Sit Down With Our #090 Featured Artist
Featured Artist / #092 ScrawlrBox
People often ask me how I got started painting. I’ve spent my entire life dabbling in different mediums but have always been drawn back to painting. Several years ago I was inspired to paint some insects. They were nice, but I felt apprehensive about putting myself out there. Some time later a friend asked me to paint two paintings. She calls her two little sons beetles and remembered the beetles I had painted. As I was working on them, I thought, “I’m going to add some flowers into the background”. We were both so happy with the paintings and I had finally found my unique style.
Sharing art online is very much like posting a diary photo. However, I shared in spite of my apprehension. I’m so glad I did because the positive response was so refreshing. I later decided to enter my first art festival and had to literally go home and take art off the walls to have art for the second day.
It was the most wonderfully amazing blessing! The rest is history...
If you had to choose between one meidum which one would you go for?
Watercolor paint above all other mediums has my heart. I have recently started using gouache too but I don’t think anything will ever replace my love for traditional watercolours.
What are your favourite and least favourite parts of being a professional artist?
I love the freedom that being a full-time artist allows me. Prior to becoming a full-time artist, I was an art teacher in a public school setting. Teaching, though rewarding, is not flexible. Prior to the birth of my youngest son I decided to transition from art teacher and part time creator to a full time artist. At that point I had already begun to build my art career and had a budding following and thriving Etsy shop. Taking the plunge allowed me to give my art career that extra bit of attention that has allowed me to really experience success. add it as you collect it.
Are you a self taught artist? Or have you studied any form of art and design in education?
I have been creative my entire life. When I was a little girl my mother said that I liked to work with my hands and that is such an incredibly true assessment of me. I like to stay busy with anything creative whether it be art, cooking, crafting with my children, or even embroidery in the car while travelling.
How do you begin your creative process?
My creative process begins with lots of thinking. I wish that I were the type of artist who could keep a sketchbook but so much of my work begins inside my head. I brainstorm while driving, caring for my children, or lying in bed awake at night. After I have an idea mostly developed I take it either straight to the final draft paper or more recently into procreate where I can play around with it before finally printing my procreate drawing onto my watercolor paper. This allows me to make lots of changes without creating a mess of erasure marks.
You draw a lot of insects and bugs! Would you say you have always been drawn todrawing these tiny creatures?
I began creating my nature inspired art while I was still teaching. I had very little time to devote to painting so I created small art. My earliest pieces are only 5x7! The fact that I was making small art led me to paint things that were small in real life. Though I still work small by art standards my paintings have increased in size with my most recently completed painting being 16x20
Who are some of your favourite artists/ creatives that inspire you?
I am a big fan of the creative community on Instagram and have lots of artists that I follow and admire there. A few are:
@mauvaise.herbe.et.cie @firstname.lastname@example.org @nussay_watercolor @marcellakuykendall
Do you have a favourite type of creepy crawly you prefer to draw?
I love painting butterflies. They are so lovely and intricate that painting them is like putting together a puzzle. Their wings are especially lovely with the addition of a bit of metallic paint which is always so fun to use.
What would your dream project be?
I have always wanted to write and illustrate a children’s book. I have done a book cover and learned so much from the experience. I have been working on a story in my head for a long time. Someday I will put it all down on paper!
You are given a brand new sketchbook, are you starting on page one or you do flip through and start on a random page
Oh wow! Definitely page one. What kind of mad man do you think I am?
What does your typical day look like?
In addition to being a fulltime artist I am also a fulltime mama to three. One of the wonderful things about being an artist and working from home is the flexibility it allows. I typically work four mornings a week. My day starts at 6:30 with breakfasts and school drop off before I transition to art. I begin by filling Etsy orders and doing any other office tasks that need to be addressed. Then I move to my studio for a little bit of painting time. I can only paint for short periods of time due to pain that I often experience in my hand so I usually will take a 30 minute break to exercise before spending my last bit of morning either in the studio or finishing other art related tasks. Many days I do not make it to the studio at all, but if I go too many days in a row then I get a bit sad and restless. The afternoons and evenings are full of kid related activities and tasks. Thankfully my husband handles bathtime so I usually get to spend a little time in the evening painting and it’s often my most productive.