for our first issue by the faerie tales of violette, pagan poetry, i had the pleasure of interviewing the magically wonderfully talented
Where did you start your journey? please tell us about yourself!
My sister and I were raised by my mom who has always encouraged creativity and having us pursue what we love to do. I have always been interested in art and started reading a lot about various artists when I was in high school, which encouraged me to try some oil painting at home. I took some art classes in high school but I always preferred to just play around with painting and drawing by myself at home and getting lost for hours at a time. I did artwork only sporadically for a while after that until about 7 years ago when I gained a renewed passion for it. When I discovered both mixed-media and pop surrealist art around this time, a whole new world of possibility within contemporary art opened before me and I got really excited about creating art. I began creating artwork consistently and developing my own style. My family and husband have been incredibly supportive and I don’t know that I ever would have taken up art seriously without their encouragement.
Where in your journey are you now?
I feel that I am finally in a place where I am getting comfortable with my own style, but also wanting to continue learning and growing. I still feel very much like a beginner, but I think that there is a certain freedom in that feeling since I am always excited to work on the next thing and learn something new. I’m thrilled to be participating in more gallery shows and very happy that my artwork is beginning to connect with a larger audience.
How were you taught your craft?
As I mentioned, I took a couple of art classes in high school, but I am mainly self-taught. I do enjoy looking at art technique books and really love learning about other artists’ processes; I take bits and pieces of information which work for me and have fun trying to incorporate them into my work. For the most part I have found that just experimenting and practicing are the best ways for me to learn.
What are your passions? and how did you find them?
Art, art history, history in general, and books/book collecting are some of my main passions. In college I studied Classics (Roman and Greek history) and art history, as well as Library Science (specializing in archival studies) later on. I also love animals and am passionate about living as compassionate a life as possible. All of these just developed naturally in my life, and I was fortunate to be raised in a way which fostered learning and exploration of my interests. If anything I have too many passions, which have pulled me in several different directions as far as exploring potential careers, but art is the one main thing I always seem to come back to. It just feels like the most natural thing for me to do.
Is there something specific that drives your creativity? do you live by a mission/ purpose and if so, what is it?
I don’t think that there is anything specific which drives my creativity, other than a natural urge. I don’t really feel like myself unless I am doing some form of artwork on a regular basis. My purpose in life is to do what I feel I was meant to do and live my life in a way which is true to myself.
What is your favourite faerie tale and why?
One of my very favorites has always been “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” (or “The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes,” I think because my sister and I had a really beautiful illustrated copy of it when we were little which I loved. The story and images really fuel my imagination. Overall I love the Grimm fairytales the best; they just feel like the most authentic and universal tales to me.
What are you most excited about in this present moment?
Right now I am really excited to be in a place where I can pursue art for a living and can connect with other artists and art enthusiasts. This year I am participating in several shows at different galleries around the country, and it is thrilling for me to see my art go out into the world like that.
Where, what, from whom do you draw inspiration for your work?
A lot of my work is inspired by fairy tales: not so much specific stories anymore as the feelings they give me. Fairytales and art make me feel similarly in that they are spaces of magic and refuge. I love to read and get a lot of inspiration from that. I also have a large collection of vintage, antique and art books which I look through regularly. I tend to feel more inspired by the world of imagination than by reality.
Fave mediums and tools?
I currently paint using acrylics, and my favorite brand for those is Golden. I also use Liquitex and Winsor & Newton. For brushes I love Trekell brand golden taklon brushes, and I have recently been using their wood panels frequently to paint on. For drawing I love the Alvin Draft/Matic mechanical pencils in 0.3mm and 0.5mm sizes. I tend to experiment with different papers for doing drawing and illustrations, but my most frequently used are Moleskine and Bristol papers.
I don’t have a strict daily routine, but I do like to get started on my artwork in the morning/early afternoon when I have a lot of energy and there is a lot of natural light. I usually try to have a couple of different projects going at once so that I can transition if I get tired of working on one piece, or if I want to transition from painting to drawing or vice-versa. I enjoy listening to audio books and drinking tea while I’m working. I also tend to take the occasional day or chunk of a day to devote to more administrative tasks. I can get a bit scatter-brained so I am still working on a more strict daily routine, but for now I just tend to work on whatever needs doing for upcoming projects and deadlines, and make time to pack orders when needed. I have also been fitting in some daily exercise (yoga in the morning or evening walks with my husband) since it helps with my energy level and mental health.
What are you dreams for the future? your aspirations!
I would like to keep learning more about art and growing my business. I would also love to do more traveling, and I hope to someday have a house where I can have my own studio and a garden.
What is your definition/ dream of a perfect life? a perfect world?
My definition of a perfect life already encompasses aspects of my current life: I am doing a job I love and have a wonderful marriage. I think that just living life in a way which is authentic to who you are is my idea of a perfect life, and that will look different for everyone.
What's a 1 thing accredited to your (daily) successes?
I would say persistence. I don’t always feel inspired and sometimes I feel like a piece is going badly, but I just work through it or look forward to the next thing I will be working on. I think that just being consistent and never giving up, even when I have felt down about my skills or my work wasn’t selling, has been the most important thing I have done.
What brings you happiness?
My husband and cats, spending time with my family, art, reading, vegan cooking, yoga, hiking with my husband, antique shopping with my mom, bookstores ☺
Do you have any advice to someone starting developing her painting skills and living a life as an artist?
I would just say keep at it and practice as much as you can. It will take a while but eventually you will begin to develop your own style. Also, it can be easy to compare yourself to others but just remember that there are a lot of different levels and styles out there, and you are adding something unique to the world with your art. Eventually you will find the people who connect with it. Be sure to look for other artists you like and to give them genuine support as well; one of my favorite aspects of being an artist is the fantastic community where I have been able to find a lot of support and friendships which have kept me going when I may have wanted to give up.
Anything you would like to recommend (one or several )? like a movie, quote, book, app, piece of music, artist something to discover etc etc
The book Launching Your Art Career: A Practical Guide for Artists by Alix Sloan is a fantastic and quick read for artists at all different levels, and it contains a lot of practical advice both from the author and from various artists and art dealers. Also, not that this isn’t already very well-known, but I love to use Pinterest as a sort of inspiration board as it is a great place to collect images of your favorite art and other inspirations in one place. A couple of the artists who are particularly able to inspire me and transport me to another realm are Stephen Mackey, Nicoletta Ceccoli, and the textile artist Mr. Finch. I also love looking at the art of the Pre-Raphaelite painters and the illustrations of Arthur Rackham.
A parting piece of advice?
Every piece you do is an opportunity to learn new things and improve. Just try to focus on enjoying the process!
who do you think we at the faerie tales of violette should interview next?
That is a tough one, I know of so many fantastic artists! Some suggestions are Cameron Reutzel, Julie Ippoliti, Vanessa Valencia, Nicole Watt, Bella Harris, Bob Doucette, Encarni Diaz…I could go on and on ☺
where can we find you just to say hello? or to devour (buy) your wonders?
My website is www.fairrosamundart.com where I have links to my etsy shop (where I sell prints, postcards, and the occasional original painting or drawing), my Instagram and Facebook pages, and info on upcoming shows I am participating in.
thanks so much lauren for this faerie tale magic:)
news about our 2nd issue
thanks so much lauren for this faerie tale magic:)
our pagan poetry magazine
which is full of magic:)
can be bought