  If this is something you really want to do then don’t let fear keep you from it.

What’s one artistic skill you’d like to cultivate in the coming year?
 
I have been concentrating on sketching in my journal.  I love collage, but want to develop my drawing skills further. 

You’re stranded on that proverbial island…. and can only take 5 artsy supplies with you. What are they?
 
My journal, charcoal, water soluble graphite pencil, aqua brush, and Caran d’ Ache water soluble crayons.  With these I could be happy for quite some time!

Do you have a creative routine/process? Things you do habitually before you sit down to create? Or do you just dive right in?
 
Well, I’m a busy mom, so studio time is squeezed between everything else.  I am always working on things in stages.  Put a coat of gesso on, go do the laundry, add a layer of paint, run the vacuum, you get the picture.  My creative process is more like multi-tasking!

As a devout fan of the random question, I have to ask: salty or sweet?
 
Now that is the hardest question yet!  I have to say I lean towards sweet, but OMGosh I just made the most fabulous candied pecans today, that are both salty and sweet and they are heaven!

It’s tradition here that our guest asks my readers a question to be eligible for the prizes.. what would you like to know from the crowd I have here?

Where is the most unusual place (geographically) that you have created art?  This way we get to see who are the graffiti artists out there-lol! 

 Speaking of prizes – I think we have kept them in suspense long enough! Tell the readers a little bit about the amazing donations you are giving to the lucky recipients today!
 
(For Recipient 1:)  I would love to share two prints, your choice, of my mixed media portraits.  These are 5×7 prints that I had professionally done, and would be perfect matted and framed to an 8 x 10 size.

(For Recipient 2:) A free registration to my Visual Journalism 101 workshop.If the recipient has already signed up for the workshop I will issue a full refund of their workshop fee should they win! It is a 5 week course, that will help you get started keeping a journal or give you a jump start if you have tried but not kept up with it. More info below: 

Visual Journalism 101 Workshop taught by Pam Carriker

Visual Journalism 101 Workshop taught by Pam Carriker

This will be an 5 week expedition into the world of visual journalling.. If you have ever wanted to start keeping an art journal, or started one, only to have it fall by the wayside, then this is the class for you! The class will cover journal techniques, putting together a journalling kit, completing at least 7 journal pages, and answer some road block questions like, ‘How do I get over the fear of the Blank Page?’, ‘How can I possibly fit another artistic pursuit into my schedule?’, and ‘Where do I start?’

TOLD you this was another generous and amazing gift! Seriously – one winner receives two – count em’ – two prints of THEIR choosing, and another a registration to Pam’s wonderful class. Um Hello, Can I enter my OWN giveaway? Please? 

 I know you’re anxious to enter; just do the following: 

  • Answer Pam’s question: “Where is the most unusual place (geographically) that you have created art?” and/or tell me what success means to you – if you totally hate those, then go for this one: Salty or Sweet.
  • Do this by: Sunday, December 21th, 2008
  • PLEASE keep Spreading  the word! Blog it, Tell your friends — the works! I’m amazed daily at the impact this project is having on people. I want it to be contagious, plus it fuels me to make it bigger & better!
  •  Enter Day 0 Day 10 & Day 11
  • Check out the first batch of winners!
  • Check out the newly posted – second batch of winners! Is it you?
  • Vist Pam Online: Her BlogHer Workshop, Her Etsy Store

I can’t wait to meet Pam in person at the ConvenZioNE next year ( I’ll be teaching!), and she’s doing a make & take I believe!

Warmly, Chrysti

Day 10/29 Days of Giving is…

friends, i feel so badly i missed yesterday …

…technology just wasn’t on my side

but rather than dwell there …

…and get mighty annoyed again

i just want to dive head first  into today’s….

…. absofriggnlutly fabulous giveaway

Oh. I’m not telling quite yet. You have to read to find out! It’s soooooooooooooooo worth it though.

SO very worth it.

Page 35-36

“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.”
 Bo Bennett

A few months ago, I placed (what I thought was) a seemingly innocent phone call to my friend Lia; little did I know it would turn out costing me money I didn’t really have to spend! If you don’t know Lia (artjunkgrl) … she has this amazing sense of contagious enthusiasm that just …well, it ignites you! Really. Her passion catches you, wraps you up within it’s folds like a cozy blanket on a brisk day… You’re enveloped in her spirit and before you know it – you’re whisked away onto some whimsical artsy adventure that you never expected! I love that she knows how to immerse her soul in whatever creative venture she has taken on – but in the few years I have known her – I can’t quite recall a time she was quite THIS excited.

