Saturday, 21 December 2013

A Merry Thank You Christmas Message...And A Sharpie Discovery

Hi guys, I have been reflecting a lot this month and just resolved on quickly doing a blogpost to say a 
HUGE thank you
to everyone who has sent me love, of any kind, this year. 
I really, truly, appreciate all of you who follow and support me whether I am churning out art like a mad woman, or equally when I'm sharing some deeper rooted feelings that go along with being artistically inclined. I feel so much support happens in our wonderful community and I just want to protect it, appreciate it, add to it and help it thrive in 2014. While I was in this gushy mood I thought I’d do a vlogpost, thinking it would be easier to convey via talking, but that didn’t really happen. I don’t think I actually said anything I was meaning to but hey, time constraints put on me never do me any favours, hence why I always hated examinations lol (and due to being rushed I can't add annotations that may be would fill in some of the gaps from my brain that my mouth left out lol sorry). I did however include some arty time just as a reward in case you choose to watch this rambly mess, including a new Sharpie technique discovery…of sorts lol

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, see you on the other side of Christmas
Happy Holidays To All

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Michelle Bukowski

Hello beautifuls, I hope your run up to the holidays is smooth, cool, calm and collected?? Yeah, me too :/ ...cest le vie, but we still have one week (she says trying to make that sound like a long rather than short time lol). I'm thinking this will be the last TAT before Christmas, given that the next will be Christmas Eve and we'll all be still running around like crazy people (except more so with that 'one day left' feeling). Then the week after it will be New Years Eve so I'm thinking I'll do as I did last year and pick it up in the new year, so till then enjoy the last TAT of 2013 eeeek!

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
My name is Michelle Bukowski and I live in Nashville, TN. I’ve been here six and a half years and I’m on staff at a large private university. I am fortunate that my position allows me to be use my creativity on a daily basis (I am the social media coordinator for our school among other things). I have been an artist as far back as I can remember. My first love, photography, was a gift from my dad. I think the first camera he gave me was a 110 (I guess I’m dating myself). I used to love to go shooting (photos) with him. Painting was another favorite medium. As a young child, I recall watching my mom getting out her acrylic paints and creating works of art. I even remember being inspired by a book called “Painting With Elke Sommer” and copying her painting style. A little over 3 years ago, my dad passed away unexpectedly. For about a year, I was in a bit of a fog; I felt like my creativity was zapped. But as time wore on, I started feeling itchy. I needed to do something. I discovered mixed media and art journaling. It was, in part I believe, my salvation. And maybe the final gift I’ll receive from my dad. I primarily use acrylic paints but also dabble with watercolors (I avoid oil because I don’t have the patience for it to dry) and I utilize a lot of recycled materials. I create canvases out of snack boxes or cardboard boxes. I love creating tools out of recycled materials; for example, I hand cut stencils using discarded chip-board that my husband gets at work. I utilize bubble wrap, lids of every size, old batteries, corks and (my favorite) old gift cards as pallet knives. All my “tools” are used to create rich backgrounds. Finally, I use all types of recycled papers to create the focus of each piece.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I face is not allowing stress and anxiety to affect my creativity. My desire is always there, but getting passed the stress is something I find difficult. One way I’ve learned to overcome this is a tip from artist Dina Wakley. She suggests starting with a creative practice. For example, using shipping tags and adding color to get your juices flowing. I also find allowing myself some grace a helpful mental practice. Realizing that some days it’s better to stop than trying to force the project saves me a lot of frustration and time. 

What advice would you offer to any perspective new artist?
Don’t get upset when things don’t turn out the way you pictured them in your head. Sometimes they turn out better; sometimes you cover it all with gesso and start over. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your talents are unique to you. Always create for yourself. Art is subjective and not everyone will like what you’re creating. And that is ok. As long as you like it, keep doing it. 

