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29 October 2011 @ 11:06 pm
The Very Nerve!  
I got this meme from ratherastory who got if from harrigan and because I always mimic the cool kids, I'm paying if forward here. I'm such a lemming, but aren't lemmings adorable little rodents?

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!
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: 'You're So Vain'--Carly Simon
 
 
 
monicawoe: lickmonicawoe on October 30th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
(okay I'll bite)

THE VERY NERVE!


Loved reading more about your art background btw - not boring at all.
tesserae_ on October 30th, 2011 03:17 am (UTC)
The very nerve!
Which always sounds like something Great-aunt Blanche would have said... I'll bite!
borgmama1of5borgmama1of5 on October 30th, 2011 03:24 am (UTC)
I always am amused how the 3-boy families balance out the 3-girl families (like mine.)

And you are an AMAZING artist :)
Rince1windrince1wind on October 30th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
mmmm, okay. The very nerve!

That was not boring at all. It's great that you're getting to do art both for pleasure and for profit!
Amberamberdreams on October 30th, 2011 09:01 am (UTC)
The very nerve! he he he
angelicfoodcakeangelicfoodcake on October 30th, 2011 10:07 am (UTC)
The Very Nerve! :)

And your art life's not boring at all ;)
maichan: peek-a-boomaichan on October 30th, 2011 10:43 am (UTC)
THE VERY NERVE!

I loved reading about your career path. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Disney animator. Then in college, I briefly entertained the notion of going into children's illustration. That is, before I did a publishing internship and figured out that industry just wasn't for me. I also interned at a gallery and effectively ruled out fine art as well as arts admin. But luckily, the internet was in its infancy during my collegiate years and I managed to get into the web design business at just the right time.
petite_madamepetite_madame on October 30th, 2011 11:23 am (UTC)
The very nerve :D

What the hell are you talking about? It wasn't boring at all, I loved reading about your career path, it was very interesting and detailed!

AwwWwW you loved Kevin Spacey in "American Beauty"! What an awesome movie! If you have the occasion, watch the "Margin Call", still with K. Spacey. It's a movie about the fall of a big bank (certainly Lemman Brothers). Truly amazing. And if you love Gothic Horror, I recommend you Grimm, a new TV series.

OK, ask me 5 questions! (If I understood correctly how it works...) If not, just tell me what I have to do to have my 5 questions ♥
mangacat201: Godquotesmangacat201 on October 30th, 2011 01:05 pm (UTC)
LO, I'll take that pie. You're a very interesting person as I knew you would be. And it's great that you're finding your way back into the artsy world on a professional basis, because you really deserve it. Brilliant stuffs is brilliant.

oh and because I'm dumb and start reading posts in the middle... the very nerve!!

Edited at 2011-10-30 11:54 pm (UTC)
kaz? bonne?: spn - skywatchdatenshiblue on October 30th, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you got on this bandwagon because I enjoyed reading your answers. The one question that didn't get asked which I would have liked, and you probably have posted this elsewhere sometime by I haven't seen it, is how did you choose your online name?

The very nerve of me asking one more... ;)
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on October 30th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
I did answer this when I first got on LJ. Lemme did up that post: http://quickreaver.livejournal.com/2963.html

Ta da!

(I'll have questions for you in a few days...*rubs palms together greedily*)
kaz? bonne?: spn - jackpot!datenshiblue on October 31st, 2011 11:17 am (UTC)
Cool story! Larping is one of those things that I really ought to have done. Alas it didn't happen.

(Explanation of my LJ name and other aliases I use online is on my profile, so don't ask. ;D)

<3
harriganharrigan on October 30th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you played! I loved your thoughtful answers! I'm particularly interested in reading how people integrate or reconcile their childhood dreams with the realities of adulthood and sometimes family responsibilities. Your answers were fascinating - thanks for sharing!
becc_jbecc_j on October 30th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
This was an interesting read :) thanks for sharing <3