 Page 15-16

“The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.”
Stephen Nachmanovitch

Enter Suzi Blu & her incredible Les Petite Dolls Class! Lia had gone to Suzi town, and was taking with me with her. Within hours of that call I had signed up – hesitantly at first if the truth be told – but man, I haven’t looked back once yet. Before I knew it, I was drawing faces, girls, and experimenting with them like a mad woman. I was inspired – in the truest sense of it … that awesome kind of inspired you felt as a small child. Where time didn’t have meaning and you could get lost in this magical world all your own. I was using colors I almost never use. Playing with styles I rarely dabble in — and I loved the freedom I gained as a result. I love the subtle changes I have seen in my work since, and I am enjoying taking what she taught me, and making it my own. 

 Page 25-26 (bottom)

“Creative work is play. It is free speculation using materials of one’s chosen form.”
Stephen Nachmanovitch

The pics you see scattered on my post here, are all part of my practicing. I could barely do a face prior. I have a few journals now filled with girlies, and am slowly working on getting them all scanned in.

Check out what I do have posted:

 
Page 43-44 (right)

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”
Joseph Chilton Pearce

 Suzi & I have exchanged a few emails since I signed up, and I am genuinly enjoying getting to know her. We are kindred spirits where creativity comes into play, and both believe there is no wrong, no excuse for holding back, and to enjoy – really enjoy the process. She is remarkably comfortable in front of the camera, and her videos will assuredly coach anyone through any of those annoying lil self-doubts we get. She’s an authentic personality, larger than life, and quite possibly creativity’s biggest cheerleader – and she’ll make ya laugh. I’m a sucker for folks who can make me smile, and know how to laugh at themselves.

Page 23-24 (right)

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Anyway, you will be able to draw  face when you are done. Really. I didn’t think I’d get any decent ones, I just wanted to play. Play without deadlines, without worrying if it’s up to par for a sale … just to play. Lo & Behold, I am doing faces. Addicted to them too. And I’m a tough cookie to please when it comes to being taught, and getting my hard-earned money’s worth. I shouldn’t overlook the rest of the class – it’s great for mixed media virgins, or experienced artists – lots of layer love (my fav as you well know)… beeswax tips, and a whole heck-of-alot more. If you take this fantabulous online course – you will get 10x your money worth. I want to go on, and on and on… but I think you’ll enjoy hearing from Suzi herself more than me….

Don’t worry there are still prizes to be had, but you still need to read on!

 Page 31-32 (right)

True to her generous nature & without hesitation Suzi agreed to contribute to the giveaway and to an interview… so without further delay …

I proudly present you with Ms. Suzi Blu herself!

(and yeah… the black, bold questions are mine… the colored responses are Suzi’s anwers… do I really need to explain this?)

You are (to my knowledge) one of the first mixed-media artists to develop a (well-deserved-cult-like!)following with video blogging. You are wacky, wonderful — and oh-so-open with yourself as well as your knowledge! What inspired you to start video blogging, and what advice can you give to those who are afraid to open themselves up in that way?

 I’ve always been a down to earth person and sort of fragile in the world.  I still am when I go places, Im pretty shy. Not when you get to know me of course but alone, in the supermarket, Im scared of everyone. ha. Of life.  But on video I can be anything I want to be. I can be my true self.  As if Im talking to my best friend in the world and she approves and loves me completely. I started making videos out of boredom and necessity.  I was finishing my BA through online classes and spent the majority of my time alone in my aparment with my cat. I lived on student loans and when my money ran thin I put up paintings on ebay.  You Tube was new to me then and I saw how a few other artists would film the making of their painting in their auction and I thought that was a fantastic idea.  I’ve always had a video camera and so I just did it.  In the beginning no one knew me or watched and not all of my paintings sold. But I still made one video a week no matter what, doing whatever I wanted. I WAS FREE! it was awesome. puppet shows in my kitchen, I could be as corny, as happy as I wanted. I could spew my own brand of spiritual art happiness and there was no one there, no parents or friends, to roll their eyes at me (which is what happened in my ‘real life.’  The fact that anyone would really watch was completely not in my thoughts.