What is your heart’s greatest desire for your life as an artist?
I want to create a welcoming space where I can help people realize their inner artist and creative capabilities. I’d love to help people develop creative practices they can use in their everyday lives. I hear people say they’re not artistic but I believe we all have a creative spark inside. Sometimes we just need help finding it. Creativity for some may be less obvious: the ability to be a good leader or a fantastic public speaker is just as creative as being able to put paint down on paper. I’d love to have a creative co-op with space for workshops and of course an area for my own work.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
You can find me on my blog. I post most Saturdays and I usually show my work in progress so you get an idea of how my pieces take shape from start to finish. I am also on Pinterest.

Thank you tons for sharing Michelle. I love that you connect your art with your Dad in such a precious way and that he is part of this journey with you.

I agree with all your advice to new artists, but also with the creative practice to get the juices flowing and I want to pick up on that because thinking of what you're doing as 'just warm up' can really help release the pressure sometimes. I really believe in it, to the point where I keep a couple of journals just specifically for that (which I may eventually get around to sharing one of these days...though right now I can think nothing but 'Holidays' lol).

Do you want to be featured in an interview here?
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Brie Minar

Hello beauties, very inspiring TAT post for you today - you're going to want to read all of this, I I'll lead straight into it, enjoy =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
Hi there! My name is Brie. I’m 32 year old Texas girl, and I graduated from Texas A&M University. No, I don’t have a horse, and I detest American football. (Just to get that out there) What kind of artist am I? That’s a tougher one. For several years, I would correct anyone who called me an artist. I’d introduce myself as a crafter, since much of what I was doing fit more into the craft genre, and so I didn’t consider it to be actual artist. Then someone corrected me – if I’d bought a kit and put things together, that would be a craft. I was pulling things together with no instruction besides my own inspiration to create something – therefore, it was definitively Art. Given that definition, I do a lot of Art. From doodles to painting to cutting snowflakes, no paper is safe around me. I make polymer clay figurines, beads, and trinkets to use on my mixed-media canvases. I do nail art. I make jewelry – earrings, wire-wrapped rings, beaded barefoot sandals, bracelets. I love buttons & use them in pretty much anything. I guess ‘mixed media’ would be the best generalization? And I do love mixed media, but it’s only one of the things I make. My hobby, I think, is collecting new hobbies.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
I’m a college-educated Type A personality – and a housewife. Believe me when I say I never saw myself here. If I’d decided to stay home to raise my children, I’d be totally ok with the situation… but I don’t have kids. Instead, I have MS. I was out of college, married, and moving up the chain of management in a big company when I started having weird symptoms that landed me in the hospital. First I had bouts of Optic Neuritis which left me temporarily blind, then with permanent degraded color vision. I also had an almost total loss of manual dexterity, balance, and muscle control. Within the space of a year I went from a “normal” life to wearing diapers and using a wheelchair. 2007 was not a good year. Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, my symptoms have been severely lessened. I can walk again, though I use a cane when I’m outside the house. A lot of time retraining my brain to make my hands do what I want them to means I can do fiddly-little fine motor tasks again, like beading – just not for long. Changing tasks seems to help a lot, and I’ve been assured that doing art is just about the best thing I can possibly do for a brain that’s destroying itself. By practicing hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity tasks, coupled with creating new things, its reinforcing existing damaged neural pathways and making new ones. As far as I’m concerned, this is the best Physical Therapy ever! I can’t work anymore, and I’m receiving Disability assistance. Believe me, there’s so much pride swallowing involved in that for me it just hurt. I assuage myself in that the Disability payments through the government I earned by the money I put into it for years. Also, the fact that the amount of money I get each year almost covers the cost of my insurance & prescriptions – and that’s it. My husband is supporting me, and my government is helping me treat the handicap. And when I can make art, I can feel like I’m contributing again. 

