Comment to this post with "THE VERY NERVE!" (that's all you need do to start, seriously!) and then:
- I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can get to know you better.
- You update your journal with the answers to the questions.
- You can include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions (but only if you want to).
1- Tell me ALL about your life in art. How did you start? Did you have formal training or are you just naturally awesome at it? What's your favourite medium to work in? Do you have a portfolio? Do you ever show your art publicly outside of the internet?
Well, this is kinda boring, really. No big light-bulb moments or revelations. In second grade, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said—in all my naïveté—“An artist!” In high school, there were five minutes when I wanted to go to law school but my dad talked me out of it. He had a lawyer friend who committed suicide after losing his first case. My law career ended before it started.
I wish I’d had a better idea of what I wanted to do with my artistic talent before I’d hit college. I was blindly infatuated with the idea of showing in galleries and living that supposed bohemian lifestyle but in truth, I really wanted to be an illustrator. I’m no spring chicken and back in the day, illustration degrees were few and far between; you either went the ‘graphic artist’ route or became a ‘fine artist’. Since I love painting people, I chose the latter. Knowing what I do now, I’d have made different choices but hey, that’s water under the bridge. I still love painting, especially portraits, and that serves me well in many ways.
I got my BFA from little Marshal University (Of “We Are Marshall” fame) in Huntington, WV then immediately went on to get a Masters in painting from George Washington University in Wash. DC. My advisor, although charming and brilliant, was so self-absorbed I learned next to nothing. And once spit out from the educational system, I had no clue how to construct a portfolio, get my foot in a gallery door, acquire any sort of job. Floundered for years, consequentially. Took any job that came along the pike: waitress, hand-letterer, receptionist at a veterinary clinic, worked at a costume shop selling ballet shoes to little girls (I don’t dance), and finally met my husband and settled down to have kids. Something I’d never thought I’d do, but I’m really comfortable in that role, all told.
My favorite medium is ALL OF THEM. But when I started having kids, I had to put away the art supplies because babies and Cadmium red don’t mix. I resisted digital media for a long time, in part because it scared me (I’m functionally illiterate with most things computer) and because it really hadn’t progressed far enough to be competent and acceptable in art. It’s still unfamiliar to most gallery owners, but that’s changing. Digital is so clean and convenient, it has quickly become one of my mainstays. When I decided to do digital book covers (so I could make money from home,) using Photoshop was a necessity. I still flip back and forth between traditional and digital media because they feed and inform each other.
I have several on-line galleries where folks can find my stuff. Everyone here on LJ can check my sticky post for my SPN art masterlist. I have a Deviant Art gallery as a catch-all site and a rather barebones, succinct site for more professional projects here. I’m also on tumblr because…um…why not?
In terms of showing my art in the “real world”, as I mentioned earlier, most brick-n-mortar galleries just don’t know what to do with digital art yet. Photography makes sense to them but digital art? Not so much. Earlier this year, I showed oil paintings in group shows at a small local gallery but sold them all so now I’ve got no stock! I’m pretty optimistic if I could focus and find time to do more traditional paintings, I could wrangle a show here somewhere. But that’s a big ‘if.’ Right now, I’m enjoying the hell out of the SPN fandom so that’s taking up a great deal of my spare time, in between private clients (mostly self-publishing authors), a few select digital publishers, and working on my burgeoning fiction writing. I discovered getting the big illustration gigs took far more time and commitment than I was willing to spare, given the needs of a family. I'd far rather do art for my own satisfaction than make someone else's mental picture into reality. My muse has been much, much less bitchy with this realization.
I told you it was kinda boring…
2- What is your favourite genre in cinema, and why?
Modern gothic horror, without a doubt. I prefer horror movies with a more psychological bent as opposed to slasher films, as a rule. But I also dig artsy films, mysteries, and anything with Kevin Spacey. Oh, and anything noir. Modern noir with Kevin Spacey, a la “American Beauty”, is total love. No sparkly vampires need apply.
I love being scared and imagining there is more to this world than meets the eye. Used to have raging nightmares and sleep paralysis (and ensuing insomnia!) as a child, so this is probably my way of thumbing my nose at those old fears. I also love the complicated question of “What is a monster and what isn’t?” I’m sure my Catholic mother would rather I believe in angels and Heaven and Hell, but when I discovered Stephen King at age 11, I preferred his ‘unseen world’ to my mother’s.
3- Tell me about your kids. Whatever level you feel comfortable sharing on the internet. :)
I’m married, have been for over 15 years, and we have three boys, ages 13.5, 12 and 10. Our eldest, Zak, is a mathlete with a great sense of humor. The middle son, Zane, is our eccentric: personable, dramatic, and wants to be a cop when he grows up. Somehow, I don’t see that coming to pass. And our youngest, Drew (‘Zeus’ was just too bombastic and we ran out of other acceptable ‘z’ names,) is quick as a whip, manipulative, and already swears like a sailor. We kept trying for a daughter but gave up after three c-sections. At this point, I don’t think we could handle a girl. I kinda like being the token female in the house. ;)
4- Which parent do you get along with best? What's your relationship with them like?
Well, my dad died of cancer in ’94 so by default, I get along best with my mom. I was most like my dad, though, except he was a bit of an old-school male chauvinist. I think we would’ve had some very colorful conversations, as times changed and my brother came out of the closet. My mom has a big heart but is one of those stubborn people who think their way is the best way, regardless. She drives me mildly nuts. But I love ‘er. I’m just glad she lives three hours away. Close enough to visit easily, but not too close to get unexpected company!
5- I want to know how you feel about flowers. Do you like them? Cut or potted or out in the garden/fields? Do you have favourites?
I’m not overly sentimental so flowers are just pretty things to me. I do a little gardening, but mostly I like growing edibles and herbs. Tomatoes, strawberries and rosemary are my specialties. I tend to kill potted plants. I do like flowers in the wild, as part of the environment. Probably my favorite regional flower is the peony because they’re interesting: ants crawl over the bud and work to get inside the tight bundle and in doing so, loosen those tough outer leaves and allow the plant to blossom. They’re big, showy, frilly blooms that smell like sex on a stalk and do well cut. Beebalm is also high on my list of cool plants. Not amazing to behold, but their fragrance is reminiscent of cloves and they attract butterflies.
So there you have it. Are you snoring yet? No? Damn, you get pie!