If you could pick one person, living or deceased to spend a day creating with — which lucky soul would be your top choice? Why?
Oscar Wilde. For sure.  I love his philosophy and the fact that he loved words.  He understood decadance and how art is the best part of life.  I would like to sit with him in a cafe while he thought up a fairytale and I’d illustrate it with creepy puppets and shabby paint peeling sets.

Most ridiculous object within your view right now?

My new flip flops on my feet. they are covered in fake fur but they are summer sandals. giant and black. Makes my feet look like sasquatch. (chrysti’s note: she obviously doesn’t know about my huge aversion & distaste for…ick..feet.)

You seem to have an affinity for bright feather boas, accessories, Neon wigs — i think i already know the value in those things – but would like to know how you see them – What’s the deal there?

    I love color. and in real life I dont get to ‘live’ that very much.  The self I want to be is much bigger than the little self I’ve been up untill now.  I also am not happy with my hair.  Its in the process of growing out too short layers in the front and instead of stressing over it on camera, hey heres a wig.  And Im instantly in another character. Im able to climb out of my role of all of my lables -italian girl from new jersey, etc etc…  I just want to be something bigger, you know? Not that I want attention – I want everyone to be bigger. I want more than just hey when ya gonna get married hey why dont you want a kid. I want a big giant life. I want to play. I want costumes and theater in my everyday. 

Does anyone ever have a valid excuse for saying they can’t create?

Nope.
Watch
My Left Foot.  True story, guy only had control over his one foot and the toes.  and he painted amazing portraits.  Although people are born with different levels of mechanical dexterity and imaginations, drawing can be taught, color theory can be taught, design, composition, all taught.  And if you are very clear and very honest, everyone has something to say.  Expression is part of being human.

Through the giveaways, we’ve had some incredible discussions — some funny, some soul searching, and many focus on the role creativity plays in our life. What role does creating, and the creative process itself play in your life?

Perhaps Im insane which can very well be true, but I cannot live withought the creative process being a big part of my day, every day.  Ive had ooh, quite a few jobs.  None lasted more than 2 weeks. If its not art and painting I am not interested and I’ll do whatever I can to avoid having to do what I don’t want to do. I’ve made it this far in my life and so far its worked out.  Granted, I’ve lived with cardboard boxes as tables and hand me down clothes for a very. very. long time – but during all that time I spent painting so what was around me wasnt important.  Even now, I’ve lived with my parents since March, before that I was on my own since I was 19. I can afford to move out and go to an apartment somewhere, but I dont want to waste any time buying food, paying bills, any of it. I just want to write my Petit Dolls book.  I like giving my dad my bank account and saying please, you take care of it. Make sure my student loans get paid. heres money for food. Just let me sit in my room and paint and write and deal with my students.  And so thats how I live my life.  And will always live my life.  I give up a lot for this, I really REALLY want a place of my own, but if you are clear about what you want what you really want, then it wont feel like a sacrifice.  I want to publish the best book ever.  I want to design the best classes ever.  The rest doesn’t matter. Thats how important creativity is in my life.

What is one skill you hope to cultivate in the next year?

Les Petit Art Dolls in clay. I want to take my paintings and bring them into the 3 Dimensional world.

I have to ask – are you totally insane?(I only feel comfortable asking this, because I am! Ha!) Really, The Les Petite Dolls Workshop is A M A Z I N G. I didn’t think i could do faces, like ever… and I’m getting pretty darn good with them. Love that! But you don’t only teach how to do that – you teach collage, painting, some texture methods, one on one advice, beautiful and inspiring handouts, and a helluva lot more — at an incredibly low price. I love that you are so generous, and it’s part of why I so badly wanted to include you in this – you give back daily, and it’s refreshing. But I still want to know if you have lost you proverbial marbles!

The most important thing is to have a good product. If you are going to sell something, whether its a thing or a service, you want your customer to feel like they have more than they can imagine. It is easy to put up a workshop.  Write a pdf or make a video and there you go.  But it can be cold.  And if there is one thing I stand for its the fact that Im very good at making people feel wanted.  Im a crappy hostess in that I can’t cook and I don’t like cleaning much, but if you were to come to my home you’d feel like a queen, each time. I respect women highly and I want them to feel special. So thats why there is so much.  This is also very new – a workshop can be A N Y T H I N G   we want it to be.  There is no limitations and so much potential.  Why not put the effort into it and make it a worthwhile experience.