What is your greatest personal achievement either in your art, or because of it?
Getting back up and trying to see what I COULD still do made all the difference in the world. I started playing with all the craft supplies I’d amassed over the years and moved into mixed media. I’ve picked up enough new ‘mini-hobbies’ over the years (and I have packrat tendencies, so I still have all the supplies for them) to make an impressive craft hoard, and jumped into mixed media with horns a-blaring - and in so doing reclaimed my interest in getting out of bed. Slowly, and with persistence & practice, I’m regaining a decent amount of fine motor dexterity in my fingers. It’s nearly back to normal now, most days. I’ve regained the ability to distinguish colors, though everything is somewhat muted, as with seeing color through smoked glass. From always being drawn to neutrals and subtle shade differences, a switch was flipped to being drawn to bright, eye-catching neons and glitters. Where my favorite colors used to be muted moss greens and rich mahogany browns, it’s now the in-your-face glowing snot greens and anything with glitter. And I’m making something – Anything – every day. Sometimes it’s a flop. Sometimes, it goes on the walls in my house. And lately, at the urging of friends & family, it’s listed on Etsy. To date, I’ve made one sale. And I don’t care, because it’s fun. And I can pretend, to myself at least, that I’m participating in this whole ‘part of the economy’ thing. And it’s so much more fulfilling than watching a movie for the hundredth time, or sleeping. There are days I can’t get out of bed. And while I know they’re going to be more frequent and more severe as time goes by, for now, I’ve got something to do on days I can’t get up. I plan. I put ideas together from the things I’ve made or seen or heard about, and jot them all down, and the next good day I have a whole list of ideas to choose from

Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how do you get it back?
I periodically go through phases where I’m frustrated with myself. Unsurprisingly, they usually correspond with times I’m physically not doing well. It can be hard to get excited about getting up to do anything when you hurt. It can turn into a vicious cycle if I let it get going strongly: Hurt, so stay in bed; staying in bed means nothing gets done; getting nothing done makes me feel useless. This in turn feeds the pain, and ‘round and ‘round we go. I’m still learning where the balancing point is for myself, how much pain I can deal with before resorting to taking medication that will knock out pain, but also put me to sleep. And don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good sleep! But after a while, it gets old. So I’m finding a middle ground to knock pain back to discomfort, which in turn lets me find something to focus on to take my mind off physical feedback. I can then get involved enough in the creative process that it’s all I’m focused on. And when I need reminding, I just flip through my art journal and see that there are still blank pages, and I still have things to say.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
I have a nail art blog that I update sporadically, and have posted a few tutorial videos on YouTube also with the handle nailsbybrie. The jewelry & baubles I’m making I’m posting on Etsy, at the repeated urging of friends & family. The name (MindlessLuminary) comes from the whole idea of my having a shop. Mindless, because I’m kind of literally losing my mind, and Luminary to show that even in a dark place, you can find –or be-- a light to guide the way. Thanks for listening to me ramble. Now go do art!

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us Brie  - if this interview doesn't touch everyone that reads it, and make them admire you for your perseverance in doing what you love, I'd be very shocked indeed. As it is you represent a valuable lesson to us all I think, and I for one and now inspired to go off to do art - well kinda, I am on a lil full-blown art break so it'll be in my own finding-a-solution-to-a-problem-by-hitting-the-recycling-bin-way, but it's all creativity ;) wish me luck, if I shall succeed in my plans I shall do a post about it xoxo

Want your art here... ???
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Take a Break...From Art! ~ Coffee Chat Vlog

Hi guys, so there's been ch-ch-ch-changes happening lately to me and my artful practice. There are multiple reasons for this, though perhaps it's somewhat more exhausting looking at the root of all the causes, rather than just going along with what's happening and making it right for you. If you have been a follower of mine for any length of time you may know I 100% believe in following your gut. I do it in my art, and I do it in my life. And I am doing so right now. 

While I know I have many people wanting me to be 'on it, on it, on it' in terms of art, so they get some inspiration for their art (and that they may be the people worried by this vlog that that's gonna seize up) fear not, I'm not going anywhere...and I don't want you taking from this vlog that I am! I am simply being who I am, and from that can only ever come good things!

It may mean I physically put less paint to paper right now but who know what progress it will make me do in the future? - but one thing is for certain, it WILL make me progress. Being truthful to yourself and following your gut down your own path may not be a path of least resistance in terms of society, or what other people may expect of you, but it is a path of least resistance towards yourself...and from that can only come peace, and growth. So I see anything I am doing at the moment as growth in my art too, aren't I and it one and the same after all? Changes in ourselves reflect changes in our art whether we like it to, or intended it to, or not. 

This is quite a ranty vlog I feel, still isn't that what a vlog is? It is the most personal I have done & explains my headspace right now...though I already feeling it changing back into art ~ as you might imagine it would lol ;)

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Offers at My Etsy Shop and an Offer for Yours

Hi guys just a heads up that I will be closing my shop on Sunday. But before that I've an early Christmas gift of 20% off everything in my shop (no minimum order) until Sunday, when I will close my shop until the new year. So if you want something as a gift please get it now using the code 'XMAS2013' during checkout.

& plenty more at the shop.

Also if you are thinking about opening your own Etsy shop but haven't taken the plunge yet Etsy have started a friend referral system that gives away free listings, to both the new shop opener and the referrer. So if you want a shop but don't want to pay for your first 40 listings, please use this link to open your shop and make both of our wallets breathe easier =)

Happy Christmas shopping & creating ;)
Much love

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Niina Niskanen

Hi guys I've finally managed to figure out a temporary solution to get TAT up this week - I did a post about journal ideas last week as my computer has decided to simply say no to downloading, saving or copying pictures of any kind to be used alongside the interviews (she can be stubborn - yep, my computers a girl!). The solution involves a LOT of extra effort but worth it to have TAT back yaaaaaaaaaaaaay! This week's featured artist is a fantasy artist, enjoy =D

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what kind of artist you are.
My name is Niina Niskanen. I'm 26 year old fantasy artist living in Finland. I started to paint and draw at very early age. My first drawings were done on my school drawing book and they presented little houses full with little rooms and people doing pretty much everything...watching tv, sitting in a sauna or knitting. I drew every little detail and enjoyed so much what I was doing (I guess it also explains my fascination for miniatures). After high school I studied one year in a free art-school and after that three years in the school of Lybecker graphic art and design. After degree in arts I went to study teaching and instructing. At this moment I´m on a business course and hope to start my own web-shop in the future and sell my cards and posters here in Finland (and abroad) I'm also going to start keeping lectures and courses about creativity and spirituality within art.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome with it?
At this moment with my business studies biggest question is time. How do I fit my "artistic time" to my working time. When I run my own business beside painting and creating new artworks I'm the one taking photos, scanning, running to the post office, making the marketing plans etc. I know I can handle all that because it's all part of job I love and that is doing my own thing.

What message do you try to portray in your work and do you feel you achieve it?
My art is mostly inspired by fairy-tales and myths. My favorite subjects to paint and draw are fairies, unicorns, dragons and fairy-tale illustrations. In Finland fantasy art is mostly found in children book illustrations. There is a new generation of artists rising that paints mythological subjects and I'm very happy about it. My art is very connected to my inner spiritual world. You could say that these fairies are my spirit guides. I also wish to raise awareness about our cultural history by painting subjects of Finnish mythology like different gods, goddesses and nature spirits. Beside these mythological themes I love to paint animals, tea cups and overall just things that makes me smile. Of course I hope they bring smile to the viewer's faces as well.

Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how to get it back?
Artistic mojo can get lost sometimes. For example I'm now in process of illustrating a story written by my sister. It tells from an elf and presents all the four seasons. In the end of the summer I was supposed to start illustrations of the chapter that takes part on Christmas. Well... since I wasn't mood for Christmas that time I started to look up Christmas magazines and decorations to get me to the holiday mood and suddenly creative juices were flowing again. One other way is to have a break from painting/creating process and do something completely different like going to a walk or to read a good book.