Also, a lot of the women in my classes are beginners when it comes to drawing in fact, in much of the mixed media community it seems there are scrapbookers and there are fine artists. For the trained artists it is easier for them to make the leap from pure collage to drawing a face and figure but for crafters, they are intimidated.  Thats why I put in so many encouraging pdfs about positive affirmations and things.  The crafters need to know that with just a little practice what I do is not that hard.  Although I do put in a lot of time into my paintings, I put in lots and lots of layers, they can too.  I cant stand elitist artists who say Well, you need to have a masters in Fine Art and some hoity toity pretencious artist statement before youre considered a real artist. Its crap and Im sick of it. So its my mission to turn all the crafters who want to make faces to be able to do so.  

Also, as a business person – I know the value of an affordable workshop.  Up until August of this year I could never afford to take a workshop.  They are about 200.00 and often in far away places where i need to pay for a plane and hotel.  Way out of my reach.  But 55.00 is something most people can afford.  And if enough people join for that price it equals to the same amount I’d make if half the people joined for 100.00.  I want it to be accessable to anyone who is willing to learn.  And its my philosophy that what is good for all is better than just whats good for me.

Do you have a favorite medium to work with? A least favorite?
 
My problem is I want to do everything, which is why mixed media is fabulous.  You CAN do everything. you can mix fabric with paper and sewing and painting.  How incredible.  The least favorite thing I like to do would be…painting something entirely with paints. I dont like to do that. I like to do detail with pencils and then glaze paints over it.  If i had to just use paint 100 % I would cry.  I cant get fine lines like i do with pencil and that frustrates me. when Im frustrated art isnt fun.

Since I’m a random question junkie – Roll the toothpaste from the bottom, or squeeze it in the middle?

oh god, squeeze from the middle. 
I put my toothpaste tube next to my moms and she rolls from the bottom and I always think oh, shes so perfect. there must
be something wrong with me that I dont care about rolling and neatness. although I like things neat and to be around order, I
wont give up my dreamy thoughts for long enough to take the time to roll, or fold, or iron, etc… I need to be less harsh on myself.

Can you give us a peek at what else you have going on, and what suzi blu goodness is to come?

This is a painting Im making for my friend Jared. Its a Petit Boy!

Suzi Blus Petit Boy Jared

Is it true you are giving away one membership to your Les Petite Dolls class workshop?(hell folks, I even hadda pay for mine — aren’t you lucky!!!) Are registrations still open for those who may not win? And it’s tradition here, that the guest gets to pick one of the questions the readers have to answer to win – so what would you like to know/read about from my readers?

Yes I am giving away one Petit Dolls Membership to one of your readers! Their membership will be active from now unil March 2009, plenty of time to download the videos and PDF’s and email me for personal one to one help.  Since all of the videos are up registration is open until the day the workshop closes.  Its easy to download all of the video lessons and keep them on your computer to do at your convenience.

The question I would like your readers to think about, is what is there art goal for 2009? What is the big dream – even if you cant make it come true this year, even if you are miles away from being able to do it, even if it seems impossible, what is it you want most to come true? Its really not as impossible as you think.  And 2009 could be the year you begin!

Ok Lucky Creative Ones! To Enter Today’s Amazing giveaway:

  • Answer Suzi’s question: “what is your art goal for 2009? ” and/or answer mine.. “Roll the toothpaste from the bottom, or squeeze it in the middle?” …
  • If you are already enrolled for Suzi’s workshop, I’ll send you a free print of mine, and you can give the class to a friend – so no excuses NOT to enter kids!
  • Do this by: Sunday, December 21th, 2008
  • PLEASEkeep Spreading  the word! Blog it, Tell your friends — the works!
  •  Enter Day 0 & Day 6 & Day 7 & Day 8 & Day 9
  • Check out the first batch of winners!Some haven’t claimed their gifts! — ya better, fast!
  • Visit Suzi’s Blog, Suzi’s Academy, Suzi’s Etsy & Suzi’s Youtube Videos!

Warmly, Chrysti