Tell us where can we found out more about you and your art?
Everyone is welcome to my artblog and my originals and other goodies can be found on my etsy-shop and let's not forget facebook and my fan page there

Thank you Niina for sharing your art and allowing us to dig around inside your artistic brain =)

I love that you feel your roots through your artwork, and that that in turn shares them with others via your artistic expression. Good luck with your course and future business plans, I'm sure you'll make them hugely successful =)

Do you want to join the TAT-ed??
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Journal Ideas Video

Hello lovelies, so it's Tuesday which means today is supposed to be a TAT post but apparently my computer is not willing for any pictures to be downloaded onto her, and given that us artists love our visual candy I'm not going to post someones interview without being able to give it it's full effect, so I'm sharing a video instead =D

I usually don't have a vault of Jennibellie-vids to fall back on but apparently today I do lol this one is nothing too fancy just some art candy and ideas sharing for a different way of doing a collaborative art journal. Hope you enjoy =D

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Anything Goes

Hi guys, jussa little video today
because I feel very bad very, very, very, very bad that I just don't get time to respond to everyone who sends me an email anymore.
*sad face*

I get such wonderful emails
and I appreciate every single one.

I try to answer questions in videos and messages etc but wanted to do this little chatty video for the newbies - as they make up a big bunch of my advice seekers.
So here you go, complete with a thumbnail action shot of Sweepie giving me a smacker!

Happy wednesday oh gorgeous one
create everything you desire

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Alicia Noel

Hello lovelies, TAT-time, TAT-time, TAT-time! 
YAY! I'm so up for TAT-time this week, I need a boost to send my butt back into art so here's to the start of a more art-filled week, yes? Yes! chin-chin!!

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
Hello, my name is Alicia and I live in Brooklyn NY, USA. I have been an artist ever since I was a tiny little rugrat. If I found a blank piece of paper, I was going to doodle on it (whether I was supposed to or not, LOL). Although I do not create for a living (that would have been wonderful), I do create something every single day. Art has been a huge part of my life and it has been even more so for the past 5 months. Around June of this year, I had discovered art journaling which had opened up a whole new world of art that I had never been exposed to before. I think that is when I really began to branch out as an artist. I like to joke that I'm a "Born Again Artist." As of now, I would consider myself a whimsical mixed media artist. I love to play with different techniques, textures, and mediums, and combine them all into one project. I also love creating little craft projects. I am constantly learning and trying something new. 

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I face as an artist is trusting myself. When I am staring at a blank white surface, sometimes I have to remind myself that I CAN turn it into something beautiful and that all I have to do is just START. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and can't seem to figure out where to begin. To overcome this, sometimes I just close my eyes, pick a color, slap it on, then go from there. It's something about that white space that stalls me, but as soon as I put a color down, the intimidation just melts away.

What do you most wish your art to achieve?
In social settings, initially, I tend to be a bit quiet and reserved if I do not know anyone in the room. I have noticed that this doesn't really give people the opportunity to see the silly, bubbly, friendly girl hiding inside. I want my art to show what I am afraid to express to people that do not know me. Through my art, I can show little snippets of ME. That's one of the amazing things about art. One does not have to speak with words in a painting. It is communication with a universal language. 

Do you think you have achieved a uniquely recognisable style as an artist, or do you find it a struggle to find your own style?
Since my discovery of art journaling, I can say that I am slowly developing a style of my own. For instance, I have noticed that whenever I draw or paint a girl, I tend to go with an unconventional skin tone (pink, blue, green, purple). However, I wouldn't say that I have FULLY developed a unique style of my own just yet. I still have a ways to go and plenty to learn (Which really excites me!).

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
You can find me at my blog at where you'll find links to my youtube channel and Etsy shop. If you visit my blog you are more than welcome to subscribe to get updates. You may also subscribe to my youtube channel if you'd like :) I just want to give thanks to Jennibellie for everything you have shared. You have been a huge inspiration and I have learned a great deal from you. And thank you so much for the opportunity to introduce myself and share what I have learned.

Thank you so much Alicia & you are welcome ;) OMG I love your painted shell! It reminds me of a painted rocks, which have been on my mind for a lil while now and may be are going to be the way into my artful week hmmm yes, I think they just may. Oh and don't worry:
we're all 'Born Again Artists' here 

Do you want to take part in TAT??
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)

Friday, 15 November 2013

Friendship Journals

Hello beautiful artifolk =D I’m posting a small vlog right now on friendship journals, something I’ve done for a loooooong time before I discovered art journaling. 

Just sharing as I haven’t done any art or projects ‘for me’ of late as I’ve a few arty requests of me from other people recently (that’s what happens when you’re the ‘crafty-one’ right?!) so for that reason you might not see me posting so much, may be a pic here or there on facebook of what I’m making, but as my usual downtime of art is now taken, my actual downtime is usually doing something else entirely. I may get the inclination to do a journal page or two at some point, I dunno we’ll see.

So here's my vlog for now, enjoy:

Have a great weekend beautiful!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Nada Adaissi

Hi guys, second TAT post in a row from me...which means I've not been posting. Thank you to those that have noticed & emailed concerned, I'm perfectly fine, I'm just going through some transitions and may do a vlog-post about that soon. For now that it is TAT and I've got a mini me to share today, not sure if that is much of a compliment actually but a fab young artist anyhow, enjoy =D

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
Hey my name is Nada I'm from Tunisia and I'm 14 years old. I started art journaling 2 years ago so I'm new to this but since I was 5 I always find my self drawing and coloring and making collage I think that's what every little kid does! LOL ... but when I was 11 I started loving my art class even though its not that big deal in my country but very soon I started to watch drawing tutorials on youtube and learned how to draw and shade as the basics then I thought maybe if I jump to the next art level just to progress so I started watching art journaling videos and videos that teach you to use watercolors and acrylics and stuff so I decided to make my own art journal mostly inspired by Jennibellie. I actually don't call my self a real artist cause I'm too young and I'm a beginner.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
The biggest challenge that I personally face as an artist that I always convince my self that I'm too young and that I have to quit because in my country being an artist is something that you don't find everywhere its unique but on the other hand people will make fun of you saying that you will never get a job and stuff like that but I always find my mom and my sister encouraging me to keep on practicing.

What do you love most / least enjoyable about your art?
What I love most about my art is that I can be myself and let my art speak about my feelings and about my mood. Also no one can judge on what I'm doing because I'm doing it and I'm happy about it, and no one could ever change that 

What advice would you offer to any perspective new artist?
I just want to say to every artist don't give up just keep working and trying because everything will be alright. All you need to do is to be positive and clear your mind of all negative thoughts that you have and with keeping on the good work you will succeed and be what you always dreamed of :)

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
Actually I don't have any art web things but I’m sure that I will have Facebook page or youtube channel in the future because I think it's so early to do that but you can always leave me a message on here and that’s it I hope you like it, thanks jennibellie and everyone for the interview :*

Thank you so much for having the courage to share with us Nada, your work is beautiful and you share extremely wise words indeed =) I hope you remember all of your advice for yourself in years to come when you become tested as we all do at some point; when you do just remember: never give up - 'clear your mind of all negative thoughts that you have and with keeping on the good work you will succeed and be what you always dreamed of'

Want to join the TAT-ranks??
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Jeanie Mossa

Hello lovelies, so it's TAT time and this week we have a 3D artist in the hot seat which I am very excited about *mini jumping jacks* (meaning just the top half arm pumps as the bottom half is sat comfily lol) hope you enjoy and can learn something from what is just a really lovely interview =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
Hello and thank you for this opportunity to share. My name is Jeanie Mossa, and I currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, USA with my husband, 2 cats and our dog. Originally from monochromatic Baltimore MD, I ran off to California when I was young which had a major influence in my life and art. Sort of like Dorothy opening the door and seeing The Wizard of OZ in color for the first time. Living in San Diego I became a glass artist and had a line of jewelry and art to wear. When my body rebelled due to the environmental hazards of working with glass, I turned to Chinese medicine and later went on to become an acupuncturist specializing in holistic veterinary medicine. Art took a backseat during that time. As things always come full circle, I am back to being a full time artist and a part time Medicine Woman now. My art is influenced by fairy tales, nature, magic and the wooie wooie. Visiting old churches and shrines with sacred icons, old world art and religious deities from different cultures inspires me. Living so close to Washington DC with endless museums to hide in has been a gift that I am so grateful for. I prefer to create 3D pieces such as ethereal art jewelry, primitive sculptures and nature spirit dolls. There is something that flows when making a piece that has more than 2 dimensions. The fact that it can be picked up, touched and is not flat like a drawing is satisfying. Somehow the piece has a mind of its own and comes to life. I go through phases of materials to work with such as wire, clay, recycled objects, glass or fiber when I feel like I have done as much as possible with this medium for now, it is time to move on to another. 

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Sometimes I get stuck... creative constipation. Nothing flows. I become paralyzed especially if it is during a stressful time in my life. Staring at blank pages, a box of beads or colored pencils like a deer caught in headlights. My muse runs off to some exotic island or Paris and leaves me to fend for myself. To break the spell I have a few tricks. Meditating everyday, even if it is only 10 minutes makes such a difference. So does yoga. Sometimes I put on some happy music and dance in the kitchen. If I am exhausted and worn out, then a nice nap with my cats and dog seem to help soothe the soul. Taking a break and visiting a local nature preserve to watch birds and animals calms my mind. There are some days nothing helps so that is the time to clean the house, do laundry and run errands. Eventually my muse returns! 

What is your heart’s greatest desire for your life as an artist?
Ever since I can remember my heart's desire has been to create a children's book. This past year I finally began drawing and painting the characters for it. Some of the characters have been the inspiration for the Nature Spirit dolls I have been working on. Over the years, I have written a few books on alternative medicine with illustrations, however these were nonfiction and ironically somehow easier to finish. My goal is to complete the children's book in 2014. 

Have you ever found anything that originally daunted you as an artist that you can now overcame easily? 
I was brought up in a very strict Italian Catholic family where it was assumed I would get a “real” job, get married and have children. Being an artist was not an option as a career. Deciding to be an artist full time was very daunting and scary. There was always that voice inside my head that screamed GET A JOB! Many times I have worked jobs in order to support myself and did art on the side. I never believed it was possible to just be an artist and accept it. And my family would never accept that creating art is a “job” too. I will always be the hippie freak daughter and sister in their eyes. It took several years (OK... decades!) to stop worrying about what I should be when I grow up. To not stutter when people asked “What do you do?” Somehow when you tell folks you are an artist they cannot grasp it. You might as well claim to be a plutonium salesman.
I always wanted to be an artist. It is not something that is easily ignored since most of us are different to the rest of the world. We see and think outside the box, see colors more brilliantly and we dance to the beat of an invisible drummer. It took a long time to accept that but one day it just seemed to click in. And as an added bonus, having a husband who encourages and supports my dreams makes me ever so grateful. A special thank you to folks like you, Jennibellie who give us inspiration and thank you for all your wonderful videos. I have learned so much watching them. 

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
You can find more art, jewelry and books at my website which has a link to my facebook page and my blog and shops. If you visit the website please sign up for my free e-Zine The Bohemian Soul which is a fusion of art and healing tips for people and pets.

Your interview resonated so much with me Jeanie, thank you so much for sharing your story. I think I've managed to respond to the 'what do you do?' question only a handful of times with 'I'm an artist' but next time I think I'm just gonna have to say 'I'm a Plutonium Saleswoman' oh yeah! Nicking it, nicking it, nicking it - at least their fogged up bamboozled expression will make me laugh for a good reason than cry for the sheer horrific state of our societies standards lol good luck with your book from the courage I read coming from you I'd put a bet on it being a goal that is going to be achieved, which gives me courage and inspiration also - we all have our childrens book ;)

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